News: Issue 1, Autumn 2018

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“Now, more than ever, we need to advocate for modern languages as the UK enters an uncertain period.”

I am delighted to introduce this first UCML e-newsletter. This will profile Higher Education modern languages across the UK and give you, our members, the opportunity to contribute your views and take part in discussions. The newsletter will be posted every three months. There are sections devoted to education, research, policy and news. We are keen to have your views and feedback both via suggestions for news stories and via our blog.

As a first step in focusing the mission and activities of UCML over the coming 18 months to 2 years, we are undertaking a survey of priority issues for modern linguists in the UK, asking how UCML as an organisation can support modern languages. To this end, we have sent out a short survey to member organisations, which was open until 15 October. Their responses will inform action plans to be developed in our Steering Group and Executive Committee over 2018-19.

If you would like to feedback to us individually, please do so, by emailing ucml@bbk.ac.uk and stating in the ‘institutional/organisational/network’ category that this is an individual submission. As incoming UCML Chair, I have pledged to prioritise advocacy and lobbying around the societal value of modern languages, linguistics, cultural and area studies. I will be working in partnership with other HE professionals who share our ‘language mission’, as well as learned societies, academic bodies, funding councils, UK and devolved governments, the business sector and the media.

In this context, I look forward to working with as many UCML members as possible. Now, more than ever, we need to advocate for modern languages as the UK enters an uncertain period. The value of modern languages to the UK cannot be overstated and we need to ensure that our voice is heard.

Claire Gorrara, UCML Chair

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