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Brussels, 4 December 2014

English-medium instruction in Europe


A rare phenomenon at the turn of the century, English-medium instruction (EMI) has become a systemic feature in some European countries, particularly at the Master level. Even though the growth curve now shows signs of flattening, English-taught programmes have become immensely numerous and popular in the last 15 years. This ACA European Policy Seminar will present, amongst other things, the key findings of ACA`s latest (2014) Europe-wide surveys of this form of tuition. There are some surprises in store. 

But the seminar will present far more than the recent ACA study. In an opening presentation, Adrian Veale of the European Commission will tackle the difficult question which language - or languages - Europe`s new global outreach strategy (“Europe in the world”) should use to attract the world`s young talents to Europe`s universities and colleges. 

One part of the seminar is devoted to linguistic quality issues, which we will attempt to tackle in a `hands-on` manner. Karen Lauridsen, of Aarhus University, is presenting the results of the Europe-wide project Intluni, which seeks to improve communication in the class-room - of students and teachers alike. Janina Cünnen, of the University of Freiburg in Germany, is going to present a new certificate for those teaching in English. Marjorie Castermans, of the Université Libre de Bruxelles, will showcase this university`s efforts in training professors in an EMI setting. 

The seminar will also address a danger often underrated: the lack of a minimum proficiency in the local language, which isolates international students once outside the classroom. This issue has consistently been identified as the biggest language challenge for foreign students in all ACA studies. We will present one or two examples of good practice which address this problem.

We will end this seminar with a provocative piece: a speech of by Ulrich Ammon, the highly reputed researcher in sociolinguistics and dialectology, who in later life turned his attention to the trend to publish and to teach in English. We expect him to make a strong case for a qualified form of multilingualism. 

ACA European Policy Seminars are a trademark of ACA. These events bring together practitioners and policy makers: Participants are mainly from higher education institutions, but also from national governments, international organisations and NGOs. We expect 100 or more participants and very lively discussions. 


Wednesday 3 December 2014



Seminar dinner

Thursday 4 December 2014



Welcome and introduction
Irina Ferencz, Policy Officer, ACA (Brussels, Belgium)


Reaching out to the world: but in which language(s)?
Adrian Veale, DG EAC, European Commission (Brussels, Belgium)


The European map of English-taught programmes in 2014: Results of a new ACA study
Bernd Wächter, Director, ACA (Brussels, Belgium)


Coffee break


The challenges of teaching and learning trough English – and some solutions from the IntlUni project
Karen M Lauridsen, Lektor, Aarhus University (Aarhus, Denmark)


Certifying the quality of EMI at Universität Freiburg
Janina Cünnen, Head of Administration, Universität Freiburg (Freiburg, Germany)




Training teachers for EMI at the University Libre de Bruxelles
Marjorie Ceustermans, Université Libre de Bruxelles (Brussels, Belgium)


How to market EMI to foreign students
Jessica Winters, Coordinator Marketing, University of Groningen (Groningen, The Netherlands)


Coffee break


Imprisoned in English? How to encourage EMI students to learn the local language. An example of good practice
N.N. (tbc)


The use of English in teaching and research: linguistic injustice and colonialism?
Ulrich Ammon, Professor German linguistics, Universität Duisburg – Essen (Duisburg, Germany)


What we learned from this exercise?
A surprise


Irina Ferencz

Irina Ferencz (neé Lungu), joined ACA in 2008 as a trainee, to then take the position of ACA Policy Officer in spring 2009. Since her start at ACA, she has been mainly involved in projects and activities related to the use of indicators for measuring internationalisation at university level and has authored several publications and articles on international student mobility, on both statistical and policy trends. Over time, Irina has also been in charge of the development of several ACA European Policy Seminars, and constantly represents the association externally, at various international conferences, advisory bodies and other events.

