Hotline and petition against Englification
In Utrecht, De Vrije Student was elected to the university council this spring. The new council member, Sebastian Wijnands, is one of the people behind the initiative of the hotline, which, considering the subject, has officially been named ‘Meldpoint’, an amalgamation of ‘meldpunt’ (hotline, literally ‘reporting point’ and the English ‘point’). “We know many students are facing problems that are caused by the use of English. Perhaps a teacher isn’t proficient enough in English, or students feel like the quality’s diminished because the level of the discussion gets stuck on inadequate English. It also seems to be a point that the offer of courses is decreasing because many courses aren’t even being offered in Dutch anymore. We’d like to hear specific examples of annoyances with English, so we can talk about them in the meetings of the University Council.”
Meldpoint is an initiative of De Vrije Student on a national level. The party has fractions in other cities as well, and with this call, it wants to get a complete picture of problems with English at different universities.
Literature education in Dutch
In Utrecht, students from the Dutch studies study programme have started a protest with the goal of getting more literature education in Dutch. As a result of faculty cutbacks, the minor ‘Literature and Ideology’ will be cut entirely. “Due to the cutbacks in this course, the last Dutch-language literary minor is disappearing,” says one of the people behind the initiative.
The study committee says it’s not the first literature minor disappearing. Earlier, the minors ‘Great literary works’ and ‘Dutch culture’ had already been cut. The only other Dutch minor aimed at literature that will remain is that of Literary Science. That minor, however, is a relatively low level one, and therefore unattractive to second- and third-year students who prefer to study literature in-depth.
Translation: Indra Spronk