Is English Necessary For University?

Hello, I am Dimitri Papadedes and I am writing this blog to share my opinion on whether grade 12 university level English should be a requirement for entry for all university programs.  I believe that grade 12 university level  English should not be a requirement for all university programs.

Grade 12 university level English should only be a requirement for university when the program of interest revolves around English for example, an undergraduate degree majoring in English, History, Political Science, Philosophy etc.  If an undergraduate degree does not have a strong component of English then, grade 12 university level English should not be a prerequisite.

This being said, grade 12 university level English could be set as a recommendation for all undergraduate programs, with certain programs mandating grade 12 English for enrollment in that program. This allows for flexibility in the level of English you take at high school. For example, you could still get into a university bachelor of science program if you take grade 12 English at a college level.

Some people may have great difficulty with grade 12 university level English.  They may not be very good at writing essays, sharing their opinion, or reading but excel at mathematics or the sciences.  Due to getting a poor mark in English, that may be the breaking point of whether or not they get into their university program of choice. All university programs require a level of literacy  and I believe that by taking English throughout the years of high school   achieves this and should not determine the fate of your post-secondary education.

Many skills can be acquired from English classes and therefore grade 12 English should still be mandatory for high school graduation but it should not always be included in the six university level courses that allow entry into the program.

In comparison, making grade 12 English a requirement for all university programs such as a science program is similar to making a different course, such as grade 12 chemistry, mandatory for an arts program.

I welcome your thoughts and opinions on this matter in the comments below.




  1. Hey great article but I completely disagree! I’m studying commerce/arts at university and majoring in both literature and statistics. Grade 12 English is invaluable to both of those areas. The number of people I have met in my statistics course who can’t write a decent report or paper explaining their mathematical results in insane. I’ve proof read many of my friends’ science papers which have made little to no sense due to their lack of understanding of written and verbal communication.

    It does not matter what area you study, you still need to be able to effectively communicate your ideas. Period.

    I am a believer that basic English and mathematics should be compulsory in your final years of high school as these provide the skills which underpin nearly every course at university. I even use maths in my literature and film subjects to understand and use relevant academic studies to support my papers.

    In regards to the levels of English available, I can only speak for NSW Australian English, where there are a variety of English levels depending on your skill and interest. This caters to people for which English may not be their strength or their native language as well as more advanced units for students who are interest in English and want to be challenged.

    Chemistry is not compulsory for an arts course as it doesn’t underpin many subjects like English does. Chemistry is also only compulsory or recommended for particular science courses in Australia, such as medicine, not a general science degree.

    No matter what you study, you need to be able to communicate and that is why national languages should always be a compulsory part in assessing students’ academically.

    Thanks 🙂


  2. I agree that students shouldn’t have to be required to take a university level English courses to get into a university program, especially if it is not in the field of English. I also agree that students should still take an English course in grade 12, just in order to inquire the skill that the course provides.


  3. I agree with you completely. Universities making grade 12 English mandatory even though the program the student enrols in doesn’t have anything to do with English is makes absolutely no sense to me.


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