Dutch education officials said Monday they aim to rein in the spread of courses taught in English in the country's universities and slow the flood of foreign students.
The move comes amid a growing outcry at the infiltration of English language courses in Dutch higher education institutions, with many warning that Dutch students are being disadvantaged and the language is under threat.
Even if "the internationalization of higher education brings added value... there must always be a place for Dutch students" at the country's 14 universities, the education ministry insisted.
The report comes after the largest lecturers' union, known as BON, warned of the looming "linguicide" of the Dutch language if the trend continues.
Even though about 65 percent of bachelor's degrees are taught in Dutch, only about 15 percent of master's degrees are. And almost a quarter of students obtaining a masters are foreigners.
Britain's exit from the European Union next year has only accelerated the phenomenon, with international students flocking to the Netherlands drawn by a large number of English-taught degree courses.
"The clauses in the law pertaining to the choice of language in higher and vocational education must be revised," the ministry said.
Greater accent must be placed on "accessibility to education for Dutch students."
BON has launched a lawsuit accusing Twente University and the University of Maastricht of killing the Dutch language through the "Anglicization" of courses as they both offer two master's degree courses in psychology exclusively in English.
They termed the offers by the two universities as an "impoverishment" and a "dangerous abandonment" of the Dutch language.
But Education Minister Ingrid van Engelshoven also cautioned against becoming too inward-looking.
"I represent an open Dutch society in which we dare to look beyond the borders," she said, quoted in the statement.
"We must not let ourselves be scared by stories in which internationalization is something negative which is swamping us," she added.
Please click to read our informative text prepared pursuant to the Law on the Protection of Personal Data No. 6698 and to get information about the cookies used on our website in accordance with the relevant legislation.
6698 sayılı Kişisel Verilerin Korunması Kanunu uyarınca hazırlanmış aydınlatma metnimizi okumak ve sitemizde ilgili mevzuata uygun olarak kullanılan çerezlerle ilgili bilgi almak için lütfen tıklayınız.