Joining a UK university can be life-changing for international students thanks to the high academic standards and numerous benefits. To qualify for studies in the UK, international students must have a certain level of English proficiency. After all, your classes will largely be in English, the language you use to communicate in the classroom and in everyday life.
The IELTS is often the go-to English proficiency evaluation test. If you’re looking into alternatives, though - especially a highly-recognised, convenient test you can sit at home - why not try the OIETC’s English Language Level Test (ELLT)? Here, we will discuss the OIETC-accepting universities in the UK for international students in 2023-24 and introduce you to the ELLT.
The Ultimate OIETC-Accepting University List in the UK
What is the OIETC's English Language Level Test?
The OIETC stands for the Oxford International Language Test Centre, operating under the Oxford International Education Group. The OI Digital Institute delivers the OIETC alternative to the IELTS - the English Language Level Test (ELLT). This test measures your English language skill level and many universities in the UK accept it as valid proof of your language proficiency.
OIETC language schools have British Council accreditation and are run by highly-qualified experts. This makes the ELLT an excellent substitute for the IELTS for prospective international students, especially those who don’t have easy access to a test centre nearby. Along with being more affordable than the IELTS, the ELLT is specifically designed to work on a variety of devices in low-bandwidth areas. The accessibility and high quality of the test make it a great choice for UK-bound international students!
Modules of the OIETC’s ELLT
The test consists of four components. You will complete all four of the ELLT sections online, through its dedicated portal:
- Reading: consists of two text passages. You will have 40 minutes to answer some multiple-choice questions based on the passages
- Listening: consists of two audio recordings - you must play the recordings, listen, and respond to the multiple-choice questions. You have 20 minutes to complete this section
- Writing: consists of a written assessment. You will have an hour to complete an opinion-based essay
- Speaking: unlike the other sections, you have to book an appointment for the Speaking section. You will sit this live with an online examiner, and complete three subsections of around 15 minutes
You will first need to complete the Reading and Listening sections before you can access the Writing and Speaking portions. The first two sections are automated. The Writing section essay goes directly to a human examiner through your ELLT portal for grading. You can only sit for your Speaking section in a live session with an online examiner after completing the first three sections.
Prerequisites for Studying in the UK with the OIETC’s ELLT
No doubt, UK is one of the best country for international students to study and work. If you're applying to UK universities, you need to prove that you have the English language skills required by the institutions. Also, to apply for a UK student visa English Language Proficiency is one of the prerequisites. To do this, universities accept English proficiency test scores, such as the IELTS or its popular alternative, ELLT. To help you understand how the two compare, you should first be familiar with the OIETC’s scoring methodology for the ELLT.
Here’s how the ELLT score chart compares to the IELTS:
Here are the average minimum scores you must get to be eligible for an undergraduate or postgraduate degree at OIETC-accepting universities in the UK. Remember, these are estimates - universities and programs may have different score boundaries for admissions:
|Education Level||OIETC Score|
|Bachelor’s degree||B2+ overall, including B2 in each skill|
|Master’s degree||C1+ overall, including B2+ in each skill|
OIETC-Accepting Universities in the UK (2023-2024)
Now that you understand the structure and score chart for the ELLT, you’ll want to know about the OIETC-accepting universities in the UK. Here are the universities you can enrol in for the next intakes in the UK like January 2023 intake or September 2023 intake with ELLT scores!
