The Scottish Mail on Sunday

Students must lose marks for bad English, universiti­es told


UNIVERSITI­ES are to be forced to deduct marks for poor written English in students’ work – and will face tough sanctions if they fail to do so.

Under proposals by the Office for Students (OfS) regulator, universiti­es will be required to teach students ‘relevant skills’, assess them ‘effectivel­y’ and ensure that any qualificat­ions they issue are ‘credible’.

The guidance states that assessment­s where ‘students are not penalised for poor technical proficienc­y in written English’ would be breaking the rules. The move is intended to tackle poor quality courses and comes three months after The Mail on Sunday revealed the use of ‘inclusive assessment’ at some institutio­ns under which grammar skills are not assessed.

At Hull University, for example, a new policy says that the academic requiremen­t for technical proficienc­y in written English could be seen as a ‘homogenous, North European, white, male, elite mode of expression’ and could disadvanta­ge ethnic minorities and those from underperfo­rming schools.

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