English at universities not a threat to Slovenian, says minister
"On the contrary, the use of Slovenian is further substantiated", Maja Makovec brenčič said.
The changes, adopted by the government in late May, envisage English being allowed as a study language if comparable programmes are also carried out in Slovenian.
Education, Science and Sport Minister Maja Makovec Brenčič moreover stressed on Tuesday that Slovenian is and will remain the study language at Slovenian universities.
Culture Minister Tone Peršak meanwhile finds it crucial that Slovenian students have the right to listen to lectures in their mother tongue but they should also have the opportunity to listen to English lectures if a university offers them.
While the changes, whose goal is also to open the system internationally, are also supported by the conference of university chancellors, they have upset several linguistic outfits.
Academician Janez Orešnik expressed outrage at the changes "for making it possible for Slovenian professors to lecture Slovenian students in English".
This could lead to Slovenian being pushed out of public use, following the example of the "written language of science", which has already disappeared, he added.
Despite the support from the Chancellors' Conference, Maribor University vice-Chancellor Marko Jesenšek took issue with numerous exceptions allowed by the changes.
"Caring for Slovenian is much more than cursory written in the proposed statement by the Chancellors' Conference about Slovenian at universities," moreover reads a statement by individuals from the Ljubljana, Maribor, Koper, Nova Gorica universities, the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts and other organisations.
The signatories, Jesenšek the first among them, believe that the Constitution, law on the usage of Slovenia and the resolution on the national programme for language policy should be considered in deciding on the matter.