English preferred medium of instruction in European countries

English-taught programmes has tripled in the past 7 yrs in EU nations

Thiruvananthapuram: A recent study by Bernd Wächter and Friedhelm Maiworm for the Academic Cooperation Association (ACA) on the basis of survey data from education institutions in various European countries to examine their use of programmes taught in English as a tool to increase mobility suggested that more institutions preferred courses with English as the medium of instruction.

TMS Kutty, CEO of Campus India, told Deccan Chronicle that the data collected by ACA in collaboration with Gesellschaft für Empirische Studien (GES) and StudyPortals BV showed that the number of English-taught bachelor and master programmes – referred to in the study as English-Taught Programmes (ETPs) in non-English-speaking European countries had more than tripled over the last seven years.

The number of English-taught programmes was 725 in 2001, 2,389 in 2007, and according to the present study, 8,089 now. The new data of the study pointed out that currently, Germany has the largest number of institutions offering such programmes, with 154 programmes, followed by France with 113, and Poland at 59.

In actual terms, however, the Netherlands had the most ETPs with 1,078, followed by Germany with 1,030, and Sweden with 822, Mr Kutty said. As the number of higher education institutions per country differed, the percentages of institutions would be more relevant. Denmark, Netherlands, Finland, and Sweden offered the highest percentage of courses in English, while, France was ranked 16 and Germany ranked below fourteen, Mr Kutty said.

In general, eastern and southern European countries offered the fewest ETPs by both number and percentage, with Greece, Croatia, and Bulgaria offering the least in numbers, and those three countries along with Romania, Italy, and Turkey offering the least by percentage, Mr Kutty said. ACA tracked the student mix in these courses, and found that 54 percent of the total foreign students in these nations in which they were studying were from other European countries.

In the 2007 survey, the percentage of European students were much higher at 65 percent and in the 2002 survey it was 60 percent. The reasons behind this 11 percent drop in enrolment of European students for ETP course was not entirely clear. However, the chances were that it could be a reflection of economic factors in Europe, Mr Kutty said. The survey found that students from Asia came to around 14 percent of the student mix for ETP courses. Of the student population from Asia, four percent was from China, four percent from India, and six percent from the many other countries in the region.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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