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.