Why it’s good to go Dutch
Created: Wednesday, 24 June 2015 14:53
Matt Salusbury surveys Holland’s English-medium university provision
Of the fourteen research universities in the relatively small country that is the Netherlands, a dozen appear in the THE World University Rankings Top 200. The ancient university of Leiden leads the pack in 64th place, and there’s a cluster of Dutch universities in the seventies – Delft, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Wageningen University and Research Centre (Wageningen UR), University of Amsterdam and University of Utrecht.
Maastricht University comes in at 101st but holds sixth place in the THE 100 Under 50 rankings for universities founded less than fifty years ago. Groningen and three more Dutch institutions are comfortably within the World University Ranking’s top 150.
Netherlands higher education punches well above its weight, having the highest proportion of top 200 universities per capita of any country.
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Summer courses – the university option
Created: Saturday, 18 April 2015 18:16
Claudia Civinini investigates the options facing an Italian mum finding a course for her teenage son
Where would a southern European mother send her seventeen-year-old son to study English in the UK? Probably she would contact an agent or book a course in a language school, but we at the Gazette wondered whether she should also consider universities.
For a foreign student trying to learn English, practice outside the classroom is essential. With Italian, French and Spanish making up 40 per cent of all private-sector UK EFL summer school students, this demographic may get too many chances to speak its mother tongue. Growing up in Genoa, Italy, I witnessed teenagers returning from a vacation course in the UK speaking a perfect Roman or Neapolitan dialect but no English.
By contrast, the main language groups of foreign students enrolled at UK universities language centres are Chinese, Arabic-speakers and Thais, so it’s harder for a southern European to avoid practising their English. European students increasingly need a good level of English for their continuing studies – for example, Spanish students with B2-level English get three university credits – and universities could provide the appropriate academic focus.
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