Professors can continue teaching in English

On Monday, it turned out that 10 to 20 percent of the lecturers teaching in English at a Dutch-speaking college or university in Flanders, failed an English language exam. It was unclear what the exact consequences were, but they will be allowed to continue teaching, Flemish MP Fientje Moerman told the VRT.

It was the Flemish government that introduced the language exam for teaching staff paid by the Flemish government. All professors teaching in English at a Flemish university or college, had to take part in the test, and it turned out that between 10 and 20 percent did not pass the exam that tested their English language skills. For some, this came as a shock, as they had been teaching in English for years and never received any comments.

In theory, they could be banned from teaching, but the Flemish government intends to make an exception, installing a kind of transition period. This was announced by the Flemish MP Fientje Moerman (liberal) in the VRT television show Volt. "On Friday, a guideline will be issued by the Flemish government, saying two things: 1) those who refuse to take part in the exam will be banned from teaching 2) those that failed the test, can continue teaching in English." This first sentence is to be read as: only those that would refuse a next language test, will be banned from teaching.

Obligatory from February 2015

On Friday, it was announced that the lecturers will not escape the obligation to take part in the exam. However, they have until the second semester of the next academic year (2014-2015) to do so. The newly introduced language test will be obligatory as from 1 February 2015. Until then, the professors that failed the English exam, can continue teaching.