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Local language reviews moves to cut overseas isolation

ICE News

FOREIGN LANGUAGE professional reviews could become standard practice internationally, delegates at last month's annual European Local Associations Conference heard.

Representatives from One Great George Street confirmed that following a successful trial in Russia last year, the decision whether or not to hold international reviews in the local language is now purely an economic one.

The Russian reviews held in Moscow and Siberia last October and November saw 67 out of 75 candidates successfully meet the grade. Seventeen candidates even qualified for direct entry as Fellow (NCE 28 March).

'Following the Russian trials, which were carried out amid great concern of many Council members, there is in principle no reason why reviews cannot be carried out in other languages, ' former ICE vice president and member of the Central and Eastern Europe subcommittee Brian Crossley said. 'The only issue is economics.'

The endorsement of foreign language reviews came in an open session where country representatives took the opportunity to question ICE President Mark Whitby, international director John Beck, and other Great George Street representatives.

The majority of country representatives complained of a feeling of isolation from the ICE in the UK, a problem recognised by Whitby and Beck.

'We have acknowledged that there is a problem at HQ, and are well aware that there is a lot of good practice to be shared, ' Whitby said.

'At the ICE we are re-evaluating what we offer, nationally and internationally, ' said Beck. 'The world has changed, and we haven't as quickly as we should.'

Beck stressed that the ICE as a learned institution still has much to offer internationally, and that its freedom from commercial and political pressures leaves it better placed than similar competing institutions in the US and elsewhere.

'We have identified Russia and eastern Europe as priority areas, and these are areas where the US are also interested, ' said Beck. 'But we are not political or commercial. We are learned, and that gets us to places that others do not.'

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