Advertisement

Higher Education

, Volume 73, Issue 4, pp 597–612 | Cite as

Nordic language policies for higher education and their multi-layered motivations

  • Taina Saarinen
  • Peppi Taalas
Article
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Language Indexing Higher Education Policy

Abstract

Language policies have been drafted in Nordic higher education with the obvious, but unproblematised and unchallenged motivation caused by internationalisation. In this article, we analyse the various motivations for drafting language policies in Nordic higher education and the ideological implications of those motivations. We do this by approaching the question from multiple (macro, meso and micro) viewpoints, in order to make visible some of the undercurrents in higher education language policy. We are particularly interested in the explicit motivations for language policy change, and the explicit and implicit actors and action represented in our data. We will first discuss the background for internationalisation in Nordic higher education and then move on to our analysis of policy documents, survey data on the motivations for language policy drafting in Nordic higher education institutions. Our results indicate that internationalisation turns into a national question in the motivations. It also appears that the institutions are reactive (rather than active) in responding to perceived needs to draft a language policy.

Keywords

Language policy Higher education Internationalisation Nordic higher education 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We would like to thank Anne Fabricius and John Airey as well as the two anonymous reviewers for their comments on the manuscript. Part of the research conducted for this article was funded by the Academy of Finland Grant No. 138287. The survey was conducted in a Nordplus funded Project LA-2010_1b-23999.

