Better taught in English?
Institutional language strategies in European higher education
Brussels, 4 December 2009
Emperor Charles V was quoted as saying “I speak Spanish to God, Italian to women, French to men, and German to my dog.” Today, he would probably have added “and English to academics”. English-medium tuition in European higher education, i.e. courses that are fully or partially imparted in English in countries where English is the domestic language, is on the rise all over continental Europe. But what are the factors that have shaped and will shape the language policies of European institutions? Is it mainly the race for foreign students? The concept of the internationalisation of higher education might only be part of the answer. Obviously, institutions strive to prepare students for their professional future. But in how far do the linguistic and cultural skills of graduates match labour market needs? And are institutional language policies not bound to clash with EU policies promoting diversity and multilingualism?
This ACA seminar tackled these questions and more in the company of prominent speakers from academia and business.