The prestigious Milan Polytechnic has been delivered a blow in its attempt to teach all postgraduate courses in English. A local court has ruled that making English obligatory is not constitutional and courses must be delivered in Italian.
Both students and the Polytechnic administration are frustrated with this blow. They see English as a way of advancing the status of the courses and the opportunities of students and point to the growing number of English courses being delivered at universities in Europe and elsewhere.
English language penetration in Italy is relatively low and many Italians do not speak any foreign languages; this has been cited as one reason why the country lags behind in international business and cooperation.
With Italy struggling to keep pace in the modern economy, and English the de facto language of global business, this is yet another shot in the foot for a country finding it hard to keep up with its competitors.
Politecnico di Milano – more on English in Milan