[lg policy] support to learn Dutch

Harold Schiffman haroldfs at gmail.com
Wed Jun 12 10:41:26 EDT 2019


An inclusive university is a two-way street. That is the scope of the
concept code of conduct languages that will be discussed tomorrow in the
University Council. The Executive Board expects Dutch UT staff to speak
English where logical. Internationals will receive more support to learn
Dutch.
PHOTO BY: RIKKERT HARINK

‘We have made existing policy more explicit and determined the level of
English we expect from employees for each job profile,’ says Victor van der
Chijs, chairman of the board. ‘Beyond that there are no major changes.
There will, however, be an overview stating in which language documents
must be written. Some documents must be legally in Dutch, such as annual
report. For bilingual documents, we clearly state which version is leading.’
International university in the Netherlands

As before, the principle
<https://www.utoday.nl/news/65159/taalbeleid-over-drie-jaar-praten-we-er-niet-meer-over>
remains:
English as a formal language where possible, but feel free to speak Dutch
if you do not exclude anyone. The UT is an ‘international university in the
Netherlands’, confirms Van der Chijs. "So Dutch has its place. In fact, we
invite newcomers to learn the language. The UT Language Center will offer
extra courses for this. If you want to build a life here, it is very useful
to speak Dutch. That fits with our policy to retain
<https://www.utoday.nl/news/65764/why-talent-leaves-twente>international
talent for the region. "

The code of conduct is new on one point, says Van der Chijs. The ministry
is in the process of amending the law for higher education and the UT is
taking an advance. ‘If a study program wants to change the working
language, then approval from the program committee is required and the
language choice must be substantiated in a vision. All programs have that
vision, but we ask to review it again and make it explicit. "
Language requirement

For students who require a visa to study at the UT, the language
requirement does not change at this moment. That can change. The Ministry
is investigating the possibility to have more control
<https://www.rijksoverheid.nl/binaries/rijksoverheid/documenten/kamerstukken/2018/06/04/kamerbrief-over-internationalisering-mbo-en-ho/kamerbrief-over-internationalisering-mbo-en-ho.pdf>
on
international applications. ‘A possibility is a higher language
requirement’, says Van der Chijs. ‘If that is possible, we will coordinate
with the 4TU universities whether we will adjust the language requirements.
Because if one university raises the requirement, you run the risk of a
rush at the other universities.’

With the revised code of conduct languages, the Executive Board delivers on
a promise
<https://www.utoday.nl/news/66675/cvb-jullie-adviezen-zijn-heel-welkom-en-nuttig>
to
the University Council. Before the summer there would be a code, which
clearly states when documents should be in English, when Dutch can be
spoken and if the UT expects from international effort to learn Dutch. The
revised code of conduct will be discussed on Wednesday in the University
Council and will take effect from January 2020.
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 Harold F. Schiffman

Professor Emeritus of
 Dravidian Linguistics and Culture
Dept. of South Asia Studies
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305

Phone:  (215) 898-7475
Fax:  (215) 573-2138

Email:  haroldfs at gmail.com
http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/~haroldfs/

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