teaching in English

ENSAE, Nov. 17, 2010A strange (if very French!) debate is taking place these days in the French main chamber, where some socialist deputies are contesting an incoming change in the regulation of university studies that would allow some courses to be taught in… English! Quelle horreur!!! Since this option has been implemented by many universities, incl. Dauphine, it means that we all are acting outside the law! I do not fear in the least being indicted for teaching R and Bayesian statistics in English… However, I find the action of these deputies missing the point: just like most other Western countries, we need to attract bright students from emerging countries in order to keep our departments open. It is unrealistic to think that those students will accept to learn French in addition to English, just because our universities are that attractive (and they are not!). Plus, our own students are asking for courses in English as they realise that their English level is not that great and that this training is more efficient than regular English courses… This position was better expressed in a Le Monde tribune a few days ago signed by several university professors, incl. Cédric Villani.

One Response to “teaching in English”

  1. * For: well, 2 Nobel prizes, 1 Fields medal, among others.
    * Against, in reaction a week later: one unknown professor from EPITA, a not-so-famous CS/IT 100% teaching school with no research and a rather tumultuous reputation.

    Fully endorsing the risk of mixing the message and the speaker, I love the contrast.

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