UNIcert®

WHAT IS UNICERT®?

UNIcert®  has been an internationally protected brand in the training area under the patronage of the Arbeitskreis der Sprachenzentren (AKS) since 1992 and stands for a production-oriented, university related training and certifying system for foreign languages at German universities and colleges.

Currently, around 50 German as well as four foreign universities are accredited for UNIcert®.

UNIcert® allows a cross-institutional language training due to the guaranteed reciprocal recognition of certificates at all accredited universities. That means that a UNIcert®-test without previous language training with the UNIcert® -programme is not possible. The cross-lingual observance of a superior UNIcert®-framework allows for more transparency and a higher degree of standardized lesson and test content. The immediate relation to university courses of both lesson and test contents allows for a clear-cut delimination to private language classes.

LEVELS OF THE UNICERT®-LANGUAGE-TRAINING

The UNIcert® training and certification system comprises five consecutive levels in total, which are in accordance with levels A2 to C2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

At levels UNIcert® II until UNIcert® IV, a differentiation between everyday and technical language use is additionally possible.    

  • UNIcert® Basis (prepaedeutic stage) - is oriented on A2
  • UNIcert® I - is oriented on B1
  • UNIcert® II - is oriented on B2
  • UNIcert® III - is oriented on C1
  • UNIcert® IV - is oriented on C2

UNICERT® OFFERS AT THE LEIBNIZ LANGUAGE CENTRE

The Leibniz Language Centre currently offers students of the Leibniz University Hanover a UNIcert® training and certification in ten languges at 18 levels, respectively. The language offer is in close relation with the focus regions of the Leibniz University Hanover.

Which courses have been accredited for the UNIcert® training may be found on the respective language websites. Additionally, we offer a complete catalogue as PDF-file for download.

SCOPE AND DURATION OF A UNICERT®-LANGUAGE-TRAINING

The scope and duration of a language training may vary between the different languages and UNIcert®-levels. Languages which, according to experience, take longer to acquire (e.g. languages with an entirely new sign system), may need a higher number of hours per semester. The following table shows the number of hours for each language and UNIcert®-level offered at the Leibniz Language Centre.    

LanguageLevelSWSSWS total
ChineseBasis1616cumulative
German as a foreign languageBasis88cumulative
German as a foreign language  IBasis + 412cumulative
EnglishBasis88cumulative
EnglishIBasis + 412cumulative
EnglishII (spez.)I + 820cumulative
FrenchBasis88cumulative
ItalianBasis88cumulative
ItalianIBasis + 412cumulative
JapaneseBasis1616cumulative
PortugueseBasis88cumulative
Portuguese  IBasis + 412cumulative
RussianBasis1616cumulative
SwedishBasis84cumulative
SwedishIBasis + 412cumulative
SpanishBasis88cumulative
Spanish  IBasis + 412cumulative
Spanish  III + 820cumulative

SCOPE OF THE UNICERT®-TESTS

At the Leibniz Language Centre, UNIcert® certificates can only be acquired cumulatively. That means students can acquire their “Scheine” for their respective level with a succesfully completed test at the end of the semester in the  UNIcert® accredited courses. Two main points need to be taken into account:

Firstly, all relevant competences need to be tested in cumulatively acquired “Scheine”. That means

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Listening Comprehension
  • Writing and
  • Oral production

each need to be tested. All four competences are equally weighted. The certifacte grade is therefore made up of the arithmetical mean of the four assessments. In courses for everyday language competences, the oral grade may be given for course performance. Your tutor will give you furhter information about this. Secondly, the period of time between the first and the last acquired tests should not exceed two years.

Further information may be taken from the LLC's UNIcert® regulations for the conduct of training and examinations. As soon as all required demands for a UNIcert level certifacte have been acquired, a certification application may be requested with the UNIcert® audit committee. 

TRANSFERS INTO THE TRAINING PROGRAMME

A transfer into the training programme is generally possible. However, certain requirements must be met.

Transfer to German (as foreign language), English and Spanish

Applicants must complete a placement test in German (as foreign language), English or Spanish, respectively, before choosing a suitable language course. The UNIcert® entrance level will be determined according to the results of the placement test. If an applicant wishes to acquire a UNIcert® certifacte at that level, they need to have completed at least 50% of the course requirements at the Leibniz Language Centre prior to the certification application.

Example: A student wishes to complete a Spanish certificate at UNIcert® -level I (equivalent to CEFR-level B1). The placement test has shown that the student has already acquired a B1-level. Hence, the student does not need to complete the normally required 8 hours per week. The student now needs to complete at least 2 hours per semester at the Leibniz Language Centre of the total 4 hours per semester in order to apply for a certificate at level UNIcert® I. It needs to be noted that accredited courses may only be taken at the posted scope. Students may not partake in “half a course” to complete the requirements.

Tranfers to all other languages

For all other languages student may transfer into the training programme with a proof/certificate of their level or after having taken a placement test. These proofs/certificates may be:

  • certificates from previously taken courses at the Leibniz Language Centre
  • certificates from UNIcert®-accredited courses at the Leibniz Language Centre (not older than two years)
  • certificates from other UNIcert®-accredited universities and colleges
  • placement test with a result just below the UNIcert® course to be taken (not older than six months)

For the third and fourth option, the UNIcert® audit committee (option 3) or the coordination of the respective language (option 4) needs to verify the proofs and decide in the individual case. Students do not own the right to have other previously acquired certificates/levels accredited.

We composed a list with suitable online placement tests from external providers.

COSTS OF THE TRAINING AND CERTIFICATION

Participating in a UNIcert®-accredited course is free-of-charge for students of the Leibniz Univesity Hanover. Course participation includes the acquiring of a certificate. There is a differentiation between two kinds of certificates: a certificate of attendance and a certificate of achievements. For a later application for a UNIcert® certificate, students must provide the respective certificate of achievements. To obtain a UNIcert® certificate, we charge an administrative fee.    

WHERE IS UNICERT® RECOGNIZED?

All UNIcert® -accredited institutions have an angreement to recognize each other's certificates. Currently, around 50 institutions in Germany as well as four more foreign institutions are accredited (August 2019).

However, universities do not have to recognize UNIcert® certificates for university entrance. Student may inquiere whether their UNIcert® certificate is considered at the respective university/college.

APPLICATION FOR A UNICERT®-CERTIFICATE

As soon as you have acquired all needed courseswork from the UNIcert®-accredited courses according to the current UNIcert® training and testing regulations of the Leibniz Language Centre, you may have your academic language competences certified with the respective UNIcert® level.

UNIcert®-Certificate