UNIcert® has grown into an association of over 50 universities. The network structure is indeed one of the special features of this dynamic certification system. Each accredited institution is part of the network, and is able to make its own contribution to shaping the common regulatory framework. The network structure requires and encourages regular discussions on topics relevant to more than one specific language. This not only encourages new approaches to be taken for teaching and certification but also in quality control. This applies not only to the individual institutions, but also on a regional and national level, with meetings, training and workshops on specific pedagogical topics.
The (re)accreditation process which institutes have to complete successfully before joining the system and at regular intervals thereafter ensures that quality standards are maintained. Institutes responsible for guaranteeing quality standards are the umbrella organisation AKS and the UNIcert®‑Committee. The latter is a national committee of experts which is responsible for subject-specific advice, initial accreditation and the regular re-accreditation of the individual institutions as well as for steering the pedagogical development of the UNIcert®‑concept.
UNIcert® certificates are issued in three languages (target language, German and English) and give a detailed and transparent breakdown of the acquired language skills with reference to the CEFR. This means that they can be used to give an accurate and clear indication of language skills which can be understood throughout Germany and beyond, not only by the UNIcert® institutions included in the network. They are recognised, for example, by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and are accepted as admission requirements for Master’s degree programmes.
The FAU Language Centre was one of the first institutions in Germany to use the UNIcert® system, joining in March 1997. At present, courses and certificates are offered in 16 languages in accordance with the guidelines set out in the UNIcert® seal of quality. We currently issue a total of 600 certificates per year.
The advantages of UNIcert® at a glance:
- One certificate for all languages.
- Universal: A network of more than 50 universities that are already accredited for UNIcert®.
- Curricular integration: An additional qualification for students on all degree programmes which can be acquired alongside their main degree programme.
- Qualification: Language training tailored to suit the specific needs of universities – a valuable additional qualification on the European labour market.
- Learner friendly: A flexible system based on small groups of learners (max. 25 class members), which encourages an innovative pedagogical approach and an atmosphere conducive to learning.
- Clear structure: Four levels with clear objectives and content.