Language alliance

March 16, 2007

You report that Russell Group universities are increasingly becoming the major providers of single honours language programmes ("Study deserts blight UK", February 9), and this is a likely consequence of the reduction in the number of students wanting these degrees. Yet such programmes thrive in a number of University Alliance institutions - particularly in French, German and Spanish, and often combined with the study of contemporary European politics or culture rather than literature.

In addition, University Alliance members have a strong commitment to institution-wide language programmes that make a great variety of languages available to students from other disciplines even if they have little or no background in the language from school study. This represents a major contribution to UK language capabilities as well as to the employability of students.

John Craven
Chair, University Alliance

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