7th in the series European Policy Seminars of the Academic Cooperation Assoc.

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at ccat.sas.upenn.edu
Sat Aug 27 16:30:38 UTC 2005

  Between Babel and Anglo-Saxon Imperialism? English-Taught Programmes and
Language Policy in European Higher Education


English is holding a fairly uncontested position as the most widely used
language in international higher education and academic publishing, as
well as the media and trade. In line with this trend and in response to an
increasingly international and competitive environment, a growing number
of universities are now offering programmes taught in English, in
countries where English is not the official language. This seems to be in
contrast with EU policies promoting diversity and multilingualism, and it
is perceived by many European stakeholders as a simple means for
universities to generate more income.

This seminar offers a forum for this debate. It explores and questions the
present and future role of English in higher education in the context of
European language policies. Last but not least, it will have a look at the
practical implications of a higher education which is partly or fully
imparted in English.

Would higher education imparted in English limit ones ability to express
oneself and thus put content on a secondary level? Or are domestic
students better off being taught in English, so as to be prepared for
further study or work abroad? What are the best practices to be adopted by
universities? These and many more questions will be debated by some of the
most prominent experts in multilingual education, amongst which ACA is
proud to announce Philippe van Parijs (Universit Catholique de Louvain),
Luca Tomasi (European Commission),  Bob Wilkinson (University of
Maastricht), Hilde de Ridder- Symoens (University of Gent), Claus
Gnutzmann (Technische Universitt Braunschweig). The crew is completed by
ACA Director Bernd Wchter.

Seminar Programme
Thursday 29 September 2005

Welcome dinner

Friday 30 September 2005

9.00 Registration and coffee

9.30 Welcome
English in European higher education: setting the scene
Bernd Wchter, ACA

10.00  Plenary session:
Yesterdays news? The language issue in higher education throughout history
Hilde Symoens, University of Ghent

10.30  Coffee break

11.00 Plenary session:
Babel: a curse or a gift? Two positions on language policy in higher
The triumph of English: a case of linguistic neo-colonisation?
Claus Gnutzmann, Technische Universitt Braunschweig

English in European higher education: attractor, loudspeaker, threat
Philippe van Parijs, University of Louvain la Neuve

13.00  Lunch

14.00  Plenary Session:
Diversity above all? The repercussions of EU language policies on higher
Luca Tomasi, European Commission, Brussels

14.45  Plenary Session:
Taming the beast: institutional strategies for the implementation of
English-language-taught programmes
Robert Wilkinson, University of Maastricht

15.30  Coffee break

16.00  Round table discussion:
Are we missing the boat? The role of English in higher education 50 years
from now

ca. 17.00  End of the seminar

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