http://enews.ksu.edu.sa/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/UWN.jpgBy Jane Marshall. Champions of the French language are opposing a measure that will open the way for universities to teach courses in languages other than French – notably English. The measure is included in the Higher Education and Research law, known as ESR, that is due to come into force later this year.
Under legislation passed in 2000 to protect the French language, it is currently compulsory to teach university courses in French except in clearly defined cases – foreign language studies, or if the education is given by a visiting foreign academic. Examinations and thesis presentations must be in French. Some institutions manage to circumvent the rules, but they are technically breaking the law.
Geneviève Fioraso, minister for higher education and research, now intends to loosen universities’ linguistic shackles. In the hope of increasing France’s share of international students, the ESR act will allow universities to teach in other languages – which, everyone understands, means in English – when courses are part of an agreement with a foreign or international institution, or part of a European programme. Read more...