Call for departments to join UCML

News summary

The University Council of Modern Languages is seeking to increase its membership to include all Modern Language Departments and Language Centres in UK HEIs. A letter from the Chair, Roger Woods, gives more information for those departments/centres which are not members.

July 2004

Dear colleague,

University Council of Modern Languages

I am writing to encourage your institution/association/society to become a member of the University Council of Modern Languages (UCML, if it is not already a member. UCML has played an important role since it was set up in 1993 as the voice of all colleagues throughout the United Kingdom HE sector engaged in teaching and research in modern languages, linguistics, and cultural and area studies.

UCML can boast a number of successes in its work over recent years:

  • helping to secure a higher HEFCE band funding for all languages
  • working with the DfES to produce a HE delivery plan for the National Languages Strategy. This plan commits the DfES to increasing the number of students taking modern foreign languages at HE level.
  • Helping to set up the Languages Alliance, raising the profile of modern languages with the support of bodies which crucially have no vested interest in languages, such as the BBC, the TUC and the CBI.

Currently, UCML is working in a number of priority areas:

  • Gathering hard information about the take-up of languages at HE level to feed into the HE delivery plan for the NLS
  • Promoting joint initiatives between schools and universities to encourage language learning throughout the sector
  • responding on behalf of the sector to consultation, e.g., panel configuration for RAE 2008, delivery of the National Languages Strategy
  • ensuring that UG students following four-year programmes are not penalised by unfair fee regimes, including top-up fees
  • promoting UG ambassador schemes in languages with a view to providing secondary-school language learners with a role model from the HE sector and to giving UG students a taste for teaching
  • preparing the case for less widely taught languages to receive special funding in the next round of HEFCE support for minority subjects
  • collaborating with CILT and ALL in producing annual Language Trends bulletins.

UCML's work is steered by an elected representative executive committee which meets five times a year. I am sure that you will recognise the good work which is being done, and appreciate the value to UCML of being able to justify its claim to represent the sector as a whole. Membership for a whole department/school/language centre/institution costs just £125 per calendar year, or £325 for three years. Please contact the UCML secretariat at CILT at the address below to request a one-year or a three-year invoice:

Marianne Steggals, CILT, 20 Bedfordbury, London WC2N 4LB (tel: 020 7395 0821, email:

Roger Woods
Chairman of UCML