Globalisation, internationalisation, multilingualism and linguistic strains in higher education

Aintzane Doiz, David Lasagabaster, Juan Manuel Sierra.
Studies in Higher Education

One effect of the Bologna Declaration is that teaching staff and students are becoming more mobile, increasing linguistic diversity in the European Higher Education Area. This multilingual internationalisation is especially noticeable in bilingual universities such as the University of the Basque Country (UBC) in Spain, where English-medium instruction is becoming more popular. In order to understand higher education multilingual contexts, it is essential to analyse the personal, social, cultural, political and economic struggles that surround the different languages in contact, while becoming critically aware of what this multilingualism implies. Through discussion groups in which different members of the community participated, we researched how the university community deals with the main issues surrounding the UBC’s multilingual policy and practices. We shall address the concerns that different members of the community have expressed in this new context, and the interplay among Basque, a minority language, Spanish, the mainstream language and English.