Edition 198 - October 2017

English-medium instruction: growth now also at Bachelor level

As three successive ACA studies have shown (2002, 2008, 2014), English-medium instruction has grown tremendously in European higher education in the past 15 years. However, the growth was mainly in Master programmes. According to a recent study by the EAIE and StudyPortals, Bachelors taught in English are now mushrooming, too. The study English-taught Bachelor’s programmes. Internationalising European higher education, authored by Anna-Malin Sandström and Carmen Neghina, covers 19 European non-English-speaking countries. It is based on data from StudyPortal’s database and qualitative interviews with universities and internationalisation agencies in six countries. 

The authors report roughly 2,900 English-taught Bachelor programmes, which indicates fifty-fold growth since 2008. Despite this rapid development, in most higher education institutions English-taught Bachelors are still a minority among all Bachelor programmes.  They are also less frequently offered than English-taught Masters, constituting 27% of all English-taught programmes. The highest absolute number of Bachelors taught in English is found in Turkey where, against the European trend, they also outnumber English-medium Masters. The leading subject areas of Bachelors in English are Business and Management, followed by Social Sciences and Engineering and technology. According to this study, a remaining challenge are sometimes insufficient English skills of staff and faculty. 

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