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Integrating Content and Language in Higher Education

Perspectives on Professional Practice

Jennifer Valcke and Robert Wilkinson

This book offers a collection of original papers showing how Higher education institutions have coped with changing the language of instruction. It points out that Higher education institutions have undergone radical change in the past decades; of which the shift to English-medium instruction, as well as bi- or plurilingual programmes, is one notable example. The papers comprise new research on teaching and learning through an additional language, and its impact on professional development for university teachers, programme and course development, as well as quality assurance. The articles span different international contexts, and provide education developers, university teachers, educational administrators, language experts, and others, with global perspectives on the professional practices of university teachers.

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Programme directors’ attitudes towards EMI quality assurance: An exploratory study (Patrick Studer / Curtis Gautschi)


Patrick Studer, Curtis GautschiZürich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW), Switzerland

Programme directors’ attitudes towards EMI quality assurance: An exploratory study

Abstract: Universities of Applied Sciences (UAS) in Switzerland have been developing strong international profiles in recent years, aiming to make themselves attractive partners on the international higher education market. This move towards internationalisation of teaching has led to the implementation of manifold curricular structures and policies that offer support to and reward both teachers and students involved in international higher education contexts. While these structures and policies undoubtedly have their local merits, no overarching quality guidelines have been established to date that provide higher education institutions with concrete parameters they should aim for when implementing international profiles in their programmes. In the present study, we examine decision-making in higher education with regard to English-Medium Instruction (EMI) quality measures. This is carried out by investigating the perspectives of programme directors (hereafter referred to as PDs) in a major Swiss university of applied sciences. These actors have decisional authority regarding the introduction of measures with respect to EMI at the programme level, but are also part of the higher-level institutional culture where institution-wide or inter-institutional measures can be introduced. Specifically, the present study examines PDs’ attitudinal repertoires and department-specific factors that impact their attitudes towards the potential introduction of EMI quality measures in their study programmes. The findings of this paper contribute to a broader understanding of stakeholder perceptions of EMI quality in higher education, for the...

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