Protest against ‘English’ university

On Friday, May 27 in Tilburg, the association Taalverdediging protested against students not speaking Dutch at the Universiteit van Tilburg (University of Tilburg) and the overuse of English (or Dunglish, right?) there.

“If you study here, you have to learn Dutch and integrate”.
Errr, that makes no sense, as students come from other countries and then go back home. I know for a fact that if they are here on a student visa, they are not required to learn Dutch and often do by choice.

“And if you don’t, you’re an unwanted foreigner”.
Come again? This sounds racist to me.

So these folks are against English-language studies at a Dutch university because the Dutch language is going to hell in a handbasket. Where is the cause and effect? What about getting published? That happens in English; every academic in the world knows that.

The university staff is freaked out. Talk about mixing up things.

(Link in Dutch: Brabants Dagblad)

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8 Responses to “Protest against ‘English’ university”

  1. marcia w says:

    This is incredible! Like you said people who want to be read really publish in English. But in any case what is the use of learning a language that you will probably never ever use? And even when you try, go to a pub for instance, ask for something simple like a coffee, the moment you open your mouth and they hear your accent they reply in English.

  2. JayVinVermont says:

    I agree with marcia w. Ik ben trots op m’n nederlandse wortels and always attempt to speak, not practise, my Dutch when I’m out and about (shopping, pubbing) when I’m visiting my aunt in Utrecht. I was born in A’dam (Dutch dad, American mom), grew up in the north east USA; but visited my Dutch family often. It’s strange, when my Dad became an American, he didn’t want to speak Dutch at home (‘cept for a few Dunglish words). I remember listening to Radio Nederland’s Happy Station on our old Philips radio as a kid and wanted to learn Dutch! So I did (this was before the internet). When I’m in NL, people appreciate my Dutch, although they recognise my accent as English, and usually switch to English, because they want to practise it! Grrrrrr! I love this site!!!

  3. Kees says:

    But, what is the point of studying in the Netherlands when it’s in English? Why not just go to an English-speaking country?

  4. Natashka says:

    Countries all over the world that are not English speaking offer English university because if you want to get published, English is the language to go.

    It’s just the way it is.

  5. Kees says:

    I would prefer native speakers of English over Dunglish-professors then, but that’s just me…

  6. Jos says:

    “It’s the education system, stupid!”
    I am deeply ashamed that our continuously detoriating educational system has come to a level where even university students can’t even think for themselves anymore.
    “If you study here, you have to learn Dutch and integrate”. “And if you don’t, you’re an unwanted foreigner”.
    Aaarrgh! Parrots, that’s what they are.

  7. Thomas Okken says:

    I’m Dutch, and I studied at two Dutch universities. When I first enrolled, I remember the information brochures clearly stating that classes and most instruction materials were in Dutch, and that all students were expected to understand the language. I don’t remember if it was a formal requirement for foreign nationals to prove fluency in Dutch before being allowed to enroll, but the point was clearly made that if you *weren’t* fluent in Dutch, you’d probably end up wasting your time.
    I think that is exactly as it should be. While most people in Holland at least try to learn some English, I don’t think we should be making it an official language just yet. Wie het vertikt om Nederlands te leren, hoeft buiten onze horeca wat mij betreft niet op speciale behandeling te rekenen.

  8. Edith says:

    Those language activists are really pathetic, I’ve taken a short peek at their website. Kees has got a point though. I, too, prefer native speakers of English to ‘Dunglish’ professors. (Most Dutch children of basisschool age do not attend English classes. IMO, English should be taught at school before the onset of puberty, when children still have a natural capacity to absorb new languages like a sponge.

    Apparently, Rita Verdonk has set the trend for the future. Remember how she admonished people to speak Dutch even when they were off-work? We are becoming a nation of xenophobes.

    Here’s more about Rita Verdonk’s asinine proposal:

    By the way, shouldn’t it be ‘IN the street’? Damn Dunglish… 😉

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