A university in England has said students will not lose marks for spelling, punctuation and grammar mistakes. Hull University said that requiring English with no mistakes is "elitist". It said such a requirement could be seen as "homogenous, North European, white, male, and elite". Officials at the university said insisting on a high proficiency in written English discriminated against ethnic minorities and students who went to schools where average grades were low. The university said it wants to make writing and tests "more inclusive". It wants teachers to be more flexible when they mark and grade students' writing. It hopes to reduce the number of poorer students who drop out from university.
The university said many students suffer at school and in life because their written English contains mistakes. This includes students with dyslexia. This is a learning disorder that affects language. People with dyslexia have difficulty in relating to letters and words. This means it is harder for dyslexics to produce writing free of mistakes. Dyslexia affects areas of the brain that process language. The university also said that requiring well-written English could discourage students for whom English is a second language from going to university. Teachers at another university have been told it is fairer to judge students on their ideas and knowledge of a subject and not their spelling and grammar.