|Bangor University||International College Robert Gordon Aberdeen, ICRG||ONCAMPUS University of Reading||University of Bristol||University of Strathclyde|
|Bangor University International College||Keele University International College||ONCAMPUS University of Southampton||University of Chester||University of Sunderland|
|Birmingham City University||Liverpool John Moores University||ONCAMPUS University of Sunderland||University of Essex||University of the West of England|
|Birmingham City University International College, BCUIC||London Academy of Business and Management||Ravensbourne University||University of Greenwich||University of the West of Scotland|
|Bournemouth University||London South Bank University||Richmond, The American International University in London||University of Greenwich International College||University of Westminster|
|Canterbury Christ Church University||ONCAMPUS Aston University||Robert Gordon University Aberdeen||University of Hertfordshire||University of Worcester|
|De Montfort University||ONCAMPUS London||Staffordshire University||University of Hull||Wrexham Glyndŵr University|
|De Montfort University International College||ONCAMPUS London South Bank University||The University of Central Lancashire||University of Leeds|
|Hertfordshire International College, HIC||ONCAMPUS UK NORTH||University for the Creative Arts||University of Portsmouth|
|International College Portsmouth||ONCAMPUS University of Hull||University of Bolton Greater Manchester||University of Roehampton|
Top 10 OIETC-Accepting Universities in the UK
We are listing the top 10 universities in the UK that accept students who take OIETC’s English Language Level Test (ELLT). Consider this your reference if you are looking to apply for an excellent university that accepts an easy IELTS alternative! Make sure to check out the university websites and get all the information about admission requirements and application procedures so that you are ready to apply as soon as possible.
The University of Bristol is a top 100 global university, clocking in at an impressive =61 on the QS World University Rankings 2023. It is also one of the UK’s top ten universities according to the same rankings! Bristol offers over 600 world-class programs to its 27,000-strong student body, of whom 25% are international.
As a member of the prestigious Russell Group of universities, the University of Bristol unsurprisingly boasts very high graduate employability. Located in the city of Bristol, students experience the vibrant, welcoming, and multicultural experience of living and studying in one of the world’s top 50 best student cities.
International students have hundreds of undergraduate and post-graduate programs to choose from at Bangor University. BU ranks between #601-650 worldwide and 50th in the country according to QS WUR 2023. Bangor has over 13,000 students, including many international students from all over the world, because it offers them an affordable education while still providing access to excellent facilities such as state-of-the-art laboratories where they can learn new skills or improve existing ones through practical experience.
The university's motto is "Fellowship" - students are encouraged to get involved with fellow students and staff members. Be it through clubs and sports teams or by creating a welcoming environment on campus, BU prioritises building a close-knit community!
3. Birmingham City University
You will receive an excellent education if you decide to study at Birmingham City University. Another of the UK’s world-ranking universities, it is also an institution that accepts ELLT scores. The second-largest city in the UK is Birmingham, behind London; it is also one of the top 50 best student cities in the world.
As a reputable university, BCU offers a variety of adaptable undergraduate and graduate degree programmes. Over 24,000 students from 80 countries around the world attend BCU, making it a diverse and multicultural homeground for international students.
LJMU is a public research university in the city of Liverpool, located in the northwest of England. The institution offers undergraduate and postgraduate courses in various disciplines, including music, multimedia and sports science. Like other contenders on this list, it is also a globally-ranking university!
At Liverpool John Moores University, you can progress your career ambitions and join a well-connected and supportive community. Nicknamed “the coolest place to live in the UK”, Liverpool ranks in the top 60 of the world’s best student cities. The institution occupies a special role in this vibrant city full of hospitable and open-minded people.
5. The University of Westminster
Another university that accepts the ELLT as an English language proficiency test is the University of Westminster. It is London-based public research university, ranking between #701-750 on the QS WUR 2023. According to Times Higher Education, this university ranks 8th in the UK for its international outlook.
The university's Careers and Employability Service leverages its network of over 3,000 organisations to create exciting placement opportunities for students and kickstart your career.
6. Staffordshire University
Staffordshire University is a public research university in Staffordshire, London. According to Times Higher Education WUR 2022, it ranks #1000-1200. This institution is well-known for its superior undergraduate and graduate programmes in a wide range of fields. Students at Staffordshire University can access relevant work experience in their chosen fields, making them highly marketable after graduation. According to the Student Crowd University Awards, SU ranks in the top 5 for UK universities and top 10 for job prospects and social inclusion.
The University of Birmingham is a global top 100 university, placing 90th on the QS WUR 2023 and 14th among UK universities. It belongs to the prestigious Russell Group of British institutions. With more than 10,000 students from 150 different countries, Birmingham boasts one of the largest international student populations in the UK. You'll join a broad multinational community in a dynamic UK city.
Graduates of the University of Birmingham are highly sought-after by employers - in fact, in 2021, the university was the most targeted university by top employers.
