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.
Chair, University Alliance
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