University graduates could be given an 'exit certificate' to show prospective employers the standard of their English skills, under a universities taskforce proposal. The taskforce rejected the idea of an exit test in English but is studying the feasibility of a common report which will meet the demands for employment references. The Inter-Institutional Taskforce on Language Enhancement Grants report, copies of which have been circulated among universities, said: 'Members feel that the introduction of an examination-type exit test as a measure of students' language proficiency may send an inappropriately contradictory message to students and the community alike. On the other hand, the implementation of a common reporting format and the use of a bank of common assessment measures will meet the demands of employers.' Under the proposal, language courses which are available only in the first and second years at most universities may have to be extended to the final year so students can be assessed before they graduate. Despite the common reporting system, individual universities would still have the flexibility to run their own language programmes, according to the report. Lorrita Yeung, director of the language centre at Lingnan University and a taskforce member, said the certificate would boost employer confidence in graduates. The director admitted there might be difficulties in creating the common reporting system. The Convenor of the Business Coalition on Education, David Dodwell, said: 'If an employer is particularly concerned with a skill, whether it's English, Mandarin or IT, he will conduct internal assessment.'