The University Council For Languages (UCFL) was established in 1993. Before 2023, the organisation was called the University Council of Modern Languages (UCML).

UCFL is chaired by Professor Emma Cayley, University of Leeds.

What does UCFL do?

Represents the views and opinions of scholars and professionals in modern languages and cognate disciplines to Government, the funding councils and other bodies at national level

Collects and disseminates information about the state of study, research and teaching of modern languages and cognate disciplines in the United Kingdom

Provides a forum for debate on issues of concern to its members through meetings, working parties, discussions, conferences, seminars and publications and presents the case for languages in the media.

What are our aims?

1. to promote research, teaching and learning in modern languages, literatures, cultures and
societies, linguistics and language teaching in higher education in the UK.

2. to promote co-operation, co-ordination and the sharing of expertise and good practice
between institutions, associations and related bodies concerned with modern languages,
literatures, cultures and societies, linguistics and language teaching.

3. to support and promote the health and sustainability of languages and related studies in
higher education in the UK through the provision of opportunities for the dissemination and
exchange of good practice in academic leadership and management.

4. to represent modern languages, to co-ordinate the formulation of policies and to pursue
their adoption by appropriate national and international agencies.

How does UCFL work?

The continuing business of UCFL is conducted by a Steering Group which reports to the Executive Committee whose membership reflects the breadth and depth of the sector covering modern languages, linguistics, area, cultural and translation studies as well as EFL/TESOL. Plenary meetings are held twice a year. Everybody who is associated with a Higher Education or Further Education languages section, department or school or any of our membership organisations is welcome to attend and to participate in discussions. Plenary meetings usually contain a workshop or podium discussion on pertinent and timely issues concerning the sector. The summer plenary is also the Council’s AGM.

There is a branch of UCFL in Scotland: UCMLS, chaired by Ed Welch at the University of Aberdeen. UCMLS nominates a representative to sit on the UCML Executive Committee which also includes representatives with specific remits to represent Wales and Northern Ireland: SCHML. In January 2008, the Standing Council of Heads of Modern Languages (SCHML) agreed to dissolve its organisation and amalgamate with UCFL. The amalgamated organisation, known as UCFL, came into being in July 2008.

Constitution and Standing Orders: Information about the objectives and framework of work of the organisation

The Constitution and Standing Orders were significantly reviewed during 2023 after consultation with members. The new versions were approved at the UCFL AGM plenary meeting in June 2023.

View our Constitution and Standing Orders here

Enquiries about these and about the work and membership of the Steering Group and Executive Committee to the Honorary Secretary:  Marcela Cazzoli