Edition 215 - March 2019

German Rectors’ Conference (HRK) publication: Institutional Language Policy at Universities – Progress and Challenges

The German Rectors’ Conference (HRK) has recently released the publication titled Institutional Language Policy at Universities – Progress and Challenges on how to support universities in their language policy. The new HRK study showcases examples of the reasons behind institutional language policies and provides experiences that universities have had in this regard. HRK’s President, Professor Dr Peter-André Alt, highlighted the importance for universities of promoting language skills and linguistic diversity for all teaching staff, students and employees and of providing guidelines for the entire institution.

The publication presents the results of a HRK workshop on institutional language policy in German universities and provides examples of language policies in various German universities. Chapter 3.4 analyses the language policy of the University of Bonn as part of the university’s internationalisation strategy, while chapter 4 focuses on examples from Europe. In particular, two case studies, on the University of Copenhagen and on the University of Helsinki, are examined, demonstrating that, once again, the universities’ language policies are closely related to their internationalisation strategies. The last part of the study is devoted to language policies at universities in the Netherlands.

In conclusion, the study claims that governments should provide the necessary framework, and adequate funding, for universities to be able to implement proper targeted language policies and promote multilingualism.

Link to the publication (in German; case studies from Denmark and Finland in English)
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