Volume 9, Issue 1-2
  • ISSN 2211-7245
  • E-ISSN: 2211-7253



Universities in the Netherlands are currently faced with finding a balance between the implementation of English-medium instruction and the protection and promotion of Dutch. In this article I analyse university language policy documents from a discursive and critical perspective. I explore the intertextual transformations involved in a multilevel process of policymaking; that is, as policy discourse shifts from the state legislation governing the language of instruction in higher education to the codes of conduct for language of the publicly funded universities. The institutions use various discursive strategies, including intertextuality and recontextualisation, to legitimate their reinterpretation of the basic legal principle ‘Dutch, unless’ as ‘English, unless’ (at master’s level, and increasingly at bachelor’s level too). Although the current law is set to be amended, it appears the proposed new law will simply require universities to do more paperwork while continuing on their current path.

Available under the CC BY 4.0 license.

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