Seminar: Linguistic diversity in our education system



When Flanders was still ranking high in international quality studies such as PISA and PIRLS, there was already great concern about the great inequality of educational opportunities in Flanders. The discrepancy between children's school language and the different linguistic realities in the home context was soon examined. Today, this inequality has by no means diminished, but is now accompanied by serious concerns about the declining quality of education. Once again, linguistic diversity is in the eye of the storm. But what is linguistic diversity? Is it a cause of educational inequality? Of declining educational quality? Does linguistic diversity offer opportunities?  

What does international academia think? What do policy makers think? What do practitioners think and experience? On 19 September 2023, the Centre for Diversity and Learning, in collaboration with MULTIPLES, wants to start a conversation about the issues and challenges posed by persistent inequality in our education system and the role of languages in it. 

We kindly invite you to our seminar, based on joint research between Ghent University and the University of the Western Cape. The seminar will begin with short keynotes from international researchers who will shed light on our challenges. This will be followed by a panel discussion with policy makers, practitioners and young researchers. 


Line up  

Keynote speakers  

  • Prof. Dr. Jim Cummins (University of Toronto)  
  • Prof. Dr. Nathalie Auger (l’Université Montpellier)  
  • Prof. Dr. Robyn Tyler (University of Western Cape)  
  • Prof. Dr. Carolyn McKinney (University of Cape Town)  


Panel participants

  • Brussels minister van meertaligheid, Sven Gatz  
  • Vlaams Parlementslid in de commissie Onderwijs, Hannelore Goeman 
  • Gents schepen van Onderwijs, Evita Willaert  
  • PhD-researcher Nell Foster