Policy summary: Language policy of Erasmus University Rotterdam

Three documents:

  • Code of Conduct for Foreign Languages (2003), 4 pages, available here (Dutch only)
  • Dual language policy (current webpage), available in English and Dutch
  • Student charter 2018/19, available in English and Dutch

The Code of Conduct for Foreign Languages is quite dated; I’ve been informed by a senior policy officer for HR internationalisation (Kitty Yang) that they are currently working on a revised and expanded EUR-wide language policy, but it doesn’t yet appear to be available. The gist of it is that, in line with Art. 7.2 WHW, bachelor’s programmes are in Dutch; this can be deviated from in ways specified in the Education and Examination Regulations of specific programmes. Master’s programmes are delivered in Dutch or ‘another language, especially English’.

I’m also including the Student Charter 2018/19, with its brief section (4.6) on language of instruction and examination, as this presumably gives more up to date information than the Code of Conduct. Here we read that ‘Dutch and English are the languages used to teach classes and to administer examinations. The Teaching and Examination Regulations of the programmes indicate which language is applicable.’ Those regulations also specify the language requirements for students, and are required to indicate if ‘certain components of a Dutch-language programme are offered in English’.

The dual language policy described on the website indicates that the EUR has been a bilingual university in Dutch and English since 2015. The text appears on the ‘Working at EUR’/HR part of the website, so it is intended for employees. Information is given in answer to the following questions:

  • What does the current dual language policy look like? Command of English and Dutch related to job level, with extra attention for support staff. EUR has drawn up a Framework of Language Levels in which each job within the university can be placed based on the work level and the ‘Dutchness’ or ‘Englishness’ of the working environment (percentages of non-Dutch-speaking students, colleagues, contacts, etc.). The idea is that it is clear for each role (secretary, professor, etc.) what level of language competences they should have in each language.
  • How does the dual language policy work in practice? Concrete questions are given here, such as ‘what do you do if, as the only non-Dutch speaker, you are required to discuss an ICT problem with 30 delegates from other universities?’ Such a question is not really answered, however, in the 12 listed ‘agreements’ that follow; take the first point as an example: ‘Everyone is expected to understand written and spoken text in English/Dutch. People speak the language that is preferred, but we use English or Dutch if this is specifically required in your job.’



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