Transforming higher education language and literacy policies

The contribution of ELF

Authored by: Ursula Wingate

The Routledge Handbook of English as a Lingua Franca

Print publication date:  August  2017
Online publication date:  August  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138855328
eBook ISBN: 9781315717173
Adobe ISBN:


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Over the last four decades, student populations in Anglophone universities have become increasingly diverse as a result of widening participation and internationalisation. Widening participation policies have significantly enlarged the number of students from historically underrepresented groups, including a considerable number of students from ethnic minority communities who are multilingual with English as an additional language. The internationalisation of higher education has more than quadrupled in the last four decades. In 2014, 1.3 million postgraduate students studied outside their own country (OECD, 2016), and the largest influx of foreign students has been into universities in English-speaking countries. As data provided by the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA, 2016) shows, the percentage of international students in UK universities in the year 2014–2015 was 58 per cent in full-time taught post-graduate programmes. The income from international students, who pay higher tuition fees than domestic students, is vital for universities, as state funding of higher education has decreased.

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