By contrast, some MPs were working on a bill to counter unnecessary anglicization in the education system.
A vehicular language is not the same as the language of instruction: the language of instruction is the language in which classes are taught and exams are held while a vehicular language is spoken among employees, for instance, and in participation bodies.
The language of instruction varies per course, so a course where Dutch is spoken would still be given in Dutch.
The University of Twente’s decision means that internal information will be issued and exchanged in English from now on and English will be spoken in participation bodies, although some documents like annual reports will be issued in Dutch too. Informal communication is to be in English too, including water-cooler chats, etc., if a non-Dutch colleague joins the group and should be the language spoken at the campus supermarket.
Some MPs were not happy with the university’s decision and sent written questions on this topic to Minister van Engelshoven in December. According to those MPs, the University of Twente’s decision violates the law, both the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights (ECHR), which prohibits discrimination on grounds including language, and the Dutch General Administrative Law Act (Awb).
The Minister replied that she did not agree with the criticism, explaining that “there is no reason to assume that the University of Twente’s decision involves the discrimination of a person or persons on the grounds of language”.
As for the Awb, the Minister writes that the university’s correspondence with students regarding administrative matters should be in Dutch, but exceptions are permitted: “An institute might choose English as the vehicular language for a participation body if all the members of that body can speak English but not Dutch.”