Following an election among seven candidates for UCML Chair, we are delighted to announce that the new Chair of UCML will be Prof Claire Gorrara of Cardiff University. She will take up the role in July 2018.

Claire is a former member of the UCML Executive Committee, representing Wales.

Her  nomination statement reads:

Present post: I am Professor of French Studies at Cardiff University; President of the Association of University Heads and Professors of French; Academic Lead for Routes into Languages Cymru.

Relevant experience: I was the Founding Head of the School of Modern Languages at Cardiff University (2014-16) and have been Academic Lead for Routes Cymru since 2014 when it was devolved to the University sector in Wales. I am the Academic Lead for the Welsh Government funded MFL Mentoring project which works to improve uptake of modern languages at GCSE. The project was awarded the Threlford Cup by the Chartered Institute of Linguists in 2017. I am currently researching multilingual literacy in the bilingual classroom.

My expectations would be:

  1. To prioritise advocacy and lobbying around the societal value of modern languages, linguistics, cultural and area studies, working with language professionals within and beyond HE who share our ‘language mission’.
  2. To focus on increased coordination with other learned societies, academic bodies, funding councils, UK and devolved government, the business sector and the media to lobby for a strategic languages policy for the UK.
  3. To support innovation and creative responses to the changing landscape for language learning across the UK and its devolved nations in teaching, research and public engagement.

I am standing for the position of UCML Chair as I strongly support its mission as the unifying voice of languages research and teaching at a time of change and uncertainty for the UK and its place in the world.


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