Dutch court defers decision on English in universities

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University World News

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A recent court decision in the Netherlands says as much about the potential and limits of court action in shaping education policy as it does about the legal status of English-language programmes in Dutch universities.

What seemed on the surface as a ‘win’ for the University of Twente and Maastricht University was really a move by the court to reserve final judgment in a case where the law itself was unclear, the underlying facts were not yet fully resolved, the evidence presented was not sufficiently detailed to support the claims and the political process seemed to be working towards a resolution.

To understand the court’s reasoning and its implications, you need to first look at the political backdrop and the events leading up to the litigation over the course of several years.