A twist on tongues

May 5, 2000

While we have been busy globalising and promoting e-universities across frontiers, I see the French ("French no longer enough in France", THES, April 28) have (uncharacteristically perhaps?) taken a more pragmatic and student-centred look at the future.

They have decided that French graduates will not be prepared for a "European area of higher education" unless they all have a good command of two foreign languages.

Let us hope that the European Year of Languages (2001) will give us in Britain a similar chance to move foreign-language learning for all graduates to the centre of our agenda.

Come to think of it, The THES could help the debate along the way by producing one of its league tables.

How about a league table of vice-chancellors' foreign-language competence just as a starter?

Hilary Footitt Chair University Council of Modern Languages

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