Organisation - March 14, 2013

Bachelor's in English?

University wants debate about having entire Bachelor's degree in English.



Over the next while, Wageningen University will be looking into the idea of teaching the Bachelor's degree programmes in English as well, according to a report analysing the university's policy of becoming more international. The university thinks it could be an interesting option to give lectures in English from the first year of the Bachelor's degree programme rather than only in the third year, as is the case now. That would make the degree courses appealing to international students from an earlier stage. What is more, foreign academic staff would then be able to teach first-years and second-years.
The university acknowledges that teaching Bachelor's courses entirely in English has its disadvantages. For example, it is debatable whether first-year students will pick up enough from the course material if everything is in English. In addition, it could deter potential Dutch students. That is why Wageningen UR wants a debate about this issue in the near future. This discussion could draw on the experience within the tourism programme, the only Wageningen Bachelor's taught entirely in English.
The report gives the first clear-cut overview of all the steps the university has taken in the past few years in its strategy and policy to become more international. The university says it is important to make this explicit as Wageningen's international character is often taken for granted within the university. As a result, the university is failing to take advantage of this strength. The review also lists the current plans. For example, lecturers will be expected to adapt their didactic skills to suit a multicultural setting. There are also plans in the short term to pool all the know-how regarding visa applications, travel matters and the accommodation of international students and staff in a single information desk.
 

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