Tuesday 17 September 2019

VU stops offering Dutch as a degree, introduces language test for English courses

Photo: DutchNews.nl

Amsterdam’s VU university will no longer offer a bachelor’s degree in Dutch because too few students are applying for the course and it is no longer financially viable.

At the moment, five students are studying Dutch at the university, and there are five members of staff. ‘Unfortunately, we don’t get one lecturer’s salary per student,’ spokesman Wessel Agterhof told Radio 1. ‘So the sum is obvious.’

When the VU stops offering Dutch as a degree, the subject will be available at just five universities – Utrecht, Groningen, Leiden, Nijmegen and Amsterdam. In 2017, the last year for which figures are available, 222 students started a degree in Dutch, the NRC reported.

At the same time, the VU is planning to improve the standard of English among new students. From the next academic year, everyone applying for an English language degree will have to undergo an English test, even native speakers.

‘We are a bilingual university with students from different backgrounds,’ Rob Doeve, director of the university’s language centre, told news agency ANP.

People who fail the test will be offered a short course at the language centre free of charge, ANP said.

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