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SOAS and UCL combine strengths to win Centre of Excellence for Languages grant

Publication date: Feb 22, 2006 4:32:10 PM

SOAS and UCL, working in partnership, are a named Centre of Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL), 'Languages of the Wider World', by The Higher Education Funding Council (Hefce). The maximum grant of £2million capital and £500K per year for 5 years will be awarded.

Professor Bunday, Director and Principal of SOAS, said: “The establishment of this CETL represents a ringing endorsement by the Funding Council of the importance of less commonly taught languages such as Chinese and East European languages in the UK Higher Education environment.”

The combination of expertise held within SOAS (specialists in African and Asian languages) and UCL (specialists in both western and eastern European languages) has been recognized by the award of CETL and this creates an opportunity for SOAS and UCL to consolidate their high profile in language provision.

Jane Fenoulhet said: "This grant will allow languages at UCL and SOAS to pursue our biggest aim of countering the decline of language teaching in schools by developing innovative curricula for learning a global range of languages from scratch at university. Students will have the opportunity to study languages such as Russian, Chinese, Dutch, Czech, Swahili, Hausa, Urdu or Burmese. This cash injection into language learning will mean improved facilities, new learning materials and innovative approaches for students."

Notes for Editors

For more information or to set up an interview, please contact Alex Brew at the UCL Media Relations Office on +44 (0)20 7679 9726 or e-mail a.brew@ucl.ac.uk