Dutch universities slam plans to slash English courses

Dutch universities, teaching staff and students have criticised the government’s plans to reduce the use of English in Dutch education institutions, saying it will damage both their reputation and research, writes Robin Pascoe for Dutch News.

Education Minister Robbert Dijkgraaf plans to limit the percentage of foreign-language teaching in standard bachelor degrees to one-third of the course credits in an effort to stop Dutch students being squeezed out and to encourage foreign students to learn the language and stay. This limit can be changed only with the express permission of the minister, the ministry confirmed on Tuesday 20 June. In addition, courses in other languages will be assessed to make sure they are a “sensible use of public money”.

The strongest criticism came from Eindhoven University of Technology, which currently teaches all bachelor degrees and masters degrees entirely in English. Robert-Jan Smits, president of the executive board, told Dutch News that a language quota would damage both his university and the country’s international standing.
Full report on the Dutch News site