Original Research

Afrikaans as universiteitstaal: Onlangse ontwikkelinge in historiese en internasionale perspektief

J. C. Steyn
Literator | Vol 15, No 1 | a650 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v15i1.650 | © 1994 J. C. Steyn | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 02 May 1994 | Published: 02 May 1994

About the author(s)

J. C. Steyn, Universiteit van die Oranje-Vrystaat, South Africa

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Abstract

A study of the history of South African universities from 1918 to 1948 showed that six factors influenced the use of a particular language as a language medium at a university, namely economic and political power, as well as the number of people in the language community (which determines matters such as the official status of the language and the availability of money for universities), lecturers' and students ’ knowledge of the language, its position as scholarly language, language loyalty and attitudes toward other languages and the support enjoyed by language and related ideologies. Whereas these factors were reasonably favourable for Afrikaans universities in the past, they currently pose a threat to the survival of Afrikaans-medium universities. The standpoint is defended that retaining Afrikaans as educational and scholarly language should be an important factor when making decisions on universities. The tension between internationalisation and retention of the own language and culture is also topical in Europe, and steps have been taken to try to protect the retention of Dutch as language medium at Dutch and Flemish universities.

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Crossref Citations

1. The role of Language Planning Agencies in higher education in South Africa - comparing two cases
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doi: 10.1515/soci-2020-0011