Dr Ken Smith is urging colleagues to turn a blind eye to the 20 most common slips - such as 'Febuary', 'ignor' and 'speach' - and view them instead as variants of standard spellings.
Writing in the Times Higher Education magazine, the senior lecturer in criminology at Buckinghamshire New University said: 'Teaching a large first-year course at a British university, I am fed up with correcting my students' atrocious spelling. Aren't we all?
'But why must we suffer? Instead of complaining about the state of the education system as we correct the same mistakes year after year, I've got a better idea.
'University teachers should simply accept as variant spellings those words our students most commonly misspell.'
He added: 'Either we go on beating ourselves and our students up over this problem or we simply give everyone a break and accept these variant spellings as such.
'All I am suggesting is that we might well put 20 or so of the most commonly misspelt words in the English language on the same footing as those other words that have a widely accepted variant spelling.'