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Dutch higher education is increasingly teaching in English. An example is Maastricht University. Half of this university’s Bachelor degrees, and even 80 per cent of its Master programme, are taught in English. The institution is among the first ones to develop an ‘official language policy’, which is to become operational by 2009.
In an interview with ACA Newsletter – Education Europe, Maastricht University Policy Officer Albertine Zanting said that the substantial share of international students (some 25 per cent) had made the institution aware of the need for an official language policy to guarantee appropriate quality standards of English. Such standards would include minimum levels of proficiency for teaching staff, but they would also concern the institutions’s administration, and staff in public relations. Currently, the university is preparing a financial plan for what are expected to be substantial costs.
The university’s interest in language issues is also reflected in the organisation of a conference on “integrating content and language in higher education”, to be held this coming June.Integrating content and language in higher education