What lessons can other countries learn from the debate in the Netherlands?
- Internationalization of higher education does not necessarily imply the need to teaching in English
- There has to be academic rationale for teaching in English rather than economic and ideological motivations
- Decisions about teaching in English have to be considered in an open debate between internal and external stakeholders
- Teaching in English is more than simply translating a course or program from one language to the other but must consider implications for content, teaching strategy and learning outcomes
- Foreign language education should not focus exclusively on English and should find a stronger base in primary and secondary education
- Teaching in English should not replace the importance of providing national and international students with opportunities to learn and use the local language and culture.
These arguments apply to countries where the national language has limited global presence but also in countries where the primary language is Spanish, Mandarin, French, German, and even English. The fact that half of the UK universities allow foreign students to use dictionaries during exams but not local students is an illustration of how absurd we are in addressing language issues in higher education.