New rubric: Policy summaries

Tomorrow I plan to start with a new series of posts: summaries of language policies in Dutch higher education.

In late 2018 the education minister Ingrid van Engelshoven decreed that universities would need to justify their use of English as a medium of instruction. In institutional codes of conduct, they will have to explain their rationale for the language of instruction in their English-language study programmes. The idea, apparently, is that this explicit reflection will help universities to make sensible choices about when it makes sense to use English as the language of instruction (and, by implication, when it does not).

I’ve now collected the codes of conduct for language and other language policy documents of 13 publicly funded Dutch universities (i.e. all of them except one, the Open University, for which I couldn’t find any language policy documents online). I also have 10 higher education language policy documents drawn up by national bodies such as the education ministry and the Onderwijsraad.

In the coming months I’ll be subjecting these to corpus-assisted discourse analysis for a paper in progress that I’m working on. To get a feel for their contents first, I’ll be posting a brief summary of each document on this blog. Enjoy!


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