"Yes we passed!" 70 years of Cambridge English exams at the British Institute

Thursday 14 December 2018

The Centenary is but one landmark this year: in 2017 the British Institute of Florence celebrates the 70th anniversary of its collaboration with the University of Cambridge as an exam centre for the Cambridge Assessment English.

The British Institute invited students and the heads of schools in Florence with which it works to participate in a ceremony in the Sala dei Duecento of Palazzo Vecchio on 14 December 2017, with introductions by the Vice Mayor of Florence, Cristina Giachi, Laura Scoppetta and Daniela Checci of the Regional Office for Education in Tuscany and Peter McCabe, Head of Cambridge Assessment English in Italy.

The Vice Mayor offered her congratulations to the students who have, through the British Institute, obtained 'an official certification from an institution that is currently known to be not only the most prestigious, but also the most qualified in in our region.'


As Mr McCabe said in his speech, in December 1947 there were 23 students who enrolled for the Proficiency in English exam from the University of Cambridge, when it was offered for the first time at the British Institute. Mr McCabe continued, ‘The British Institute of Florence remains one of our most influential and prestigious exam centres in Italy.’

In 2017, more than half of the students who learn English with the Institute in their schools went on to take a Cambridge exam. Of these 565 candidates, 91% students passed and 41% achieved the highest marks.

 'This is an outstanding achievement here in Tuscany,' said Director Julia Race. ‘Learning a foreign language and feeling comfortable in other parts of the world: this is the best Christmas present you can give yourself!’




Nine of these students gave speeches in English about the advantages they foresee both in their university and career prospects thanks to their qualification. Lorenzo Veronesi from the Istituto Poliziano Superiore di Montepulciano explained, ‘English is a powerful communication tool because of its widespread use and can be considered "The World's Language", so it's important to learn it as a tool and asset for building a, possibly, better future.’




Also speaking of their experiences and ambitons in English were Ilaria Saletti (Liceo Scientifico Castelnuovo), Sara Mosci (Istituto Istruzione Superiore Poliziano di Montepulciano), Fiorenza Falsini (Liceo Classico Dante), Bianca Dobrea (Liceo Scientifico Castelnuovo), Niccolò Chimenti (Liceo scientifico Castelnuovo), Ludovica Maria Avenali (Liceo Classico Dante), Lorenzo Tarchi (Liceo Statale Giovanni Pascoli) and Sara D’Elia (Liceo Statale Giovanni Pascoli).



The Institute presented certificates to the heads of the schools which, in the last 10 years, have enrolled over 1000 candidates, over 800 candidates and over 500 candidates for exams. The teachers and school representatives also stated their support for the British Institute and Cambridge Assessment English as trusted institutions for gaining an internationally recognized language certification.



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