I have read with interest the recent news, reported by the BBC that the Politecnico di Milano, one of Italy’s leading Universities is now switching the majority of its Undergraduate courses and all of it’s Graduate courses from Italian Language to English.
The University’s rector, Giovanni Azzone states that if the University wishes to remain visible on the world stage, then it simply must adopt the English language.
Citing that English is now the language of higher education, particularly in science and engineering internationally, and with it being the international language for business, graduates will become more employable, research will be more widely shared and the best international students and professors will be attracted to the University.
Thus, I presume, ensuring the continued success of the University.
Additionally, pointing out the increased competition from wealthy American and Asian universities, Mr. Azzone suggests that to effectively compete with these, students must use English.
I believe it to be a shrewd move by the the University and, to me, this all makes perfect sense. I see it as the University simply reacting to the increasingly globalised world that we all now live in.
Like any good business, they are adapting to fit the new needs that are fast emerging, ensuring that they stay ahead of the game – and being the first Italian University to do this, they should be well ahead in 5 or 10 years time compared to their Italian counterparts.
Many Northern European universities already teach in English and enjoy excellent Erasmus schemes with other Universities and don’t distinguish based on language. Thus, they already receive top talent and are able to be ranked higher for research as this is in English.
This realisation of the global language is something that Edinburgh School of English has advocated for a long time. The communication skills workshops we run are specifically designed to help students use English in international teams and build confidence in English, focusing on performance, fluency and accuracy. Furthermore, incorporating student interests and focuses, we keep classes topical and relevant to the student, leading to a higher level of applied skill when outwith the classroom.
We aim to to help our students perform to the best of their ability on the world stage!
It is my thought that as more Universities and businesses enforce an English Language requirement, communication focused English courses such as ours will become ever more in demand as parents and students alike realise the opportunities this opens to them and the need to remain competitive in ever increasing competition.
We’ll see what happens in 5-10 years time…!