Times Higher Education ranks the University of Chester #1201 in the world and #201 in European Teaching Rankings. Founded in 1839, it is an acknowledged public university with three campuses in Chester, UK, serving approximately 15,000 students. WhatUni Student Choice Awards, a student-voted effort, ranks Chester as the 6th best university in the UK for international students.
9. The University of Hertfordshire
The University of Hertfordshire has an excellent reputation in the UK. Another globally-ranking institution, it offers a wide range of courses across all faculties, including those in STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). It is well connected to the local community through its partnership with companies such as Deloitte and Mott MacDonald.
This institution offers career-focused degrees with real-world experience. It provides full-time degree courses and part-time alternatives, both face-to-face or online.
The West Yorkshire-based University of Leeds is another global top 100 university. Leeds is also the 13th best university in the UK according to QS WUR 2023. Founded in 1904 as the Yorkshire College of Science, it became part of the federal Victoria University in 1887 and gained full university status in 1903. The University of Leeds is one of the top 5 graduate recruiters in the UK for job placement, field opportunities, etc. The institution provides undergraduate and graduate studies in the UK.
Sitting for Your ELLT to Study at a UK University
Now that we’ve looked at the general outline of the ELLT as well as the universities that accept ELLT scores, the next step is actually sitting for the test. As the test is purely online, you can sit for it from the comfort of your home. Here’s how you can sit for your ELLT:
1. Sign Up for the ELLT Portal
Step one is of course signing up for the test. You can do this by registering a new account on the ELLT portal. If you have already applied to your chosen universities, you might have a couple of conditional offers lined up. On the ELLT sign-up page, along with your name, email address, and nationality, you will also need to provide your chosen university’s name. You can choose one of the university names from the OIETC-accepting universities in the UK we covered in this article. The sign-up form also asks for your University Student ID, but if you don’t have this yet you can submit the form without it.
Alongside these details, you will need to verify your identity with two required uploads. First, you need to upload a clear scan of the details page of your passport. You will also need to type up your passport number in the given space. Lastly, you will click the Take Your Photo button to snap a picture using your device’s camera. Both of these images will appear on your certificate - you can’t change these later, so make sure both images are good quality.
Once you complete your registration, you will receive a confirmation email to activate your account. Clicking on the “Activate your account” button in the email automatically redirects you to your logged-in ELLT portal.
2. Pay for the ELLT
The next step is purchasing the test. On your ELLT portal, you can do this by clicking the “Get a License” option at the top of the portal’s home screen. This redirects you to a payment confirmation page - the form will contain some of the details you already included when signing up. Verify that this information is correct and then proceed to payment. Choose your preferred payment method, input the right details, and voila - you’ve bought your ELLT!
This is a good time to talk about the price tag of this test too. As of the time of writing, the ELLT costs £100. This is a cheaper alternative compared to the IELTS, which can cost between £175-195 depending on your location.
3. Sit the ELLT’s Reading and Listening Sections
After completing your payment, you’re ready to sit for the ELLT directly from this portal. This is another perk of the test - apart from the Speaking section, you don’t have to book a specific time for the test. You can attempt it as soon as you’re done paying!
The first two sections, for Reading and Listening, are multiple-choice. You can’t book your Speaking section or complete the Writing task until you complete these two automated sections. You should allot around 40 minutes for the Reading section and 20 minutes for the Listening section.
4. Complete Your Writing Assessment
You can access the Writing and Speaking sections once you complete the Reading and Listening portions. For the Writing section, you submit your task directly to a human proctor through the portal! Allot roughly an hour for this section. Note that you need to complete your Writing assessment 24 hours before the Speaking session! You can book your Speaking session as soon as you complete the first two sections - read on to find out how.
5. Book Your Speaking Exam
This is the only part of the test that you need to schedule, since you will complete the session in real-time with a live proctor. Select the “Schedule an Interview” option viewable on the Speaking tile on your ELLT portal, after you complete the Reading and Listening sections. You can book your session at least 24 hours in advance. Be sure to select the right timezone when you are verifying the date and time! Also make sure that you complete the Writing section 24 hours before the Speaking session - otherwise, the latter will be cancelled.
