Students’ perspectives on English medium instruction within higher education – exploring gender differences in Norway and Finland

Trude Bukve

Student attitudes, Higher education, Language skills, Gender, EMI


This study aims to explore gender differences in students’ perspectives on language use within higher education (HE), using data from a survey distributed to students at two universities in Norway and Finland. Analysing responses concerning language use in HE, I found that most students were positively inclined towards English medium instruction (EMI). However, while there in both countries were only small differences in attitudes towards EMI between male and female students, in Finland, female students were less confident in their English skills than male students were. Furthermore, female students in both countries reported more difficulties in coping with English in their day-to-day studies, as compared to male students. This article demonstrates the advantages of applying a multidimensional perspective when analysing gendered attitudes in HE. Further, the present study highlights some of the practical challenges that HE institutions should acknowledge in order to implement language policies that meet students’ needs.

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Apples - Journal of Applied Language Studies