What exactly are minorities? How do minorities use their language and culture to stand against majorities? How do we deal with multilingualism in a multicultural society?
In the BA programme Minorities & Multilingualism you will learn about languages, cultures, histories and politics of (linguistic) minorities in the Netherlands, Europe and beyond. Instead of focusing on the majority, in this programme you will focus on the non-dominant groups in society. Through knowledge and understanding of cultural and linguistic diversity, the programme educates you to become an expert in the area of diversity management, group formation and multilingualism.
The entire programme is taught in English by staff of the department of Minorities & Multilingualism | Frisian. If you want, you can specialise in Frisian, the local minority. Fieldwork is an integral part of the study, in which you’ll put the theories you’ve encountered in the programme into practice. In addition, you’ll develop essential speaking and writing skills that are also applicable outside the framework of minorities and multilingualism.
Developing the Province's language policy
I work as a policy officer at the Province of Fryslân and my portfolio comprises language, education and literacy policy. As a policy officer I develop the Province's language policy together with my colleagues and help implement it. Political and societal developments have a direct effect on my work. On the one hand this makes the work dynamic and sometimes ad hoc, and on the other it gives you a feeling of involvement with the people of the province.
I came across the Minorities and Multilingualism (Fryske Taal en Kultuer) programme by chance. I was doing the General Linguistics programme and a number of minors at the Frysk Ynstitút. I enjoyed that so much that I decided to do the full programme. After my Bachelor’s degree I did the Master’s in European Literature and Culture and the Master’s in Multilingualism.
Improving the curriculum together
I decided to study Minorities and Multilingualism because I
wanted to understand the underlying causes of the
difficulties in dialogue between majority and minority groups. So far the programme has helped me develop critical thinking, speaking and writing skills, and has given me all the basic tools I need to analyse the complex reality of minority groups.
What I particularly enjoy is the close contact between lecturers and students, which is made possible by the small scale of the programme. I also had the opportunity to engage in extracurricular activities. With other students I founded the study association of the programme and I’m part of the Programme Committee where education issues, such as evaluation of courses, are on the agenda. I think it’s very important that staff and students work together to improve the curriculum.
The opportunity to get to know another culture was one of the reasons I chose to study abroad. And Groningen is the best city to live as a student. The city really makes the effort to get its citizens involved in various activities.
The combination of politics, history, culture, and language in light of minorities in societies seemed like a wide set of aspects that sounded very interesting to me.
My name is Mille van der Spoel and I study Minorities and Multilingualism (M&M). Besides this, I am the Chair of Network of Arts, the studentboard of the Faculty of Arts. Due to this position, I am in contact with many students and teachers.
I noticed this program while I was still studying Psychology. Studying Psychology was not right for me and I started looking for something else. When I heard about M&M I almost immediately thought that it was perfect for me. The combination of politics, history, culture, and language in light of minorities in societies seemed like a wide set of aspects that sounded very interesting to me. I still consider this to be true. There is a lot of variety within the program: some courses focus on language in combination with minorities, others focus on history and society in combination with minorities, some courses focus on all these aspects at once.
Because of the 30 ECTS you can gain by following courses from other programs, you can create your own set of knowledge and prepare yourself for the Masters of your choosing. M&M offers many different futures and because it is a rather small program, there is a lot of personal attention for every student.
It is nice to not be a number in the business of education, but a student in the education of the world
'At the risk of getting all 'eat, pray, love' on you guys, I began to better realise my interests whilst travelling around and this manifested into linguistics, sociology and writing. This course hits the nail on the head, with a combination of all of the above.
Of course, going into the programme I had a rough idea of what to expect, but now I am extremely happy with my decision. A big plus for me is the hands on approach teachers have with the students. I feel accountable and contactable. My last tertiary experience was in a really large setting with hundreds of students enrolled in the one course. This is fantastic for some people, but for me, I really appreciate being on a first name basis with lecturers and developing a rapport with everyone involved in my education. Not only that, but the teachers are all up to date with what we are learning across all classes within the course and having such complementary classes enables learning to be a lot more enjoyable and cohesive.
If you are considering an English taught programme in linguistics and have an interest in the sociological impact languages play, then you should really consider this course. It is nice to not be a number in the business of education, but a student in the education of the world.'
I needed a programme that would challenge me
After two years of Applied Law (HBO-Rechten) I needed a programme that would challenge me, one where I could research rather than search. M&M is an interdisciplinary programme that combines anthropology, politics, history, sociology, linguistics and multilingualism. The programme has motivated me to be active, and all the support has made it possible for me to take extra course units, do volunteer work at LGBT organisation COC and the Frisian youth association FYK, serve on the board of DAG (student movement for democratization at RUG), and be chairman of the study association Multi. The small class size makes it possible for the professors and lecturers to focus on individual students and lead an active discussion. Living in Groningen gives a boost to your student life, as it is a vibrant, young and exciting city.
Are you at secondary school and want to know what studying at
university is like? The Minorities & Multilingualism programme
is offering a web class! This online course from the University of
Groningen is specially designed for secondary school
If you are interested in an Minorities & Multilingualism web
This study is also available as a part-time study.