May 22, 2013 12:14:09
Posted By P & L Blog
The French parliament is debating a new road map for French universities, which includes the proposal of allowing courses to be taught in English. For some, this amounts to a betrayal of the national language and, more specifically, of a particular way at looking at the world - for others it's just accepting the inevitable.
It all started with a faux-pas - to use a French phrase commonly borrowed by English-speakers.
On 20 March, when French higher education minister Genevieve Fioraso unveiled the proposed road map, she mentioned that there were only 3,000 Indian students in France. In order to attract more foreign students, she added, French universities would have to start offering courses taught in English.
"We must teach in English or there will only remain in France a handful of experts discussing Proust around the table," she said.
But Proust was an unfortunate choice. The author is actually one of France's best literary exports and the reason why many students in the world take up French at university.
See: BBC News