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English Language Proficiency Admission Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose and Scope


(1) The University recognises that English language proficiency plays a critical part in academic success and in the development of discipline appropriate discourse. This Policy sets out the English language proficiency requirements for admission to the University’s undergraduate, postgraduate coursework, research programs and non-award studies.


(2) This Policy applies to all prospective students applying for entry into award and non-award programs delivered by the University, at undergraduate, postgraduate and research levels, including Study Abroad and exchange students, and students articulating from Study Abroad or exchange programs into UQ academic programs.

(3) The Policy does not apply to secondary school enrichment studies, professional and continuing education programs or other non-award short courses delivered on-shore and offshore.

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Section 2 - Principles and Key Requirements

(4) The University acknowledges that English is not only the medium of instruction, but the language of academic, administrative, and most social and community activities that are part of the University experience. To ensure students are sufficiently competent in the English language to participate effectively in their studies, the University’s admissions process will:

  1. Establish English language proficiency requirements for each program in accordance with the program content and requirements of external accreditation bodies.
  2. Ensure students applying for admission to award programs and non-award studies are able to demonstrate each of the English language skills (reading, writing, speaking and listening) at a level required for admission to the program or non-award studies.
  3. Recognise that students have an adequate level of English to enable them to successfully engage linguistically with the academic content of the course or program. 
  4. Be consistent with the Good Practice Principles for English Language Proficiency for International Students in Australian Universities. 

(5) The University provides post-admission English language proficiency support to students under the English Language Proficiency Development and Concurrent Support Policy and other Commonwealth requirements.

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Section 3 - Roles, Responsibilities and Accountabilities


(6) The Vice-Chancellor exercises delegated authority from Senate, on advice from the University’s Academic Board, to approve the English language proficiency requirements of new academic programs, and changes to the English language proficiency requirements of existing programs.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)

(7) The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) provides assurance to the Vice-Chancellor on the University’s academic program approval process and the maintenance and development of high standards of teaching and learning.


(8) Faculties are responsible for the determining the English language proficiency requirements for admission into the programs they administer, and subsequent monitoring of student performance in engaging with academic content of their programs. 

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Section 4 - Monitoring, Review and Assurance

(9) The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) is required to monitor the academic program approval process, and review of the policy and procedures through the Academic Board and its committees.

(10) The Academic Registrar is required to monitor the University’s compliance of the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000, and when required, provide reports to members of the University Senior Management Group and Senate.

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Section 5 - Recording and Reporting

(11) The records of all proposals initiated and maintained through this Policy shall be managed in accordance with Information Management Policy.

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Section 6 - Appendix


Term Definition
Academic Program The sequence of study leading to the award of a qualification such as an undergraduate degree or diploma, postgraduate coursework qualification or Higher Degree by Research (HDR).
ELP English Language Proficiency, the ability of an individual to communicate competently in English. ELP at the University is further categorised into general proficiency (general communicative competence), academic proficiency (skills in the specialised vocabularies, concepts, and knowledge associated with particular disciplines) and professional proficiency (intercultural competence and interpersonal skills in the discourses and behaviours associated with particular professional domains).
Non-Award Enrolment Enrolment in a course or courses offered by the University but not enrolment in a program that leads to an award of the University. Examples include students enrolled in the Enhanced Studies Program, cross-institutional students, exchange students and Study Abroad students.