Language

In July 2012 a decretal change to the ‘Integration Decree’ modified the language legislation for education. The decree stipulates that all Flemish universities and university colleges are obliged to implement new language regulations starting from the academic year 2013-2014. The University of Antwerp provides adequate support for those staff members who have to meet with these language requirements.

The language regulations can be classified into two subdomains:

(1) Regulation concerning the proficiency level for the language of instruction (C1)

The decree states that a lecturer has to master the language of instruction for a course at a C1-level of the CEFR. The CEFR is the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, put together by the Council of Europe. The CEFR distinguishes three different language proficiency divisions, A, B and C, which can be classified into two levels, 1 and 2 (six in total). A basic user masters the language at level A, an independent user masters level B, a proficient user masters level C.

A lecturer has to obtain the C1 qualification at the latest at the beginning of the first semester in which the course starts. This means that a non-native lecturer that takes up a Dutch lecturing assignment, should master the Dutch language at the CEFR-level C1. A lecturer who takes up an English lecturing assignment, should master the English language at the CEFR-level C1. A staff member can be exempted when he or she obtained a master or doctoral degree in the language of instruction. The University of Antwerp will provide custom-made support to help staff members succeed in meeting with the requirements.

The language proficiency level can be determined by taking a language test at Linguapolis, the Institute for Language and Communication of the University of Antwerp. The University of Antwerp will also offer support during this process. 

(2) Regulation concerning the proficiency level for Dutch, the institute’s official language (B2)

The new regulations also stipulate that every member of the educational and academic staff who takes up a lecturing assignment as a course unit coordinator and who does not lecture in Dutch, should master the institute’s official language, Dutch, at a B2-level. This legal requirement aims at stimulating non-native lecturers to participate in the academic and administrative life of the University of Antwerp, where communication often is in Dutch. Foreign speakers will have to demonstrate the required level of proficiency within 3 years after the employment or at the moment of the appointment. A staff member can be exempted when he or she obtained a Dutch bachelor, master or doctoral degree. The University of Antwerp will provide long-term and custom-made support to help staff members succeed in meeting with the requirements.

The language proficiency level can be determined by taking a language test at Linguapolis, the Institute for Language and Communication of the University of Antwerp. The University of Antwerp will also offer support during this process. 

More information

In case of any questions regarding this topic, do not hesitate to contact the International Staff Office.

If you wish to take another language course during your stay, please contact Linguapolis, the Institute for Language and Communication at the University of Antwerp. As a university staff member you will receive a discount on the course fees.