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English proficiency requirements from the University of Waterloo

By March 9, 2017No Comments


Recently, many of our students from regions in Africa have received an email from the University of Waterloo asking them to prove their English Proficiency in one of the following ways:

  • Submit their previous school transcript or a letter from their previous school principal stating how long they attended that school and that the education was entirely in English.
  • Submit an English Proficiency Test result such as IELTS, TOEFL, MELAB or CAEL. If a student received this request, they will likely need to write a test and submit it right away.

If a student receives the email or if they see the request in their Quest account, they should follow the instructions in the email

  • If despite doing so, Waterloo or any other university still requires proof of English Proficiency, the students will need to write an English Proficiency test


  • March 31, 2017 for Engineering programs
  • April 7, 2017 for most other programs
  • Columbia International College is a testing centre for the IELTS, TOEFL, MELAB and CAEL tests. Students should register as soon as possible if the need to write a test.


After learning about the policy, the University Placement Counselor Team:

  • Emailed potentially impacted students to advise them to check their email and Quest account with Waterloo and explain what the request means
  • Held a meeting with potentially impacted students to explain the request in detail and provide next steps

The University Placement Office is working with students to:

  • Help them review their application to ensure no errors were made
  • Help liaise with the University of Waterloo if students will have difficulty fulfilling the request
  • Help students understand any similar requests from other universities that may require a different solution
  • Help students understand the English Proficiency Tests available and how to register to write one at CIC if required

Students with concerns about the new policy of the University of Waterloo should come meet their University Placement Counsellor IMMEDIATELY.

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