We have been or are involved in the following projects:

Routes into Languages

The Routes into Languages Programme was originally a HEFCE and DCSF (now DfE) funded initiative to increase and widen participation in language study in higher education. It also aims to support the national role of HE languages as a motor of economic and civic regeneration. The Programme was originally developed by UCML, LLAS and CILT. Routes is led nationally by the University of Southampton/LLAS. In 2013 the University of Southampton successfully bid to the HEFCE call for continuation funding and secured a further 3 years (2013-2016). The new programme (Routes 2.0) builds on the original programme, with additional emphasis on promoting outward mobility for students who do not specialise in language studies in HE. Routes works through consortia of HEIs in each of the English regions, working cooperatively with schools. UCML has always been represented on the national advisory board. For Routes 2.0, the Chair of the advisory board is the Chair of UCML, Jocelyn Wyburd and UCML is also represented on the board by the Hon Secretary of UCML, Lesley Twomey. The advisory board draws together a wide range of stakeholders and reports to the national Steering Group set up by HEFCE, Chaired by Sir David Bell, Vice Chancellor of the University of Reading.

A separately funded Routes Cymru project was set up in Wales and has liaised closely with the English programme. The future of this project is currently in doubt since the Welsh government reduced funding for it and for CILT Cymru which ran it. Welsh HEIS are discussing how to take the initiative forward.

Born Global

As a key project in the British Academy’s Language Programme, Born Global has been established to develop a deeper understanding of how language is used in the workplace for different purposes, by employees of different levels of skill and accountability. Following years of declining capability in language competence in education and recurrent reports of high levels of employer demand for language skills, Born Global will elicit new knowledge about the language needs for employment to inform government language policy development, the current national curriculum review for England and future developments in Higher Education language curricula and assessment

Speak to the Future: the campaign for languages

The Speak to the Future campaign brings together a variety of organisations and associations interested in campaigning more publicly for languages to be learnt at various stages of education and life. UCML has supported this from the start, particularly (but not exclusively) in respect of objectives 4 and 5 (university language learning and the need for more specialist linguists). The campaign took off with increased vigour in 2013, launching the 1000 words campaign and a number of other initiatives.

The Year abroad Graduate Project (Nov 2011-Mar 2012)

03/05/2012: Funding arrangements announced: The Times Higher has revealed David Willetts’ announcements on funding of the year abroad. The article cites the efforts of ‘campaigners’ to achieve a result which will cap student fee contributions at 15% (previously 50% cap). These campaigners include UCML – see below for details of our project.

Mar 2012: With generous support from the British Academy, UCML has been working on a project to demonstrate the value of the year abroad to UK graduates and to potential funding bodies. Working with ThirdYearAbroad.com ,we have gathered short reports from graduates – whether language specialists or not – on the importance that the year abroad has had for them, in terms of their skill set, their careers and their lives.

Selected reports have been published on ThirdYearAbroad.com and used by the British Academy for a Position Paper (available to download from the bottom of this page – see below), and for a high-profile launch event at the British Academy on 27 March 2012 with speakers and prominent guests representing the Government, British Academy, Times Higher Education, British Council, Council for Industry and Higher Education, HEFCE, as well as some language graduates

Further resources of interest to UCML members include a slideshow of quotes from some of the graduate case studies and a slideshow by Lizzie Fane of ThirdYearAbroad.com about the findings from the case studies. The launch and position paper were covered by the Times Higher Education and Prospects.ac.uk (the graduate careers website).

Shaping the Future of Languages in HE (June 2011)

UCML has led this national project, which followed publication of the Worton Report into Languages in HE, and is effectively a response to many of Worton’s recommendations. It has been a collaboration with AULC, CiLT and LLAS. The aims of the project have been to support, unite and thereby strengthen the MFL subject community through consultation and collaboration, building consensus around a sense of shared identity and common purpose. The ongoing goal is to raise the profile of languages at departmental, institutional and national level, engaging with internal and external audiences, and articulating a powerful case for language study in response to declining market share and lack of confidence. The output from the project is effectively a toolkit published on this site, clustered around 3 themes of key importance to language schools and departments in UK HE: Identity, Internationalisation and Employability.

AHRC research review in Modern Languages

UCML was represented on the panel appointed by AHRC in 2006 to undertake a review of Modern Languages research in the UK. More information about the review and its findings are published on the LLAS website.

The National Languages Strategy in Higher Education

In 2005 the DfES commissioned UCML to carry out a research project looking at the implications of the National Languages Strategy for HE. The National Languages Strategy in Higher Education, authored by Hilary Footitt, set out the challenges faced by Modern Languages and recommendations for increasing the take-up of languages at university.

Collaboration Programme in Modern Languages in Higher Education

In October 2001, UCML and LLAS were awarded £482,950 from HEFCE’s Restructuring and Collaboration Fund for a three-year programme. The programme consisted of 10 pilot projects involving a series of collaborative and cooperative developments in modern languages. Further information can be found on the LLAS website.

Further reading: