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Study on minority languages and education for the European Parliament

The Mercator Research Centre was requested by the European Parliament’s Committee on Culture and Education to conduct a study on minority languages and education with a focus on vocational education.

Research Theme
Multilingualism and Language learning

Project leader

Cor van der Meer


Rixt van Dongera, Richt Sterk

September/2016 - May/2016


Funded by the European Parliament

Collaboration with 



Mercator's study delivers an in-depth comparative analysis of thirteen language case studies in order to gain insight into the situation of minority languages in education in Europe.

The report offers an in depth comparative analysis of thirteen language case studies, including Frisian in the Netherlands, Basque in France and in Spain and German in Italy (South Tyrol). Not only do these languages differ historically and politically, they differ also in terms of their geographical distribution and in being for example a minority with a kin-state. Indications for best practices are described and challenges faced in education are highlighted. Specific attention is directed to vocational education and career perspectives. Lastly, this report gives recommendations how the EU can support minority languages in education.