Bernd Wächter
Bernd Wächter is the Director of the Academic Cooperation Association (ACA), a consortium of European and global agencies which support international cooperation in higher education. ACA is a think-tank which promotes innovation and internationalisation in higher education. Bernd was born in Giessen (Germany) and studied at the universities of Hull (UK), Giessen and Marburg (Germany).  He lives in Brussels (Belgium) and is married to Thora Magnusdottir, a delightful lady from Iceland.
Bernd’s career has been focused on international higher education. In his first post, at the University of Kassel (Germany), he devised international degree programmes in cooperation with universities abroad. He later joined the British Council, before becoming the Director of the international office of the Fachhochschule Darmstadt. Moving on to Germany’s internationalisation agency DAAD, he became the head of this organisation’s European section. He subsequently became Director of Higher Education in the Brussels Socrates Office, with overall responsibility for the Erasmus Programme in Europe. In 1998, he took up his present post as the director of ACA. Bernd has published widely on international matters in higher education, and he is a frequent speaker at European and international education conferences. He is the editor of the ACA Papers on International Cooperation in Higher Education and also works, as an expert advisor, for many international organisations.
Karen M. Lauridsen

With a background in languages (English and German) and the experience of 4 years as dean and 8 years as vice-rector with special responsibility for international affairs at the then Aarhus School of Business, KML now works at Aarhus University, Centre for Teaching and Learning (CUL) . She focuses on issues related to teaching and learning through the medium of English in the multilingual and multicultural learning space and to language policy in both her research and in-service training and professional development programmes. KML is the coordinator of the Erasmus Academic Network IntlUni – The Challenges of the Multilingual and Multicultural Learning Space in the International University (2012-15) –  Aarhus University was instrumental in establishing the European Language Council, and KML has served on the Board of the ELC since the association was launched in 1997.For more information, please see here:

Janina Cünnen

Dr. Janina Cünnen is Director of the Language Teaching Center at Freiburg University, Germany. Besides her doctoral degree she holds Diplomas from NUI, Galway/IRL, Rennes II/F and Jesus College, Oxford/GB. She studied German, English and Celtic Philology and has extensive experience in language teaching and testing. Moreover, she has gained expert knowledge in intercultural communication through both research and teaching various types of intercultural courses at Freiburg University, FHNW Basel/CH, UHA-Mulhouse/F, and St. Clara University, California. She has given lectures and presentations in numerous countries in Europe as well as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the USA. J.C. is member of the advisory board for quality assurance of the Center for Key Qualifications at Freiburg University. As a member of the European Language Council she has contributed to two EU-Projects. Currently she is collaborating in the IntlUni-Project and is responsible for a five year project (English Medium Instruction) at her home university. Her specialized fields of interest include language policy, multilingualism, linguistic diversity and minority languages.

Marjorie Ceustermans
Marjorie Castermans is currently teaching across various faculties at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), and in particular at the Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management. She is also a Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) adviser and provides support to students and teachers involved in foreign-language instruction at the ULB. She has specialized in the use of new technologies for the language classroom, and has a keen interest in communicative grammar. In this context, she has devised an online and interactive self-study course using podcasts and short video excerpts. Born in Brussels, she holds a degree in Modern Languages and Literatures from the ULB, as well as a diploma in teacher training & pedagogy. She is fluent in French, English and Spanish.
Jessica Winters
Jessica has over 15 years of experience in (international) higher education. She was an early adopter in the development, implementation and use of social media in higher education. She coordinates the marketing & recruitment activities (domestic and international) of the University of Groningen in the Netherlands and is specialized in online and social media marketing. In addition to her work for the University, she also provides online marketing and social media consultancy services specifically for higher education institutions, organizations related to higher education, and other non-profit organizations. In recent years, she has delivered many presentations and workshops (amongst others: EAIE, NAFSA, AIEA, ICEF, DAAD) on these topics.
Ulrich Ammon

Ulrich Ammon has been professor of sociolinguistics at the University Duisburg-Essen and president of GAL (Gesellschaft für Angewandte Linguistik), the German branch of AILA (International Association of Applied Linguistics). He has published 15 monographs and co-edited, inter alia, the yearbook Sociolinguistica (1987 ff.), Sociolinguistics: An International Handbook (3 vols., 2nd ed. 2004-6) and Wieser Encyclopaedia Western European Languages (2 vols., 2008). Email: ulrich.ammon(at) also:



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Reaching out to the world: but in which language(s)?

pdf Adrian Veale (411 KB)

The European map of English-taught programmes in 2014: Results of a new ACA study.

pdf Bernd Waechter 02 (419 KB)

The challenges of teaching and learning through English – and some solutions from the IntlUni project.

pdf Karen M. Lauridsen 01 (1.0 MB)

Certifying the quality of EMI at Universität Freiburg.

pdf Janina Cuennen (0.9 MB)

Integrating Language and Content at the Université Libre de Bruxelles.

pdf Marjorie Castermans (4.6 MB)

The use of English in teaching and research: linguistic injustice and colonialism?
pdf       Ulrich Ammon (823 KB)