English as a second thought

June 25, 1999

Frank Furedi no more than scratches the surface with his claim that administrators keen to recruit fee-paying overseas students to Britain do not put in place programmes designed to support them.

For once marketing initiatives and recruitment drives become rooted in educational policy, it is difficult to see how present practice can remain intact. Indeed there is every indication that the gap between appearance and reality will continue to widen and that we will no longer be looking at a vista of market opportunities but falling into a chasm of gaping inadequacies.

If we wish to continue attracting overseas students, we must adapt our practice to their needs. Support should take centre-stage. Anything less is tantamount to collusion in a system that is selling students (and teachers) short.

Fiona Doloughan

Lecturer in English for non-native speakers, University of Buckingham

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