After you confirm your booking, check your email for a confirmation, which will include the date and time as well as a Zoom link for the session. The link will be active half an hour before the scheduled time. Be sure to download the Zoom application before test day! When going in for your appointment, remember to also keep your passport handy - you examiner will want to see it to verify your identity.
6. Receive Your ELLT Results from the OIETC
Another fantastic advantage of this test is how quickly you receive the results. You will receive a report and certificate within 48 hours of sitting the test! The OI Digital Institute will email you with your results - you can also access a copy of them through your ELLT portal.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What's the most popular English language proficiency test in the UK?
IELTS scores are recognised as valid proof of English proficiency by every university in the UK. IELTS is the English language competency exam approved by more than 11,000 organisations all over the globe. It is most often used for higher education and international migration. Other examinations, like the TOEFL, PTE Academic, GMAT, Duolingo, and OIETC’s ELLT, are also recognised as suitable alternatives.
How does the OIETC conduct its tests?
The OIETC tests your English proficiency level with its English Language Level Test (ELLT). This English language proficiency exam is broken down into four different subtests: reading, listening, writing, and speaking. You will complete each of the four sections online, through your ELLT portal. The first two sections, Reading and Listening, are automated. Once you complete these, you can schedule your Speaking session interview with a live proctor and complete the Writing section.
What is the registration fee for the OIETC’s English test?
At the time of writing, the registration fee for the ELLT is £100. This is the more affordable alternative to the IELTS and other English proficiency tests!
How many universities accept the OIETC’s ELLT as valid proof of English language proficiency?
Nearly 60 partners, including some of the top universities in the UK, accept the OIETC’s ELLT as valid proof of English language proficiency.
Can I check my OIETC results online?
Yes! Your ELLT results are available within 48 hours - just two days - of completing the test. You can check these through the ELLT portal through which you sat the test. The OIETC will also email you your test results once these are available.
How are the test scores for the OIETC test measured?
Take a look at the OI Digital Institute Mapping Diagram:
Your ELLT scores easily translate into other English language test equivalents, like the IELTS. After completing the test, you will receive your results with a full report covering your performance in individual skills as well as your overall score. You also receive a certificate from one of the OI Digital Institute’s certified English teachers. The automated Reading and Listening sections generate scores automatically. For the Speaking and Writing sessions, a human examiner evaluates your performance.
The OIETC vs the IELTS - which is the right option for me?
The IELTS is a popular English language proficiency test which universities all over the world accept. You may find, though, that the OIETC’s ELLT is the better alternative depending on your preferences.
For starters, you need to verify whether your chosen school accepts the ELLT as valid proof of your English skill level. At the time of writing, the OIETC has almost 60 partners who accept the ELLT, many being top UK universities. If your chosen schools are not on this list, though, sitting for the IELTS instead would help you apply to more schools. All British universities accept IELTS scores!
One of the perks of the ELLT is its accessibility. As an online test, you can take it from anywhere in the world - in fact, the OI Digital Institute built the ELLT to function just as well in low-bandwidth areas. If you don’t have easy access to an IELTS test centre, you can opt for the ELLT instead. We do want to share that starting in 2022, the IELTS is also available online for those unable to take the test at a centre.
The ELLT does outdo the IELTS when it comes to affordability. At the time of writing, the test costs £100. Depending on your location, sitting for the IELTS can cost you anywhere between £175-195.
You can get your ELLT results within two days - 48 hours - after completing the test. This is a lot faster than the IELTS - if you sit the paper-based test, you will only receive your scores after 13 days. The computer-based test results are faster - you will get these within 3-5 days.
What is the cheapest university in UK?
The University of Bolton is the cheapest university in the UK. The tuition fees for international students at this university are £12,500 per year with a maximum fee of £14,450 per year. You can learn more about the other cheapest universities in the UK from here.
Our Concluding Thoughts
If you are looking for an easily accessible alternative to the IELTS, the OIETC’s ELLT may the right choice for you. Several OIETC-accepting universities in the UK feature in this article for their excellent education standards and opportunities for international students. Any of these universities may be your ideal higher education fit! If you are still unsure of where to start or have narrowed your choices down to two or three universities, you may want to contact the universities directly and ask them to send you their most up-to-date prospectus.