Information about research and statistical gathering projects (including EU projects) related to languages can be found here. This page also contains information about HE work to promote and support language teaching and learning within the education systems of our home nations.
Routes into Languages
UCML has supported Routes into Languages from the outset. The project engages actively with schools to promote language learning in all 9 regions of England. It has produced wide-ranging resources and ideas on sustainable and effective university-school engagement. The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) recognised Routes for its effectiveness as a demand raising activity and in 2012 issued a new call for proposals for funding for a new 3 year programme building on the achievements of Routes. Routes into Languages was awarded the new programme and Routes 2.0 was launched in summer 2013. UCML has always been represented on the national advisory board. The second round of funding ended in 2016, and since then Routes has operated under the custodianship of Universities UK International (UUKi), continuing its programme of regional events and the Student Language Ambassador scheme. The Routes brand will soon be transferred to UCML, who will provide a governance structure and organisational support for the network’s ongoing development.
Routes Cymru is managed separately by a consortium of Welsh universities and the four Welsh education consortia and is actively engaged in schools outreach and partnership with Welsh Government.
British Academy on HE languages
The British Academy has published a number of statements and reports on languages in HE recently, which are useful to Universities in making the case for languages and study abroad agendas. UCML has worked closely with the BA over the years, including on joint projects (e.g. the Valuing the Year Abroad report).
Telecollaboration and language learning
The INTENT project has carried out a survey of international institutions engaged in internet based exchanges known as Online Intercultural Exchanges and looks to raise awareness and support for such activities, contributing as they do to graduate skills for global working. You can read the report and find out more here.
Universities providing CPD to schools
HEIs supporting the school sector extends to the provision of CPD for language teachers. The Network for Languages (NfL) is made up of the universities who were formerly the regional centres for the highly successful (though short-lived due to withdrawal of government funding in 2011) Links into Languages programme. NfL is currently the only national network/organisation delivering such provision.
Association for Language Learning (ALL)
UCML has a long history of association with the ALL– the UK’s major subject association for teachers of foreign languages in all sectors. ALL works at a national, regional and local level, publishes journals of interest to members and organises the annual Language World conference, as well as holding meetings for the sharing of good practice between members at local levels. ALL represents the views of members in national policy discussions, often alongside and in tandem with UCML. HE language teaching staff are strongly encouraged to join ALL personally and engage directly in the wider dialogues about curricula and transition from school to university study.
In addition to supporting HE in numerous ways, including through the language assistantship scheme which facilitates years abroad for our students, the British Council liaises closely with UCML. In 2013 it published the Languages for the Future report using a variety of data, including extent to which English is spoken in emerging economies etc to inform opinions on languages of strategic importance.
Language policies in European countries (including UK)
UCML members interested in comparing policies across countries and how the UK fares will be interested in the Language Rich Europe project, its country reports and commentaries – based on a network of 24 countries and coordinated by the British Council.
UCML is a member of the Conseil Européen des Langues/European Language Council and members may be interested in a range of their activities related to HE Language Policies and international collaboration.
The latest Eurobarometer Special Survey: Europeans and their Languages (Eurobarometer 386) was published in June 2012. It measures progress towards Mother Tongue + 2 languages across European countries and contains a wealth of further information behind the statistics. Summary also available
The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE)
HEFCE ceased to exist in April 2018, and its HE teaching-related responsibilities were taken over by the new Office for Students (OfS). During its existence, HEFCE produced the following Modern Languages initiatives:
- Support for languages, including via funding for Routes
- Support for Strategically Important and Vulnerable Subjects (SIVs), the SIVs Advisory Group and languages within that domain
- Review of Languages in Higher Education (Worton Report)