The University of the South Pacific (USP)


Expressions of Interest

Expressions of Interest are invited for the following;

To undertake an external independent review of the ELSA (English Language Skills Assessment) and EL001 (English Language Skills) at the University of the South Pacific. (USP)


As part of USP’s commitment to quality of its programmes and its graduates, and being mindful of the diverse competencies in fluency and literacy levels of the English language by the vast majority of our students coming to the university, it has over some time, instituted a free English diagnostic test namely ELSA for all students to undertake as new entrants, irrespective of their English marks in the seventh form exams or its equivalent. If students fail to score at a particular level in ELSA, they are required to take EL001 for which the students are then required to pay fees. Of late there have been some concerns raised by some of our member countries regarding the role of ELSA, its administration and the issues of re-sits, plus the cost of fees for EL001 which in itself is a non-credit course. Given these concerns and the fact that both ELSA and EL001 have not as yet been externally reviewed, the need to therefore have this external independent review will be an attempt to answer some of these issues and to provide workable options to what USP believes is one of the many appropriate hands-on strategy for contributing to continued English learning skills for improved performance in tertiary studies.

Terms of Reference

The review must cover the following:

  1. Comment on the appropriateness or otherwise of running a diagnostic test such as ELSA.
  2. Find out if ELSA should be administered to everyone or only those who have not a scored pass in English in Form7 (or its equivalent), or some other threshold.
  3. Provide an assessment of fitness of purpose of ELSA.
  4. Evaluate the efficiency of administration, assessment, and reporting of ELSA.
  5. Provide an assessment of fitness of purpose of EL001 for remedying deficiencies in ELSA.
  6. Evaluate assessment at the end of ELSA and the issue of re-sits.
  7. Make recommendations for the way forward.

Scope of Work
The reviewer is expected to complete the work by May 31, 2009.

The reviewer is expected to consult with relevant stakeholder’s such as staff involved in the teaching and delivery of ELSA and EL001, current and past students, university management, government representatives, regional campuses and any other person(s) that the reviewer may, in consultation with the University, agree that they be added on to the list of consultations as well.

Copies of all work produced under this TOR must be delivered in both hard copy as well as in electronic format to the VC’s office by June 15th, 2009. Note that the report produced and recommendations are the property of USP and cannot be reproduced without permission of the same.

Each Proposal must include:
•    A CV
•    Work Plan
•    Time Frame of activities
•    Costs – the University’s consultancy fees guidelines may be made available upon request.

A letter of intent together with the proposal must be sent to the contact below and it must be received no later than Tuesday 31st March, 2009.

Mrs. Ilaisaane Pongi
Executive Officer to the Vice-Chancellor
Vice-Chancellor’s Office
The University of the South Pacific
Suva, Fiji
Email: pongi_i(at)
Ph: (679) 3232075
Fax: (679) 3231525

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