by Matty Ring, CC BY 2.0

‘Innovative approaches to changes in languages uptake and provision’

Date: Friday, 05 Jan 2018
Location: Reading Room, British Academy


In the morning, there was a Business Meeting open to representatives of all UCML Member Organisations.

The afternoon Workshop, also open to representatives of all UCML Member Organisations, was titled ‘Innovative approaches to changes in languages uptake and provision’.

Pre-meeting documents

Post-meeting documents

UCML Plenary Jan 2018 Business Meeting of 5 Jan 2018 draft mins of 8 Feb

Presentation Slides
POST-MEETING Plenary Busiess meeting of 5 Jan 2018 draft minutes


In a bid to attract more languages students, the HE community continues to be faced with fresh challenges in the post-Brexit era and following the national downward student demand for degrees in our sector.

The theme for the January workshop has emerged from the evidence that, year on year, fewer students are applying for degrees in Languages. The afternoon session will explore the implications such situation has on both student recruitment and teaching provision.

• What innovative and creative approaches to increasing the uptake of languages & to the Modern Languages curriculum are being elaborated?
• Should we move away for the current set-up through which future graduates in languages need a language background or qualification to be eligible to apply for a placement in HE?
• What are the challenges of offering more diverse entry points to students intending to pursue a degree in our subjects?
• What consequences may the needs of a more diverse cohort of learners have on the languages teaching programmes?
• What is the impact of these challenges on the ratio of teaching only/academic posts in departments?
• What are the factors that allow some departments to meet and rise to these challenges?
• Can our programmes be sustained with minor tweaks or do we need a complete overhaul of the system?

Our guest speakers will offer the chance to reflect on, and discuss, the most pertinent issues currently affecting our disciplines.


Time Session
10:30 – 11:00 Registration and coffee
11.00 – 12.30 Business meeting
12.30 – 13.30 Lunch (provided)
13.30 – 17.00 Workshop


Section 1 Mapping the Sector

1.30 – 2.15: Neil Kenny (British Academy)

  • Big Language Initiative
  • Arabic Language Mapping

2.15 – 2.45: Inma Alvarez, Carlos Montoro (Open University): Mapping Language Provision across the Sector

Olga Gomez-Cash, Elena Polisca (UCML): UCML contributions to language mapping & language policy


Section 2: Responses to change

3.15 – 3.30: Lourdes Melcion (Roehampton University)

3.30 – 3.45: Claire Gorrara & Liz Wren-Owens (Cardiff University)

3.45 – 4.00: Vicky Wright (Southampton University)

Section 3: Discussion

4.15 – 5.00: Round table & discussion (chair: Michael Gratzke)

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