Metric misses the full picture of PhD study (2 of 3)

May 12, 2011

Recruiting international students with a substandard quality of written English is a dilemma that is commonly faced by tutors working in UK higher education.

But this crisis is most pronounced in the private sector, where shareholders and business managers are oriented more towards profit than towards dissemination of quality education. They are oblivious of the fact that an international student unable to comprehend, let alone write to, a good level of English will face difficulty in earning a degree.

Tutors and assessors in the private sector are under pressure to pass students in order to inflate their institution's completion rate. In extreme cases, tutors who resist this pressure find that their jobs are at stake.

Recently the UK Border Agency raised the English-language requirement for courses at National Qualifications Framework Level 6 and above. Hopefully, this will help to resolve this crisis.

Murad Rattani, Course director, Barbican College, London

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