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UKINNOVATION UK147 illustrating increasing international travel as well as the rise of English speakers in emerging and developing markets. IELTS is one of the fastest- growing English language tests in the world, accepted by over 6,000 organisations and used for entry into almost all higher-education institutions in Australia, the UK, Canada, Ireland and New Zealand. It is relied on by professional bodies like the Australian and General Medical Council and commercial organisations such as Shell, Maersk and the International Monetary Fund. In addition, many governments in English- speaking coun-tries now require incoming migrants to take a language test for citizenship. English language testing has a valu-able role to play to ensure that these migrants genuinely have the practical language skills to add value and make the most of their experiences in another country. As the stakes are so high, there is a crucial role for English language test providers such as IELTS to play in ensur-ing appropriate standards of English. English language tests need to be fit for purpose - not just about allowing students to " tick boxes", but providing a reliable and con-sistent test qualification that demonstrates a genuine, practical level of ability to communicate in the real world. This means testing English language skills in a way that is " true- to- life" and provides an accurate reflection of a candidate's ability using all four language skills - speak-ing, reading, writing and listening. For instance, IELTS is unique in testing candidates' speaking skills face- to- face with a trained examiner, demonstrating their ability to communicate in a real- life situation, not just responding to recorded prompts. Ensuring the integrity and standard of the English lan-guage worldwide is important to provide a communica-tions platform for the global economy and maximising the value of migration, but this must also be teamed with the recognition that English is now a world language. The diverse mix of people from a host of cultures and coun-tries has led to the emergence of many variations, includ-ing what is termed " international English". IELTS works hard to ensure that the test reflects the cosmopolitan and global candidate body. Ultimately, the English language has a leading role to play in a globalised world: providing a common platform for international trade; driving global collaboration and thinking; breaking down the barriers between cultures; and opening the door of opportunity around the world. It is important that English language tests continue to play a central role in ensuring accurate and consistent high standards for life in the real world. IELTS is committed to being at the forefront of this, pioneering world- class research with the largest in- house research team of any English language test, as well as a funded programme of international independent research, which has already published nine volumes of over 70 individual reports. For more information, visit: www. ielts. org Education IELTS

148INNOVATION UKINNOVATION Centres of Excellence Wales: UNIVERSITY OF WALES In a world of increasing global competition and rapid technological change, where small peripheral regions such as Wales can be at a disadvantage, economic pros-perity will increasingly depend on the ability to innovate successfully. Even within the most technologically advanced econo-mies, there is a growing realisation that not all of this innovation can be developed internally. As a result, an increasing number of countries are providing tens of mil-lions of pounds of incentives to attract quality graduates to boost their innovation potential. However, many are concerned that the UK is not doing enough and that even the best British universities are fall-ing behind in the drive to attract the best academic talent. Only last year, the Vice- Chancellor of the University of Cambridge suggested that the UK was not providing enough resources to recruit sufficient extraordinary peo-ple to be at the frontier of research excellence. This is a challenge that the University of Wales is taking seriously. If Wales is to succeed as a small, clever nation, then it must harness the best of its academic talents whilst nur-turing the innovative capacity of its business sector. This is why the University of Wales has launched the Prince of Wales Innovation Scholarships to attract 100 of the brightest university graduates from the world's best academic institutions to work on research projects within Welsh companies. Supported by European Structural Funding, the private sector and the University's own resources, this £ 11.4 million programme will offer one of the best research stipends in the world to bring in the best talent to help improve the Welsh economy. As a result, graduates will undertake three- year placements in Welsh businesses, working on science and technology- based projects that are of direct relevance to enhancing the innovative capac-ity of each participating company. The aim of the programme is to bring the best global graduates to work within Welsh industry to help build up research capacity and enhance innovative potential. By identifying a specific research project, each participating business will recruit a qualified graduate to develop its R& D capability and cutting- edge thinking. Supported by academic supervisors, the project will focus on develop-ing research that will result in new patents, new products, processes and technologies and the creation of new spin-out firms or cost centres to pursue the commercialisation opportunities. These projects will not only enhance the R& D capability of businesses, but will boost their capacity to develop new market- led processes, products, technologies and services, thereby improving the innovation potential and the competitiveness of the Welsh economy. For potential scholars, the annual stipend will be one of the highest in the world - £ 20,000 per annum - and tui-tion fees will be waived by the participating institutions. University of Wales Attracting the best academic talent ABOVE ( Left to RIGHT): Professor Jeremy Stone ( Chair of the Industry Panel), Professor Dylan Jones- Evans ( Director of Research and Innovation), Professor Marc Clement ( Vice Chancellor) and Hugh Thomas ( Chairman of the University's Council) celebrate the creation of the Prince of Wales Innovation Scholarships