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Free University of Brussels (VUB) will possibly become multilingual university


The new rector of the Free University of Brussels (VUB) has said that the institution should become multilingual. “We are a Dutch-speaking university but have to position ourselves more as multilingual to better prepare students for the new international reality,” Caroline Pauwels told De Standaard.
Pauwels said that other languages should be introduced into bachelor’s programmes that are now only provided in Dutch.
University already provides an English-language Master’s programme for engineers. “We have noticed that students develop a different vision on society by following lessons in another language,” she said.
Starting this academic year, VUB also offers an English-language Bachelor’s in Social Sciences, in co-operation with Ghent University. Pauwels would like to expand this kind of co-operation to French-speaking partners, but also to others, such as German- and Italian-speaking institutions.
“More than 95% of people in Brussels speak French, more than one-third speak English and about one-quarter speak Dutch,” she said. “It would be a mistake to shut ourselves off from these other languages, as language is a pathway to understanding other cultures.”


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