University of Technology Sydney UTS: Rules, Policy and Legislation

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English Language Policy


This Policy sets out the University's requirements for, and expectations of, UTS students' English language proficiency at admission and during their courses of study.

The English Language Policy is also available as a PDF document.

Dates Policy approved 03/11/2010
Policy takes effect 22/11/2010
Policy is due for review (up to five years) 11/2015
Policy amendments approved 15/10/2014
Policy amendment takes effect 20/04/2016
Approved by Academic Board
Resolution AB 10/61
Latest amendment: Council (see change history for details)
Implementation Officer Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education and Students)
Relevant to All staff and all students
Related documents
File number UR10/960
Superseded documents


1. Purpose

This Policy sets out the University's requirements for, and expectations of, UTS students' English language proficiency at admission and during their courses of study.

2. Scope

The Policy applies to UTS students undertaking courses in which English is the language of instruction and assessment, and to UTS staff responsible for those courses.

3. Definitions

English language proficiency
means the ability of students to use the English language to make and communicate meaning appropriately in spoken and written forms in the context of their university studies.

4. Policy principles

UTS students should have the necessary knowledge and skills to successfully engage with their studies and, as graduates, successfully participate in their professional work environments.

UTS recognises that the development of English language proficiency is integral to the development of discipline-based knowledge and that language use varies according to context, audience and purpose.

At UTS, each course has a course-specific graduate profile which reflects the mission of the university and the related professions and disciplines. In order to meet the requirements of the graduate profile all students need to acquire specific academic language skills during their studies and the acquisition of these skills is part of improving English language proficiency.

5. Policy statements

5.1 English language entry standards

The University's English language entry standards for undergraduate and graduate courses, as prescribed in Register B of the Register of Admissions Standards, must be set at a level that allows commencing students to participate effectively with their UTS studies.

5.2 Development of students' English language proficiency

UTS provides support for the development of students' English language proficiency throughout the course of study, applying course-integrated and non-integrated strategies designed for the particular requirements of disciplines and student cohorts from time to time.

It is the responsibility of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education and Students), in combination with individual faculties, to assess the evidence of students' English language proficiency, and determine specific combinations of strategies that respond to the broad needs of student cohorts, and operate effectively within the context of the course and program structures of the faculties.

Faculties may be exempted by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education and Students) from applying course-integrated strategies for the development of students' English language proficiency if there is clear evidence that such strategies will not be of benefit to particular student cohorts.

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education and Students) will report to Academic Board at regular intervals on the English language development strategies being used by each faculty.

5.3 Information for students on the development of their English language proficiency

Prospective and current UTS students are to be informed that they are responsible for taking action to continue to develop their English language proficiency during their university studies and be encouraged to take advantage of the support provided by UTS.

Where relevant, students and prospective students must be made aware that English language development strategies are integrated with coursework and that they will be assessed on their English language proficiency as an integral part of their course.

6. Roles and responsibilities

Accountable Officer: Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education and Students).

Implementation Officer: Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education and Students) and Associate Deans (Teaching and Learning).

Academic Board is responsible for the English Language Policy and will assess its effectiveness in accordance with its duties and powers.

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education and Students) is responsible for the implementation of this Policy, including providing education to the University community about its operation, and reporting to Academic Board at least annually on the effectiveness of the Policy and its implementation. The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education and Students) may issue relevant guidelines and/or procedures at his or her discretion.

7. Acknowledgements

DEEWR 'Good practice principles for English language proficiency for international students in Australian universities'.

8. Version control and change history

Effective date Version Approved by, resolution no. (date) Amendment
22/11/2010 1 Academic Board, AB 10/61 (03/11/2010) Original version
01/01/2012 1.1 Academic Board, AB 11/77.2 (02/11/2011) Minor change relating to the English Language admissions standards being placed in the Register of Admissions Standards.
19/05/2015 1.2 Director, Governance Support Unit (GSU) (11/12/2014) Changes (approved under Delegation 3.17) to implement 2014 Senior Executive restructure.
20/04/2016 1.3 Council, COU/14-5/106 (15/10/2014) Consequential changes to align with changes to the Student Rules.