More UK graduates have highest level literacy skills than OECD average

10 September 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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