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International Journal of the Sociology of Language

Founded by Fishman, Joshua A.

Ed. by Garcia Otheguy, Ofelia

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Internationalization of Finnish higher education — is language an issue?

1University of Jyväskylä

Citation Information: . Volume 2012, Issue 216, Pages 157–173, ISSN (Online) 1613-3668, ISSN (Print) 0165-2516, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijsl-2012-0044, July 2012

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Finland is among the countries with the highest amount of English-taught programs in higher education in Europe (Wächter and Maiworm 2008). This article analyzes how the higher education language situation of a small country with a marginal majority language (Finnish) and an official bilingual status (Finnish and Swedish) has historically developed from the setting of “drawing the line” between Finland and Sweden or Finland and Russia (Harle and Moisio 2000) in the 19th century and the early 20th century (nationalism), towards drawing the line between Finnish/Swedish and English in the late 20th century (globalization). It then continues to present a case of foreign language (in practice English) programs in higher education as an example of the globalization development in Finnish higher education. The data for the article consists of the internationalization strategies for Finnish higher education, The Finnish International Study Programme Database, and introductory texts from four universities' and four polytechnics' International BA and MA programs.

Keywords: Finnish higher education; internationalization strategies; English taught programs

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