Catalan universities and the Department of Research and Universities are working on helping new students and researchers from outside the Catalan language domain
The URV aims to make internationalisation compatible with guaranteeing language rights and ensuring that Catalan remains the language of normal use at the University. For this reason, in line with the Catalan university system and as part of the plan to strengthen the Catalan language, students and researchers from outside the Catalan language domain are being provided with more opportunities for linguistic and cultural adaptation.
The initial Catalan courses offered by the University’s Language Service are one of the resources available to URV students. In 2022-23, 270 people enrolled in one of the six beginner, basic and elementary level courses (A1, A2 and B1). This is 69% more than last year, when 160 people enrolled. A total of 22 groups were organised, seven more than last year.
The University will launch the Linguistic and Cultural Reception Plan next academic year, the first to be implemented by the URV, which will determine what has to be done to encourage international students and researchers from outside the language area to learn Catalan. This plan is a part of the Language Policy Plan 2023-2026 approved this year.
Mobility students can learn Catalan before arriving in Catalonia
Along these same lines, the Department of University Research has launched a web page that, for the first time, compiles all the resources available to promote the learning of Catalan at home for international students who plan to study at one of the twelve universities in Catalonia.
The new resource available to international students interested in learning Catalan before their stay in our country is the website “Estudia català abans d’arribar a Catalunya” which, in collaboration with the Institut Ramon Llull (IRL) and Catalan universities, has both classroom courses and various online options. The classroom courses offered by the IRL in the country of origin are free, are of the initial A1 level of learning and have a duration of 30 hours, taught intensively over a few weeks.
According to the first indicators for 2023, the number of international students participating in linguistic reception activities, especially in Catalan courses, has increased at all Catalan universities, as it has at the URV. For the academic year 2021-2022 nearly 7,000 students (6,932) enrolled in Catalan courses, of whom almost half (3,139) were from outside Catalonia, either from other parts of Spain or the rest of the world. Now, in the first half of the year and only at the public universities, more than 3,000 students from outside Catalonia have already done a course. This is almost as many as for all last year for the whole of the university system.