While English is now considered the language of business, science and tourism, does that mean other languages should be pushed aside to make room? That’s what some people are wondering with Munich Technical University’s plans to make English the official language for all of its master’s courses. Currently 30% of the university’s master’s courses are in English.
The German institution, founded in 1868 by King Ludwig II, says that this move to English in its master’s courses will allow students to better compete in the globalized world of business where English holds sway. However, some students and politicians doubt the wisdom of this change. They mention that German is widely used in Europe, the German language is linked to German buying habits and that German is the national language where the courses are given.
Personally, I’m torn on this one. I think that if the students will truly go from the classroom to working around the world in a global context, then studying in English would be an advantage for them. They could hone their English skills before taking them out into the world. On the other hand, not every student will do that. I’m sure that many students will stay in Germany and/or work with the German market. These students would probably be best served by a university education in German. I guess it comes down to: What kind of student is the university trying to attract and serve?
This reminds me of a personal experience. A few years ago I went to India for a university program that was to be given in English. However, when I arrived I was informed that even though the program was officially in English, the individual teachers could choose what language to give their courses in and those teachers had chosen to lecture in Hindi. Needless to say, my Hindi is nonexistent. Just in case, I sincerely hope all of Munich Technical University’s students speak both fluent English and German!