German ‘should remain language of academia’, demands AfD

Alternative for Germany also wants to end funding for gender studies, saying discipline is not a serious subject

March 17, 2017
Schriftzug der Leibniz Zoo Hannover Uhr Königsworther Platz
Source: iStock

The right-wing, anti-immigration party Alternative for Germany has demanded that academics in the country conduct their work in German, according to its recently released election manifesto.

English has become a global lingua franca for many academics, as researchers in Germany and other countries publish their work for an international audience.

Some European countries have also embraced teaching in English in order to attract more international students. Some 60 per cent of courses in the Netherlands are taught in English, for example.

But the AfD’s manifesto has demanded that German remain the language of teaching and research in universities.

The AfD would also cut off state support for research and professorships in gender studies, as well as funding for university equal opportunities staff.

It argues that gender studies is not a serious academic field, and that it seeks to subvert the “natural” gender binary between men and women.

Chairs of Islamic theology in universities would also be abolished, it says.

Although the AfD is on track to win seats in Germany’s parliament in September elections, the party has recently slumped to just 8 per cent in opinion polls.  

david.matthews@tesglobal.com

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