Free State University to review language policy

Bloemfontein - The University of the Free State Council has mandated the institution's management to lead a formal review of its language policy, the university announced on Thursday.

The review will follow a comprehensive process of consultation with all university stakeholders.

The process will include the creation of multiple opportunities and forums for participation, as well as the formation of a university language committee which will receive and assess all views on the policy before making recommendations.

“The review is an open-ended process and three broad outcomes are possible - that the parallel-medium policy remains in place; that minor adjustments are made to the policy; [and] that major changes are made to the existing policy,” the university said in a statement.

UFS’s parallel-medium language policy has caused a lot of controversy after the rector, Professor Jonathan Jansen, said in his weekly letter to staff early in May that it was clear to him that the current language policy was a problem for most staff and students.

Proposals for a single-medium teaching language were submitted at a meeting on April 28.

The language committee’s recommendations will be presented to council at its November 2015 meeting.

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