To test or not to test? Assessing the English proficiency of international applicants to a Scottish university with reference to educational background

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

This chapter details the development of procedures and online guidance to assess whether applicants for degree programmes at a Scottish Higher Education Institution (HEI) (University of St Andrews) possessed threshold English language proficiency for academic study based on their educational backgrounds, as well as related developments in how different English language test scores were used to evaluate proficiency at point of entry. These developments were innovative in adopting a transparent, holistic, and inclusive approach to evaluating English language proficiency for large numbers of international applicants, and in aiming to ensure that, to the greatest extent possible, applicants with significant and successful English-medium educational experience were not asked to obtain additional English language proficiency test scores to evidence their ability. They were also innovative in working within the constraints of immigration requirements and guidance from UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) regarding how HEIs can assess English language ability for international students who require a visa to study in the UK. The chapter describes in detail the context of the innovation, as well as providing a chronological and reflective account of how English language entry requirements were developed at University of St Andrews from 2019 onwards. It ends with a discussion of ongoing issues, and lessons learned through the development process.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInnovation in Language Learning and Teaching: The Case of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales
EditorsSin Wang Chong, Hayo Reinders
PublisherSpringer Nature
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 24 Mar 2024

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