Skip to content
The UK's only independent think tank devoted to higher education.

A Languages Crisis?

  • 9 January 2020
  • By Megan Bowler
  • HEPI number 123

This paper takes stock of the state of language learning in the UK, as the country teeters on the edge of Brexit and becomes used to being led by the first Prime Minister in over 50 years to have studied Languages at university.

The author, Megan Bowler, a Classics student at the University of Oxford, looks at the broad benefits to individuals, society and the economy of learning languages. She also shows the UK has sunk far below other European countries in the proportion of young people who are familiar with another language, and she explains how this is now hitting university Languages Departments.

Packed with case studies and based on a wide range of source materials, the report ends with a list of recommendations for policymakers and educational institutions throughout the UK, including: making Language courses more interesting to study; reintroducing compulsory Languages at GCSE (where this does not already exist); and ensuring migration rules encourage the supply of those who can teach Languages.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *