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Towards a national languages strategy

report cover including and image of The Tower of Babel

Languages are strategically vital for the future of the UK, as we look to recover from the coronavirus pandemic and strengthen our relationships across the world. But there is overwhelming evidence of an inadequate, longstanding, and worsening supply of the language skills needed by the UK to meet future needs. 

We need urgent, concerted and coordinated action at all levels from primary schools through to university and beyond.
Universities UK is one of a coalition of partners, working across different education sectors and across the UK, to put forward proposals to Government for a strategy to boost language learning in a UK-wide national languages strategy.
Alongside the British Academy, the British Council and the Association of School and College Leaders, Universities UK believes this strategy is essential to the economic and social strength of the UK as it emerges from COVID-19.

The reports main proposals include:

  • creating a central point of access for language learning resources in a new ‘Languages UK’ portal
  • reviewing grading and content for GCSE and A-level language exams to ensure a level playing field for students
  • incentivising take up of languages post-16, through financial support and new qualifications
  • determining best practice approaches for languages in primary schools and enabling teachers to deliver them
  • creating further intensive schemes for language learning
  • extending ambassador and mentor schemes


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