References

  1. Airey, J. (2012). I Don’t teach language. The linguistic attitudes of physics lecturers in Sweden. AILA Review, 25, 64–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Airey, J., Lauridsen, K. M., Räsänen, A., Salö, L., & Schwach, V. (2015). The expansion of English-medium instruction in the Nordic countries: Can top-down university language policies encourage bottom-up disciplinary literacy goals?. Higher Education. doi: 10.1007/s10734-015-9950-2.
  3. Bästa språketen samlad svensk språkpolitik (2005). http://www.regeringen.se/sb/d/108/a/50761. Accessed October 25, 2014.
  4. Björkman, B. (2014). Language ideology or language practice? An analysis of language policy documents at Swedish universities. Multilingua, 33(3–4), 335–363.Google Scholar
  5. Brenn-White, M., & Faethe, E. (2013). English-taught Master’s programs in Europe: A 2013 update. September 2013. Institute of International Education. http://www.iie.org/Research-and-Publications/Publications-and-Reports/IIE-Bookstore/English-Language-Masters-Briefing-Paper-2013-Update. Accessed December 13, 2013.
  6. Brenn-White, M., & van Rest, E. (2012). English-taught master’s programs in Europe: New findings on supply and demand. Institute of International Education. http://www.iie.org/Research-and-Publications/Publications-and-Reports/IIE-Bookstore/English-Language-Masters-Briefing-Paper. Accessed August 15, 2015.
  7. Davidsen-Nielsen, N. (2008). Parallelsproglighedbegrebets oprindelse. http://cip.ku.dk/om_parallelsproglighed/oversigtsartikler_om_parallelsproglighed/parallelsproglighed_begrebets_oprindelse/ Accessed August 4, 2014.
  8. Doiz, A., Lasagabaster, D., & Sierra, M. (2013). Globalisation, internationalisation, multilingualism and linguistic strains in higher education. Studies in Higher Education, 38(9), 1407–1421.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Fabricius, A., Mortensen, J., & Haberland, H. (2016). The lure of internationalization: Paradoxical discourses of transnational student mobility, linguistic diversity and cross-cultural exchange. Higher Education. doi: 10.1007/s10734-015-9978-3.
  10. Frølich, N. (2006). Still academic and national. Internationalisation in Norwegian research and higher education. Higher Education, 52(3), 405–420.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Garam, I. (2009). Vieraskieliset tutkinto-ohjelmat suomalaisissa korkeakouluissa. Tietoa ja tilastoja 1/2009. Helsinki: CIMO.Google Scholar
  12. Graddol, D. (2006). English next. Why global English may mean the end of ‘English as a Foreign Language’. London: British Council.Google Scholar
  13. Gregersen, F. (2012). Indledning: Globaliseringens udfordringer med særligt hensyn til universitetsinstitutionerne. Nordand: Nordisk tidskrift for andrespråksforskning, 2(7), 5–19.Google Scholar
  14. Haapakorpi, A., & Saarinen, T. (2014). Transnational turn and national models of higher education: The case of Finland. Nordic Studies in Education, 34(3), 187–200.Google Scholar
  15. Halonen, M., Ihalainen, P., & Saarinen, T. (2015). Diverse discourses in time and space. Historical, discourse analytical and ethnographic approaches to multi-sited language policy discourse. In M. Halonen, P. Ihalainen, & T. Saarinen (Eds.), Language policies in Finland and Sweden. Interdisciplinary and multi-sited comparisons (pp. 3–28). Bristol: Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar
  16. Hellekjaer, G., & Fairway, T. (2015). The mismatch between the unmet need for and supply of occupational English skills: An investigation of higher educated government staff in Norway. Higher Education, 70(6), 1033–1050.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Heller, M. (2011). Paths to post-nationalism: A critical ethnography of language and identity. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hilmarsson-Dunn, A., & Kristinsson, A. P. (2010). The language situation in Iceland. Current Issues in Language Planning, 11(3), 207–276.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hornberger, N. H. (2006). Frameworks and models in language policy and planning. In T. Ricento (Ed.), An introduction to language policy: Theory and method (pp. 24–41). Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing.Google Scholar
  20. Hughes, R. (2008). Internationalisation of higher education and language policy: Questions of quality and equity. Higher Education Management and Policy, 20(1), 111–128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hultgren, A. K. (2014a). Whose parallellingualism? Overt and covert ideologies in Danish university language policies. Multilingua, 33(1–2), 61–87.Google Scholar
  22. Hultgren, A. K. (2014b). Landerapport Danmark: Parallelsproglighed på danske universiteter: En statusrapport 2013. In F. Gregersen (Ed.), Hvor parallelt: Om parallellspråkighet på Nordens universitet (pp. 117–194). København: Nordiska Ministerrådet.Google Scholar
  23. Hultgren, A. K., Gregersen, F., & Thøgersen, J. (Eds.). (2014). English in Nordic Universities: Ideologies and practices. Studies in World Language Problems (5). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.Google Scholar
  24. Ihalainen, P., & Saarinen, T. (2015). Constructing ‘Language’ in language policy discourse: Finnish and Swedish legislative processes in the 2000s. In M. Halonen, P. Ihalainen, & T. Saarinen (Eds.), Language Policies in Finland and Sweden. Interdisciplinary and multi-sited comparisons (pp. 29–56). Bristol: Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar
  25. Johnson, D. C. (2013). Language policy. New York: Palgrave MacMillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Justitieombudsmannen 1811/2008. Krav på att ansökningar om forskningsanslag ska vara skrivna på engelska. http://www.xn-sprkfrsvaret-vcb4v.se/sf/fileadmin/PDF/JO_1811-2008.pdf. Accessed October 25, 2014.
  27. Kaplan, R. B., & Baldauf, R. B. (1997). Language planning from practice to theory. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar
