More UK graduates have highest level literacy skills than OECD average

Published: 10th Sep 2014

The Telegraph and the Daily Mail reported new findings from the OECD today that the majority (3 in 4) of graduates lack high-level literacy skills, or in the Mail's case: "don't have a good grasp of English".

The OECD report found that 25% of university graduates in England and Northern Ireland had a literacy level of 4 or 5 (the highest level). This is lower than countries such as Australia, Japan, the Netherlands and Sweden, but it's still higher than the OECD average of 24%.

Whether or not level 4/5 corresponds to a "good grasp of English" is up for interpretation. Adults reach level 4/5 when they can interpret complex information and can apply background knowledge to evaluate subtle bias in claims or arguments, while at the other end of the scale, level 1 is reached when adults can understand basic vocabulary and whether they can read texts with a degree of fluency.


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