University of Technology Sydney UTS: Rules, Policy and Legislation

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English Language Policy




Policy statements

Policy ownership and support


Approval information

PDF version


1. Purpose

1.1 The English Language Policy (the policy) sets out the framework for English language proficiency requirements and support at UTS. This is in addition to the Admissions and Recognition of Prior Learning Policy, which outlines the English language admissions standards.

2. Scope

2.1 This 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. Principles

3.1 UTS recognises that students should be able to successfully engage with their studies, chosen discipline and future work environments.

3.2 UTS recognises the importance of English language proficiency and development, both generally and within discipline specific contexts.

3.3 All students are expected to improve English language proficiency and discipline-specific language skills during their studies. This is considered a normal part of university education; however, additional training and language requirements may be required from time to time.

4. Policy statements

4.1 UTS admissions requirements in relation to English language are outlined in the Admissions and Recognition of Prior Learning Policy.

4.2 The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education and Students), in conjunction with the faculties, will assess the evidence of students’ English language proficiency and determine specific combinations of strategies or support mechanisms that respond to the identified needs of student cohorts as necessary.

4.3 Students are responsible for the continued development of their own English language proficiency and discipline-specific language requirements. Students are encouraged, and may be required, to take advantage of the support services provided and advertised by the university.

4.4 Learning design for UTS academic programs includes the progressive development of English language skills. UTS offers a comprehensive range of high-quality supports across academic and other areas, including a focus on English language development for relevant students. UTS provides support for the development of students’ English language proficiency through a number of university programs and initiatives (eg UTS HELPS). UTS has also developed contextualised academic language support for students in undergraduate and postgraduate coursework degrees, including the development of specific credit point subjects that can be undertaken during semester or intensively in semester breaks.

4.5 Students and prospective students will be made aware, through the official subject outline, of any English language development, assessment or training activities that make up part of their subject. Where such training is mandatory and in addition to a student’s normal course load, the costs will be covered by the university. Where such training forms part of a student’s normal course load and is included in the normal course fees, these costs will be made available to students as part of the subject outline and course fee information. For international students, this is a requirement of the National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018 (Cwlth).

4.6 Faculties may be exempted from providing course-integrated strategies for English language proficiency, development or support. This exemption must be approved by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education and Students) via official request and provision of clear evidence that such strategies will not be of benefit to particular student cohorts.

4.7 The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education and Students) reports to Academic Board on the English language development strategies and management used by each faculty, at a timeline determined by Academic Board.

5. Policy ownership and support

5.1 Responsible owner

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education and Students) is responsible for enforcement of and compliance with this policy, ensuring that its principles and statements are observed. The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education and Students) is also responsible for approval of any associated university-level procedures and for driving university strategy in relation to English language development and standards.

5.2 Policy contact

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education and Students) and Associate Deans (Teaching and Learning) are responsible for the implementation of this policy and act as primary points of contact for advice on implementing its provisions.

5.3 Others

Academic Board is responsible for approving this policy and will assess its effectiveness in line with the Board’s duties and powers.

6. Definitions

These definitions apply for this policy and all associated procedures. These are presented in addition to the definitions outlined in Schedule 1, Student Rules.

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.

UTS HELPS means UTS Higher Education Language and Presentation Support, a division of UTS that offers a range of formal, instructed as well as informal and peer-based opportunities to develop English language skills (see about HELPS).

Approval information

Policy contact Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education and Students) and Associate Deans (Teaching and Learning)
Approval authority Academic Board
Review date 2022
File number UR19/1202
Superseded documents English Language Policy 2010 (UR10/960)

Version history

Version Approved by Approval date Effective date Sections modified
1.0 Academic Board (AB/19-1/13) 27/03/2019 16/05/2019 New policy

PDF version

English Language Policy (PDF)


Admissions and Recognition of Prior Learning Policy

Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2015 (Cwlth)

National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018 (Cwlth)

Subject Descriptions and Outlines Policy