The number of English-taught bachelor’s programmes (ETBs) in continental Europe has mushroomed over the past decade, yet research on the trend and its impact across Europe is not readily available. The European Association for International Education (EAIE) and StudyPortals have partnered to explore this trend. The publication English-taught bachelor’s programmes: internationalising European higher education provides a first overview of the emergence and growth of ETBs in Europe in addition to exploring the benefits, challenges and impact of these programmes on the institutional and national level.
Significant growth and wide-ranging spread
Since 2009, ETBs in continental Europe have grown fiftyfold, becoming a central part of internationalisation at many institutions. Differences in the approach to ETBs can be seen across the 19 European countries studied. As can be expected, the size of the higher education sector appears to impact the sheer volume of ETBs and the number of institutions offering them, whereas such programmes seem to be more widespread across institutions in countries with a small or mid-sized higher education sector.
Internationalising the institution
Members of staff were interviewed at higher education institutions in the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland and Spain for the purpose of this study. Based on the outcomes of the interviews, the ETBs have become a deliberate strategic part of internationalisation and have the potential to contribute to the achievement of institutional goals.
Internationalising the programme
When institutions first introduced ETBs, the curricula were often simply translated to English, but over time the content and teaching methods have evolved to cater for the needs of an international classroom. This is an area where some institutions still seem to struggle, however; the level of English of teaching staff, creating a diverse classroom and successfully integrating international students are some of the central challenges that emerged in the interviews.
Want to learn more?
Co-authored by the EAIE’s Anna-Malin Sandström and StudyPortals’ Carmen Neghina, this publication provides a first overview of ETBs in Europe and indicates a pattern of growth worth further exploration. The report also covers, among others, the relationship with English-taught master’s programmes, ETBs per discipline, admissions regulations and criteria, institutional support for ETBs and the benefits to the higher education sector.
The publication launch will take place during the session ‘English-taught bachelor’s programmes: the what, why and how’ on Thursday 14 September, 11:30–12:30, at the Annual EAIE Conference and Exhibition in Seville.
EAIE members can access the report here. Non-members can download the report from StudyPortals.
The EAIE and StudyPortals have previously partnered to publish an e-book, Summer Schools in Europe, examining the quality and quantity of today’s European summer schools in an international context.