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A critical article on English in Dutch universties

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I am interested in the use of English as a medium of instruction and the following link is to an article criticising the widespread use of English in Dutch universities (estimated at 60%)


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Me in a rare cheerful mood

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(a) Over here that would be seen as a great export success, such as our MBA courses which attract Chinese students (nobody else can afford them).  The Dutch Bursars are probably very happy with the money pouring in from foreign students.  The universities and their local towns are benefiting from the multi-cultural influences and influx of money.  Hurrah! for the Dutch universities.

(b) For a student to want to go abroad to study and their parents to let them, the universities must be offering attractive courses.  Hurrah! for the Dutch university courses.

(c) As at last summer, my preferred choices for my Master's are:
  • Durham or London, UK - £11,000
  • OU - £8,300 - £10,000
  • Scotland - £6,500
  • Bradford or Lancaster or Manchester - £6,000
  • Norway - Either £0 or £3,500
  • Netherlands - £1,750
  • Finland - £0
  • Sweden - £0
Why would anyone want to move to Bradford or Manchester to study when you could do the same course, still in English, somewhere nice on the continent for less money?

Boo! to the UK education costing model and another Hurrah! for the continental universities.  (Until such time as we're stopped from entering Europe, anyway.)

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Thanks for the comment, Simon.

For British students, studying abroad seems like an attractive option although I suspect it will be one that Brexit will close down.

For the Dutch universities, it makes sense financially although I do also understand the worries that it will serve to undermine the Dutch language.  However, I am not sure that it will change much as the Netherlands seems to be a country where English plays a major role and in Amsterdam at least (the only city I have visited), the standard of English spoken and used is extremely high.


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hmm, I wonder if any students taking U214 2016-17 came across this, our EMA was about the resistance to the dominance of the English language,

block 3 covered this trend for foreign universities to use English medium education, in westerised countries to attract more fee paying foreign students, in developing countries to (hopefully) give their young people more opportunities and help local businesses trade on international markets,

the damage to indigenous languages caused by this dominace of the English language is very real and imo very sad, most Dutch people are multilingual and Belgium too, however if higher level studies are carried out in English and not Dutch then the Dutch language will suffer at an academic level, OU modules introduced me to this area of languages which I have found interesting and so have been doing some of my own research, partly in the process of completing TMAs and EMAs but as is my nature going beyond what was required for the assignments, Frances


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Thanks for the comment, Frances

I suppose that English is already very prominent in academic and scientific circles and Dutch is not.  Did you read Phillipson on the course you did?


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no we didn't read Phillipson on the module Patrick but in blocks 1 and 3 there were references and explainations of his theory of linguistic imperialism and English as a killer language, also counter arguments,

I would hope French and/or German become more widely used in Europe, English is not only the language of science, etc. it is apparently the language of international markets and non native English speaking countries are actively chosing to use English, I found some of it quite depressing, Frances

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Hi Frances

Phillipson and also Skittnab Kangas are well worth reading, I think.  I read "Linguistic Imperialism" soon after it came out and found a lot resonated with my work at the time.