Multilingualism in Higher Education (HE) in Europe

28-29 June 2021

This online event is hosted by the Department of Linguistics and the Centre for Multilingualism of the University of Konstanz, Germany, as well as by the European Reform University Alliance (ERUA) which is funded by the EU.
Members of the CURUM constituency of the ECSPM, who have taken part in organising this annual symposium, will discuss the important issue of monolingualism and the role of English in Higher Education, linked to the internationalisation of universities. Invited speakers with research and academic experiences in Europe and other continents will present their views and research results regarding the monolingual ethos and colonisation of curricular knowledge in HE but will also move beyond critique to constructive proposals.

The programme is below, and soon it will be available as pdf, including abstracts and bionotes.

As previous ECSPM annual events, this is not a conference based on an open call for papers, but an occasion for reflection and discussion among the invited speakers and the CURUM members, with a view to an interdisciplinary project leading to recommendations for practices in European academic institutions and to research-based policies to be submitted to the European Commission and the European Council.

The ECSPM event will follow the 2021 Conference on Multilingualism (COM2021) organised and hosted by the Centre for Multilingualism of the University of Konstanz 23-25 June 2021. For more information:


09:00 – 09:30

Welcome address by the host

Prof. Dorothea Debus, Vice Rector for International Affairs, Equal Opportunity and Diversity, Universität Konstanz
Prof. Theodoros Marinis, Director of the Centre for Multilingualism, Universität Konstanz

09:30 – 10:00

Introduction to the theme “Multilingualism in Higher Education (HE) in Europe”

Prof. Bessie Dendrinos, ECSPM President

10:00 – 11:00

Multilingualism as a resource of the sustainable university

Keynote speaker: Prof. Ingrid Gogolin, Universität Hamburg
Discussant: Prof. Tanja Rinker, Katholische Universität Eichstätt-Ingolstadt

11:00 – 12:00

Englishisation at a bilingual university: curriculum internationalisation, plurilingual praxis and intercultural academic identities

Speaker: Assoc. Prof. Maria Sabaté-Dalmau, Universitat de Lleida
Discussant: Prof. Luisa Martín-Rojo, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid

12:00 – 13:00

Monolingual academia in multilingual societies: the case of Switzerland

Speaker: Dr Martina Zimmermann, Pädagogische Hochschule, Luzern
Discussant: Assoc. Prof. Max Spotti, Tilburg University

13:00– 14:00 Lunch break

14:00 – 15:00

Multilingual education for social justice: the need for linguistically inclusive HE

Prof. Eva Vetter, Universität Wien
Discussant: Assoc. Prof. Nikolay Slavkov, University of Ottawa

15:00 – 16:00

Researching multilingually

Speaker: To be confirmed
Discussant: To be confirmed

16:00 – 17:00

Multilingualism, English and HE: dominance, hegemony and inequality

International speaker 1: Prof. Ajit Mohanty, University of Calgary
Discussant: Prof. Ianthi Tsimpli, University of Cambridge

09:00 – 10:00

The relationship between language proficiency and academic achievement in HE

Assoc. Prof. Danijela Trenkić, University of York
Discussant: Prof. Jeanine Treffers-Daller, University of Reading

10:00 – 11:00

The role of language centres at universities

Dr Andreas HettigerTechnische Universtität Braunschweig
Discussant: Prof. Britta Hufeisen, Technische Universität Darmstadt

11:00 – 12:00

Action Research and policy intervention at the HE institutional level, in teacher education

International speaker 2: Prof. Kathleen Heugh, University of South Australia
Discussant: Prof. Piet Van Avermaet, Universiteit Gent

12:00 – 13:00

Discussion around issues raised during the symposium presentations

Coordinator: Dr Linda Fisher

13:00 – 14:00 Lunch break

14:00 – 15:30

Panel 1: Language policies and practices in European universities

Coordinator and discussant: Prof. Andrea Young
– Languages and the academy in Italian universities and multilingualism at the UNISTRASI, Siena, Prof. Monica Barni Università per Stranieri di Siena
– Multilingualism and international policy at the Université de Strasbourg, Prof. Irene Tsamadou-Jacoberger Université de Strasbourg
– The Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol and role of Welsh in Universities, Dr Jonathan Morris, Prifysgol Caerdydd/University of Cardiff

15:30 – 17:00

Panel 2: Multilingual policies and practices of European university alliances

Special panel discussion organised by the ERUA (European Reform University Alliance) consortium, represented by Prof. Theodoros Marinis, who is also coordinator of a panel with representatives of three other consortia:
– Prof. Dr Olaf Bärenfänger (representing the ARQUS University Alliance)
– Prof. Fred Weerman (representing the EPICUR University Alliance)
– Dr Evdokia Karavas (representing the CIVIS University Alliance)

17:00 – 17:30

Update on ECSPM’s involvement in ELE – the European Language Equality Project

Presenter: Guðrún Gísladóttir, ECSPM General Secretary and project LEAR


Closing of the symposium

Prof. Bessie Dendrinos

Soon, the 2021 Symposium Pamphlet (with programme, abstracts of presentations and bionotes of speakers and discussants) will be accessible in pdf form.

Speakers and Discussion Coordinators