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Maastricht and Twente sued over Englification

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Beter Onderwijs Nederland (Better Education The Netherlands) is suing the universities of Twente and Maastricht, because they’re teaching too many classes in English. The Inspector for Education will also need to show up in court.

Read in Dutch

According to Beter Onderwijs Nederland (BON), the universities are breaking the law, because they’re using English without having a good reason to do so. The law that states students need to learn to express themselves well in Dutch “is a core task of education”, said BON chairman Ad Verbrugge in the TV show Nieuwsuur. Last year, BON wanted to wait to see the new government plans before taking action, but Verbrugge announced in March that his patience had run out, and a test case would be held.

The statements minister Van Engelshoven has made about English education don’t offer much hope, Verbrugge said in Nieuwsuur. “She talks about added value, but you have to turn it around; you have to invest in your language. The universities shouldn’t think they have language at their disposal, no, they have a task: they have to take care of this.”

As the Inspector for Education hasn’t intervened, they will also receive a summons from BON. This was sent to court last week. Verbrugge hopes the interim relief lawsuit will serve within a month, because he says there’s no time to waste. If the judge disagrees, that will show up in the verdict. In that case, the association will still be able to start a ‘main proceedings’ lawsuit called bodemprocedure, which will take longer than an interim relief.

BON wants universities to, at the very least, stop increasing Englification of education, but that’s not all. “Partially, we’re in favor of recalling,” he said in March. “The speed at which programs are Englifying is utterly undesirable.”

As an example, he mentioned the English master’s programs in psychology. “Most of the students will end up in the Dutch labor market, and won’t continue in academia. Students would profit from a good command of the vocabulary when they’re talking to clients and colleagues within institutions.”

Translation: Indra Spronk

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