Frisian as a university subject under threat

The only Dutch university degree course in Frisian language and culture may disappear because of a shortage of students, the Volkskrant reports on Friday.


Until now, the Frisian BA degree has been protected by the education minister because it is an official language in the Netherlands. But next year, the course will be given as part of European language and culture studies and will have to fight for enough students, the paper says.
At the moment, 15 students are studying Frisian, but that is not enough to justify employing a full-time teacher, Groningen University professor Goffe Jensma told the paper.
Frisian studies have been hit in particular by financial limits imposed by the government on second degrees, the professor said.
Frisian is the native tongue of around half the 350,000 people who live in the province of Friesland. Amsterdam’s VU stopped offering degrees in Frisian in 1992.

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