A guide to English language policy making in higher education

The Guides to English Language Policy Making in Higher Education are designed to provide a set of accessible, state-of-the-art tools to help university policy makers and admissions teams to understand some of the complexities of English language proficiency in higher education in the student lifecycle.

A collaboration between IEAA, academic and operational leaders, the catalogue of guides may be a useful tool for anyone involved in making decisions around English language policies in higher education. Included in the document is a guiding framework that can be used to evaluate and select tests for admissions purposes.

The Guide is not designed to be read from front to back – they are designed according to topic areas.

Guide sections

  • Policy and governance requirements for English language in higher education
  • 1 What is language proficiency in a post-secondary setting?
  • 2 What is the relationship between language proficiency and academic success?
  • 3 A checklist for selecting English language tests for university entry
  • 4 Setting English language entry standards
  • 5 Comparing scores on language tests
  • 6 Other evidence of English language proficiency for university entrance
  • 7 Post-entry (post-admission) language assessment
  • 8 English language development while studying in an English-medium setting
  • 9 Providing ongoing feedback and support
  • 10 English language proficiency at the transition to the workplace.

The guide will be useful as reference material for admissions officers as well as governance committees and faculties/colleges engaged in policy-making around English for higher education. The guide will be published here, and on the ALTAANZ and the Language Testing Research Centre websites.

To provide any feedback on the Guides, please contact Associate Professor Ute Knoch via email here.

Suggested Citation

Knoch, U. (2021), ‘A guide to English language policy making in higher education’, International Education Association of Australia (IEAA). Retrieved from www.ieaa.org.au.


Associate Professor Ute Knoch is Director, Language Testing Research Centre at The University of Melbourne.