Professors looking for jobs in Catalonia must learn Catalan
The Catalan regional government’s latest regulations state that all university professors looking for work in Catalonia must speak Catalan.22 July 2008
BARCELONA - The Catalan regional government has quietly introduced new regulations that will oblige all university professors looking for work in Catalonia to speak Catalan before they can be given a job.
The controversial change was agreed by the Socialist-nationalist regional coalition administration and the Catalan Interuniversity Council (CIC) on 11 June, but the media was only made aware of it recently when some university staff complained.
The new rules affect only newly hired professors who will be obliged to know Catalan to level C, meaning that they can effectively communicate in the language.
Professors already holding jobs in Catalonia, where 60 percent of university courses are taught in Catalan, are excluded from the requirement.
While Catalan nationalists have welcomed the measure as a means of strengthening the use of the Catalan language in higher education, many professors fear that it could lower the quality of university teaching in Catalonia by driving professors from other areas of Spain and other countries away.
"It would be better to offer incentives and time rather than obliging people to attain a certain level right away," argues Renan Ulrich Goetz, who teaches Economics and Business at the University of Gerona.
"If they had told me 10 years ago that I would have had to learn two languages, it would have been difficult."
Francisco Rico, a professor of Hispanic languages at Barcelona's Autónoma University, argues that the measure is merely pandering to nationalist sentiments. "They want to maintain the fiction of a monolingual Catalonia," he says.
[El Pais / S. Tobarra / Expatica]