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Munich university plans switch from German to English

The issue highlights the perceived need to speak English in professional situations.
By Ed Adamczyk   |   July 24, 2014 at 2:20 PM   |   Comments

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MUNICH, Germany, July 24 (UPI) -- A prominent Munich, Germany, university will conduct all its master's-level courses in English, not German, its board of trustees announced.

Technical University, considered one of the highest-ranked colleges in Germany, will offer the majority of graduate courses in English by 2020, according to its president, Wolfgang Herrmann.

"English is the lingua franca in academia and of the economy," Herrmann told the newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung Wednesday. He noted the change would send a "strong signal" the school was competing globally for the best students.

Technical University already uses English in 30 of its 99 master's level courses.

Johannes Singhammer, a member of the German Parliament, was critical of the plan, writing to Herrmann that "It would be the wrong signal to send if the impression was given that German was no longer suitable for technical studies and ready to be discarded on the scrapheap of former high-level languages."

A conference of German scholars last month debated the declining relevance of the German language, noting the need to "publish in English or perish in German," and a 2010 study by German analysts concluded English-language publications were "often the only way to be noticed by the international scientific community".

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