Dutch faces ‘languicide’
Universities in the Netherlands are worried that English is replacing Dutch as the country’s educational lingua franca. An influx of international students means that today just 15% of master’s degrees taken are in Dutch. The proportion is higher at undergraduate level (65%) but still substantially lower than in most non-English speaking countries.
The chairman of the country’s largest teaching association Better Education Netherlands (BON) – Ad Verbrugge – has warned of a “languicide”. “Universities are forced to offer courses in English to remain in the race” for international students in Europe, he said. “We always advocate diversity but here we’re killing a minority language.”
BON has begun a lawsuit against two universities – Twente and Maastricht – which it accuses of “Anglicising” courses. It is now impossible to study a master’s in psychology in Dutch at either institution. This also affects the chances of native students in the job market, BON argues, as many foreign graduates – attracted by the high standard of living – decide to stay in the Netherlands after gaining their degree.
Now the ministry of education is developing plans to protect Dutch in universities and counteract the rise of English instruction. There are 14 universities in the Benelux country, where 90% of the population is fluent in English. Historically popular with international students, both globally at the master’s level and through the undergraduate Erasmus exchange program, the Netherlands is expecting even more interest after Brexit.
Futurepreneur Canada has named 25 young entrepreneurs who have been selected for an exclusive training program. They will have experienced business leaders are mentors and learn valuable practical tips about how to run a company. Participants, all aged 18-24, will also be given networking tips at the three-day event in Ottawa this week. The national event is named Youth Can Do It! and has been organised by Futurepreneur Canada for 20 years.
The non-profit organisation helps match young entrepreneurial talent with experienced business leaders, who offer practical advice, mentoring, and often financing for a range of innovative projects. There are 2,800 volunteer mentors who participate in various events across the country.
Examples of the young business wizards who made it to this year’s Youth Can Do It! event include Erica Kelm, 21, who runs a vegan skin care company, Hania Aamer, 19, whose startup Teen Tutors helps young people learn debating skills, and Lily Lynch, 24, who runs an online marketplace selling authentic crafts made by indigenous people.
World’s best universities
The latest QS world university rankings for 2019 have now been published. It is a comprehensive list of the top 1,000 universities around the globe used by students, lecturers, and investors.
Little has changed at the top of the table, which is dominated by American and British institutions. MIT, Stanford and Harvard make up the top three. Oxford, Cambridge, UCL, and Imperial College London are in the top ten, where ETH Zurich is the only other European representative.
Expanding to the top 20, only China (Tsinghua) and Singapore (NUS & NTU) interrupt the US/UK dominance but Japan, Australia and Hong Kong are all represented in the top 25. Europe, the Far East, the US, and Australia account for the vast majority of the top 100.
Lomonosov Moscow State University is placed at No.90 while UBA in Buenos Aires is the top ranking Latin American institution at No.78. From the Middle East, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem enjoys the highest ranking at No.154. India’s best entrant is IITB in Bombay, which occupies No.162. The top African university is the University of Cape Town at No.200.