Is English the new Latin?

This is the story of the day when Italy becomes a little less Italian.

From the beginning of the 2014 academic year The Politecnico di Milano, one of Italy’s leading technical universities, all MSc and PhD courses will be taught exclusively in English.

While the university already offers several courses in English, as do other Italian institutions, the move to drop Italian entirely in favour of English is a first among Italy’s public universities. The institution will also be investing €3.2 million to attract faculty including 15 lecturers, 30 to 35 post-doctorates and 120 visiting professors.

According to Italian state-owned broadcaster RAI, the Politecnico will switch all of its academic and research curricula to the English language.

Speaking to RAI, Politecnico rector Giovanni Azzone said that:

“It is indispensable to innovate and keep up with the needs of today’s industry, and to accomplish so we will need to acquire high-quality human capital. The Italian language should be mastered at the high school level by young students, to try to master it at the university level is a little too late.”

Ian Waugh