Language study programmes once again on the rise

Boekentoren
26 September 2022 |

Good news for language programmes: enrolment records show that more students are choosing to study languages, literature and culture at Ghent University, after a number of years of declining interest in the subjects.

Last year, newspapers painted an alarming picture of the declining popularity of language programmes among students. At the start of the current academic year, we see a slight reversal in that trend: once again, more first-time bachelor students have enrolled at the Faculty of Arts and Philosophy at Ghent University compared to the previous year.

Which programmes are on the rise? 

Linguistics and Literature and Applied Language Studies, especially, have attracted a large number of students. Study programmes such as African Languages and Cultures and Eastern European Languages and Cultures have also garnered more enrolments this year. Oriental Languages and Cultures is the only study programme that has seen a slight decrease in enrolments. 

Why are they choosing language studies?

Professor of Dutch Literature Lars Bernaerts emphasises the importance of the rise in popularity: “We hope that this signals a trend reversal because society and education are in dire need of people that have a background in languages. We look forward to training new generations to become critical and proficient experts in languages, literatures and cultures.” 

We’re very glad that students have found their way back. The future needs language skills.
Gita Deneckere, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Philosophy, responding to the trend.

Language studies are about so much more than just working on your language proficiency. You also learn about history, culture, literature and you graduate with a broadly applicable skillset. Learning a language opens doors: any number of possibilities become available to you afterwards. Many graduates find a job in education, at a communications department at a(n) (international) company, in the cultural sector, as a translator or interpreter, or start working at media companies as a journalist, editor, digital marketeer, …

These students share why they’re so enthusiastic about language studies:

Bauke 1

Bauke Deschodt, a student in Applied Language Studies (Dutch, French, German):
“Languages fascinate me. Not only because of pronunciation or grammar, but also the history and culture that accompanies them. I chose Dutch, French and German because they’re the three national languages of Belgium. French and German are completely different languages, but I find them equally intriguing.”

 

 

 

 

 

33-67
Jacob 1

Jakob Bogaert, student of Linguistics and Literature (French & Spanish):
“Languages are important, and you can use them in any job. Personally, I’m most interested in the link with communication. I chose French and Spanish because they seem like a great challenge to learn.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

33-67
Thomas 1

Mathias Svacina, student of Applied Language Studies (Dutch, French, German):
“I’m from a multilingual family: my dad’s of German descent, but my family also has Czech roots. This is why I’ve always been fascinated by languages: if you have a good knowledge of languages, the world’s your oyster. I love French, especially: it’s such a beautiful language.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

33-67

Read also

One master, many directions: applied language studies

Visual Eén Richting, Meerdere Wegen

Four alumni look back on their education and the direction they eventually took. What started on the same road led to other places. Alexander, Nikki, Bart and Eline all studied applied language studies. The passion for languages is still there, but each of them expresses it in a different way in their jobs.

Read more

Read also

The second semester has started: are you ready?

The first semester and examination period are over. Time to start the second part of the academic year with a fresh head and perhaps some ambitious plans or new intentions. Are you ready? These students are.

Hanne De Baene
view

First aid for exam stress: professors share their exam tips

Almost all students experience stress during the exams. Feeling tense or uncertain is perfectly normal. We asked some professors for tips & tricks to get through the exam period.

Studeren
view

These students tell what it's really like in higher education

Motivating young people in secondary schools to continue studying. That, in a nutshell, is the mission of the students of role model project. An award-winning formula that recently won the city of Ghent's Jong & Wijs award. We sought out a few role models to hear their stories.

Ariyana
view

First aid for exam stress: professors share their study tips

The end of the year does not only ring in the holidays, but also days full of learning ahead of the January exams. Whether it's your very first university exams ever or not, it's always nerve-wracking. We asked some professors what study tips they would like to give you ahead of the examination period.

Studeren
view