  28. Kristinsson, A. P., & Bernharðsson, H. (2013). Icelandic or English at Icelandic Universities? http://nordiskparallelsprogsnet.blogs.ku.dk/files/2013/04/Islands-landerapport-Summary.pdf. Accessed November 13, 2013.
  29. Kristoffersen, G., Kristiansen, M., & Røyneland, U. (2014). Landrapport Norge: Internasjonalisering og parallellspråklighet ved norske universitet og høyskoler. In F. Gregersen (Ed.), Hvor parallelt: Om parallellspråkighet på Nordens universitet (pp. 197–256). København: Nordiska Ministerrådet.Google Scholar
  30. Kuteeva, M., & Airey, J. (2014). Disciplinary differences in the use of English in higher education: Reflections on recent language policy developments. Higher Education, 67, 533–549.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Lam, Q. K. H., & Maiworm, F. (2014). English-Taught Programmes in European Higher Education. In B. Wächter & F. Maiworm (Eds.), The State of Play in 2014. ACA papers on international cooperation in education (pp. 98–107). Bonn: Lemmens Medien GmbH.Google Scholar
  32. Lauridsen, K. (2013). Higher education language policy: Report of the CEL/ELC Working Group. European Journal of Language Policy, 5(1), 128–138.Google Scholar
  33. Lim, L., & Low, E.-L. (2009). Introduction to Multilingual, globalizing Asia: Implications for policy and education. AILA Review, 22, 1–4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Ljosland, R. (2015). Policymaking as a multi-layered activity. A case study from the higher education sector in Norway. Higher Education, 70(4), 611–627.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Mål og meining (2008). Ein heilskapleg norsk språkpolitikk. St.meld. nr. 35. http://www.regjeringen.no/nn/dep/kud/dokument/proposisjonar-og-meldingar/stortingsmeldingar/2007-2008/stmeld-nr-35-2007-2008-.html?id=519923 Accessed December 17, 2013.
  36. Marginson, S. (2006). Dynamics of national and global competition in higher education. Higher Education, 52(1), 1–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. McCarty, T. (2011). Entry into conversation. Introducing ethnography and language policy. In T. McCarty (Ed.), Ethnography and Language Policy (pp. 1–28). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  38. Nilsson, B. (2000). Internationalising the curriculum. In P. Crowther, M. Joris, M. Otten, B. Nilsson, H. Teekens, & B. Wächter (Eds.), Internationalisation at Home. A position paper (pp. 21–27). Amsterdam: EAIE.Google Scholar
  39. Nokkala, T. (2007). Constructing the ideal university: The internationalisation of higher education in the competitive knowledge society. Tampere: Tampere University Press.Google Scholar
  40. Nordic Council of Ministers (2013). Tuition fees for international students. Nordic practice. TemaNord 2013:516. http://norden.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:702023/FULLTEXT01.pdf. Accessed October 25, 2014.
  41. Nordiska ministerrådet (2007). Deklaration om Nordisk Språkpolitik 2006. http://www.kotus.fi/files/971/Deklaration_om_nordisk_sprakpolitik.pdf Accessed October 25, 2014
  42. Pennycook, A. (2010). Language as a local practice. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  43. Rektorkollegiet (2004). Internationalisering af de danske universiteter. Vilkår og virkemidler. http://www.rektorkollegiet.dk/typo3conf/ext/naw_securedl/secure.php?u=0&file=fileadmin/user_upload/downloads/intrapport.pdf&t=1184998358&hash=4ebe902bd791bf8e15b0fe71f6ee68b0 Accessed December 19, 2013.
  44. Saarinen, T. (2008). Persuasive presuppositions in OECD and EU higher education policy documents. Discourse Studies, 10(3), 341–359.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Saarinen, T. (2012). Internationalization of Finnish higher education—is language an issue? International Journal of the Sociology of Language, 216, 157–173.Google Scholar
  46. Saarinen, T. (2014). Language ideologies in Finnish higher education in the national and international context: A historical and contemporary outlook. In A. Hultgren, F. Gregersen, & J. Thøgersen (Eds.), English in Nordic Universities: Ideologies and practices. Studies in World Language Problems (5) (pp. 127–146). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.Google Scholar
  47. Salö, L. (2010). Engelska eller svenska? En kartläggning av språksituationen inom högre utbildning och forskning. Rapporter från Språkrådet. Stockholm: Språkrådet.Google Scholar
  48. Salö, L., & Josephson, O. (2014). Landrapport Sverige: Parallellspråkighet vid svenska universitet och högskolor. In Frans Gregersen (Ed.), Hvor parallelt: Om parallellspråkighet på Nordens universitet (pp. 261–322). København: Nordiska Ministerrådet.Google Scholar
  49. Schwach, V. (2009). Masterprogrammer på engelsk i Norge. I bredde og nisjer. Rapport 36/2009. NIFU STEP.Google Scholar
  50. Siiner, M. (2012). Towards a more flexible language policy: a comparative analysis of language policy design in Denmark and Estonia. Dissertationes de mediis et communicationibus Universitatis Tartuensis 17. Tartu: University of Tartu PressGoogle Scholar
  51. Spolsky, B. (2004). Language policy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  52. Sprog på Spilet udspil til en dansk sprogpolitik (2003). Kulturministeriet. Denmark.Google Scholar
  53. Thøgersen, J. (2010). “Parallelsproglighed” i teori og praksis. Nyt fra Sprognævnet, 4, 1–4.Google Scholar
  54. van Leeuwen, T. (1996). The representation of social actors. In C. Caldas-Coulthard & M. Coulthard (Eds.), Texts and practices. Readings in critical discourse analysis (pp. 32–70). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  55. Wächter, B., & Maiworm, F. (2008). English-taught programmes in european higher education. The picture in 2007. ACA Papers on International Cooperation in Education.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Applied Language StudiesUniversity of JyvaskylaJyväskyläFinland
  2. 2.Language CentreUniversity of JyvaskylaJyväskyläFinland

Personalised recommendations