(Non)-Conformity to Native English Norms in Postgraduate Students' Writing in UK Universities: Perspectives of Native and Non-Native Students and Academic Staff





academic writing, native English norms, postgraduate students, academic staff, UK universities


Postgraduate writing is a major academic feature through which students' learning progress is assessed. It is thus of paramount importance that students must meet the academic writing demands required by their respective academic schools and departments in order to pass their chosen courses. The study strives to explore the extent to which native and non-native English-speaking postgraduate students are required to conform to the norm of native-speakerism preferable to native English faculty members in some United Kingdom (UK) universities. This study is mainly qualitative and it involves three research instruments: (a) open-ended surveys targeting 111 native and non-native postgraduate students and 65 lecturers from different departments, (b) semi-structured interviews conducted with 13 lecturers and 10 students, and (c) an analysis of lecturers’ feedback on 53 students’ written productions. The findings show that the recommendations to conform to native English conventions exist only in some theoretical research. In practice, however, UK universities and academic staff do not save efforts to enable their students to express their ideas in clear comprehensible academic English. These results yield some insightful penetrations not only to the host universities but also to overseas governments as well. In addition, this study offers some implications for postgraduate students.  

Author Biographies

Abdulaziz  Alfehaid, Deanship of PYSS Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam-Saudi Arabia

Department of English Language

Deanship of PYSS Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam-Saudi Arabia

Nada Alkhatib

Department of English Language and Literature

College of Arts, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam-Saudi Arabia


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Date of Publication


How to Cite

 Alfehaid, A., & Alkhatib, N. (2023). (Non)-Conformity to Native English Norms in Postgraduate Students’ Writing in UK Universities: Perspectives of Native and Non-Native Students and Academic Staff. International Journal of Arabic-English Studies, 24(1), 1–20. https://doi.org/10.33806/ijaes.v24i1.562



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