Pearson signs agreement to open first PTE Academic test center in Iraq

Pearson has today announced that PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English Academic) will be delivered for the first time to students in Iraq, with the opening of a new test center in Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan.

The test center will open in partnership with Britannia Educational Services, a leading British-Iraqi language training provider, which has invested in developing a high-security PTE Academic test center. By delivering PTE Academic to students from across the region, Pearson and Britannia will work together to support Iraqi students preparing for study in the UK, US and Australia to achieve their higher education goals.

Rasheda Zaher-Draey, joint founder of Britannia Educational Services, said: “We are proud to engage in this partnership with Pearson, as it is the world’s largest learning company and has a reputation for excellence in the academic world. We believe that the opening of the test center to deliver PTE Academic will be key to supporting young people applying for scholarships under Kurdistan’s Human Capacity Development Program in Higher Education (HCDP). This scholarship program supports thousands of young Iraqi men and women in continuing their education abroad. By delivering PTE Academic, we can support these students with a secure and fast English language test so that they can apply for visas and programs at universities to gain access to valuable opportunities to help them have a better future.”

Emma Stubbs, Senior Vice President of Pearson’s Language Testing division, said “This is a really exciting development for PTE Academic. We are delighted to be working with Britannia Educational Services. The opening of this new test center supports our objective of providing the PTE Academic test whenever and wherever it is required, so extending our secure English language testing services to institutions and students in Iraq is an exciting milestone for us.”

For more information on PTE Academic, visit


For more information

Natalie Clark,, +44 (0)20 7010 2636

Fran Bayley,, +44 (0)20 7010 2633

Notes for editors

About PTE Academic

PTE Academic was launched in late 2009 by Pearson and is recognized by renowned colleges, universities, training providers and professional associations across the English-speaking world. Globally more than 2700 academic program now accept PTE Academic scores. For a full list of recognizing institutions please visit:

PTE Academic is recognized by the UK Border Agency (UKBA) for Tier 2 and Tier 4 (student) applications and has also recently been approved by the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) for student visa applications. PTE Academic is endorsed by the prestigious Graduate Management Admission Council® (GMAC®), owner of the Graduate Management Admission Test® (GMAT®).

About Pearson

Pearson is the world’s leading learning company. Our education business combines 150 years of experience in publishing with the latest learning technology and online support. We are also part of the wider Pearson family which includes Penguin, Dorling Kindersley and the Financial Times.

We provide education and assessment services in more than 65 countries. Our courses and resources are available in print, online and through multi-lingual packages, helping people learn whatever, wherever and however they choose. Products such as MyLabs are changing education practice worldwide.

At Pearson, we take learning personally. Every day our work helps learning flourish, and wherever learning flourishes, so do people.

About Britannia Educational Services & Consultancy

Britannia Educational Services & Consultancy was established to serve the needs of Kurdistan - Iraq in 2006 by providing Education consultancy to students and organizations in the Kurdistan Region as well as offering English Language classes and testing services. Three centers are currently in operation, situated in Duhok, Erbil and Sulymani. The founders of Britannia have over ten years of educational experience in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and have built up an excellent reputation for quality and integrity. Britannia has worked on successful projects in collaboration with the KRG Ministry of Education, KRG Ministry of Higher Education & Scientific Research, universities in the Kurdistan Region, the British Council and UK universities, colleges and INTO University Partnerships.

Since August 2010 Britannia Educational Services through the KRG Ministry of Higher Education Human Capacity Development Program (HCDP) has handled over 400 scholarship applications from PhD and MA/Msc students applying to study in the UK.

Britannia Educational Services has recently launched a website which outlines their activities. Visit

To hear Rasheda Zaher-Draey speaking about the Britannia Educational Services partnership with Pearson, see our YouTube channel.