Community workers and students from marginalized communities in Southeast Asia who wish to develop their skills through accessing international university education often struggle to gain the academic skills and qualifications required to be eligible. In many cases, they cannot afford private university preparation courses, cannot take time away from their work or other commitments to attend full-time study, and/or are based in remote locations where university preparation classes are not available.
Launched in June 2009, the Exam Preparation Outreach Project (EPOP) helps such individuals to overcome these obstacles. EPOP offers a unique and highly flexible blended learning model including self-study packs, offline computer based learning systems, an online study portal, and intensive face-to-face classroom-based instruction. These enable participants in almost any location to study for free on a schedule that suits them, with a course model specifically designed to suit their needs and circumstances, while enabling them to continue with ongoing commitments.
Currently, EPOP helps participants to acquire the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) qualification, depending on the universities and courses for which they are intending to apply. EPOP’s online student portal enables students connected to the internet to pursue their studies online. They can download EPOP course materials, take regularly scheduled diagnostic tests to assess their progress, connect with online tutors, and interact with fellow students.