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ACA has a track record in researching English-medium instruction. In the publications, from 2002, 2008 and 2014 (see ACA Newsletter-Education Europe, 2014), it charted the map of English-speaking programmes across the non-English-speaking countries of Europe. Together with the Nordic countries, the Netherlands were always amongst the leaders of the pack, offering the biggest share of all programmes in English. Like elsewhere, the offer of English-taught programmes was highly controversial in the Netherlands. There were voices which found this inappropriate, fearing that Dutch would disappear as a lingua academica. Many observers, amongst them our own organisation, felt that after a decade or more of such offers, the teething problems had been overcome, foreign and Dutch students spoke and wrote decent English and teaching staff were competent in the language as well. The age of controversy and ideological confrontation appeared to be over. The second of the three ACA publications (2008) earlier mentioned therefore ended with the observation “normalcy, at last”. Perhaps this was premature.
That much for the intellectual debate. Things culminated and became more palpable with a lawsuit of BON against the universities of Maastricht and Twente in July 2017, in order to enforce their interpretation of article 7.2. The court rejected the case of BON, but not because it found their case wholly unjustified. It just found that there was not enough evidence yet. So the saga is likely to continue.
https://www.dutchnews.nl/news/2018/07/dutch-universities-can-teach-in-english-says-court-ruling/ http://www.universityworldnews.com/article.php?story=20180724140627526 https://www.knaw.nl/en/news/publications/nederlands-en-of-engels