EDU Danmark will take over from Folkeuniversitetet, which was previously responsible for administering the tests, co-owned by British Council, IDP and Cambridge Assessment.
“We’ve been in Danish boundaries until now with recruitment and language testing,” founder and general manager of EDU Danmark, Palle Steen Jensen, told The PIE.
Moving to operate the tests in Norway will be an “interesting new challenge”, he said, but noted that there are no plans for the Danish agency to begin any student recruitment in Norway.
EDU Danmark won the tender just before the summer and has recently begun its first testing sessions. The agency will keep operating with the same staff as Folkeuniversitetet and “start slowly” with some four testing sessions per month.
However, Jensen pointed to potential growth for the test in the Scandinavian country.
“IELTS is still the most respected test internationally, many people still look to IELTS. There are also new segments that are coming in [to Norway],” he said.
The test can play a role in helping Ukrainians in Norway needing to prove their language skills to enter the labour market, while use for UK Visas and Immigration applications will be important for those looking to move to the UK.
Jensen also elaborated on the latest from the Danish outbound mobility market.
“It does take time for Australia and New Zealand”
“We really see that everything is coming back after Covid, but it will take time. Getting back into the market doesn’t come over night,” he added.
While interest in study abroad has not gone, the destination markets have altered for Danish students.
“The US has definitely benefitted… definitely gained,” he said. Jensen has recently met with Kerin Ayyalaraju, Australian ambassador to Denmark, Norway and Iceland, and Simon Gunn from Austrade to discuss the return of international students to Australia.
According to EDU Danmark, North America has gained market share at the cost of Australia and New Zealand – both of which had closed borders for long periods during the pandemic.
“It does take time for Australia and New Zealand,” Jensen told The PIE. “It will be a steady increase but will take at least half a year to be level again.
“But we are definitely optimistic that markets are coming back. Young people are no longer afraid of going abroad… and are ready to conquer the world again.”
EDU Danmark has previously led calls for Denmark to implement an outbound mobility strategy.