Welcome to The Experimental Humanities Collaborative Network

Webinar: The Impact of Global English on Higher Education and Beyond: A Conversation with Scholars in the Open Society University Network

February 26, 2024 at 8:30 AM - 10:30 AM

Recent decades have seen the entrenchment of English as a global language of higher education, a trend that follows the general ascension of English in diverse spheres of international activity. Universities in countries without English-speaking traditions create programs that exclusively use the global language, often with the aim of attracting international students and their tuition fees. Universities with historic ties to English continue with their long-established language policies, largely ignoring the educational potential of widely spoken local languages. In a recent publication, scholar Robert Phillipson captured the “dark side” of this development, one that is too rarely articulated: “English is of unquestionable value in many local and international contexts, but descriptions of the expansion of English tend to ignore the reality of linguistic imperialism that marginalises and replaces other languages” (Robert Phillipson. 2022. “Language Policy Implications of ‘Global’ English for Linguistic Human Rights”. The Handbook of Linguistic Human Rights. Wiley Online Library).

This webinar will explore the English-language experiences of academics from diverse regions of the world, all of whom work in institutions that are part of the Open Society University Network. Through a facilitated conversation, these scholars will address questions such as the following: What challenges and opportunities does the increasing pressure to publish academic work in English create for these scholars, and what impact does it have on their fields of study? What is lost and what is gained by OSUN students who pursue studies through global English instead of a language associated more closely with their everyday lives? More generally, what does the dominance of English mean for the educated elites of these scholars’ societies? And how might this dominance affect the rights of those who primarily speak other languages? In some contexts, might the spread of English facilitate resistance to another historically dominant language?


Ahmad Ayyad, Assistant professor of Translation Studies – Al-Quds University, Palestine.

Aizhana Dzhumalieva, Dean of the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication – American University of Central Asia, The Kyrgyz Republic.

Joseph Farquharson, Senior Lecturer in Linguistics in the Department of Language, Linguistics and Philosophy; Coordinator of the Jamaican Language Unit – University of the West Indies, Jamaica.

Joseph Oduro-Frimpong, Ph.D. in Anthropology; Director of the Centre for African Popular Culture – Ashesi University, Ghana.

Moderator: Leigh Swigart, Coordinator of the Language, Culture and Justice Hub, Bard College, USA