The fact that Erasmus and international students are graded to the same English language standards as native speakers for assessments is one of concern for affected students.
The Badger spoke to Spanish Erasmus student, Adrian Ramon, about his concerns surrounding assessment criteria. He said, ‘The policy is unfair, it would not be unreasonable for them to be less strict, in terms of language and grammar, on Erasmus students’.
He continued ‘I have the correct language “level”, to study here, technically, but how does the University know how I got there, luck is a key
factor in these tests and the level I have on paper is not necessarily an accurate reflection of my actual command of the English language. For example I am at level C1, but the level of English where I am from is poor, therefore my ‘C1’ is different to, say, a German’s ‘C1’ as the standard there is very high.’
“A language seminar is very different to a Literature or History seminar. I have a good knowledge of these subjects but it is very difficult to express myself. Additionally I would like to point out, I spend a lot of time checking and correcting my work but because I am not a native speaker, I cannot tell if an essay sounds comfortable, or flows in the same way that an English person can, even when I spend extra time on it.’
“I also want to make it clear that I am not angry about this issue because so far my tutors have been very understanding. However, I am still worried about future assessments, and how the University’s official policy will affect them. My expression could undermine the quality of my ideas.’
The University stated: “Erasmus partners have their own selection and preparation procedures for students applying for Erasmus places in the UK, and it is usual for the level of English to be part of this selection procedure.
“Partly to encourage inward and outward mobility, our requirements with regard to English language are lower for Erasmus students: we require at least B2 CEFR minimum, and higher for certain subjects. Increasingly most students have the usual IELTS scores.
“Erasmus students can improve their English once they are here via the Sussex Centre for Language Studies (SCLS), where students can take English language modules for credit as part of their term-time programme and also modules in English for Academic Purposes, for credit.
“For international students who are admitted to our degrees, clear English language admissions requirements are publicised and must be met, which gives a safeguard on being able to be confident about