Italian university switches to English for success

Fri May 18, 2012 11:39am EDT
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By Stephen Jewkes

MILAN (Reuters) - Italians do it better. At least that's what the T-shirts say. The problem is in what language?

Politecnico di Milano, one of Italy's leading universities, thinks it should be English.

The 149-year-old university, located in Italy's business capital Milan, is set to become the first Italian place of higher learning to teach all its graduate courses in English when it kicks off its academic year in 2014.

The aim is to kit out its students with the right stuff to gain access to the global jobs market. It's also meant to attract top-class international students at a time when competition among universities worldwide is hotting up.

"We need to prepare all our graduates for a professional world that demands a rigorous international outlook," Politecnico rector Giovanni Azzone told Reuters.

The university - one of the world's top 50 engineering schools according to QS World University rankings - will offer all its Master of Science and PhD courses in English and will invest 3.2 million euros to attract international faculty.

Azzone said that in today's modern world it's crucial young people know how to work with different cultures.

"Our graduates very often have to work on projects with scholars from China, India and many other countries," he said. "Getting them used to an inter-cultural environment prepares them better for the world of work."   Continued...