A report from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development found that about one in 10 university students in England have low basic skills in literacy or numeracy and suggests that many of these students should be diverted from university to shorter-term, professionally oriented programs.
“Those with low basic skills should not normally enter three-year undergraduate programs, which are both costly and unsuited to the educational needs of those involved, while graduates with poor basic skills undermine the currency of an English university degree,” the report recommends. “These potential entrants should be diverted into more suitable provision that meets their needs.”
“Such students need postsecondary alternatives that will address their needs and tackle basic skills. Such alternatives need further development in England,” the report said. “Resources diverted from university provision should be redeployed … to support this.”
An article in The Guardian includes varying perspectives on the OECD report, including critical takes from representatives of the United Kingdom's university sector.
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