Global citizenship at UCL

26 September 2007

Students on steps

Today is the European Day of Languages, which promotes linguistic diversity, plurilingualism and lifelong language learning. Countries from across Europe are hosting events to mark the day.

UCL is proud to be part of the celebration. Languages and linguistic study are key to UCL’s academic mission. We are a leading UK institution for the study of modern languages, and we teach 21 languages to degree level, from Albanian through to Icelandic and Yiddish. We are home to the largest centre for Dutch Studies in the world. The UCL School of Slavonic & East European Studies is one of the world’s leading specialist centres for the study of the languages and history of Central, Eastern and South-East Europe, and Russia.

UCL also collaborates with many other institutions to promote language excellence, including the HEFCE-funded Centre of Excellence in Teaching & Learning in Languages of the Wider World, which promotes and develops excellent teaching and research in languages.

As a world-leading research university, members of the UCL community have a truly global perspective. Our academics work with research partners across the world, and language skills play an important role in ensuring the efficacy and reach of these collaborations. For our students, a UCL education is an education for global citizenship, and languages are key to this. We believe that a willingness to acquire another language reflects a student’s general intellectual curiosity and readiness to engage with different ways of thinking: students who have already begun to acquire other languages will benefit most from joining the UCL community. This is why, as part of our commitment to language learning, we will be phasing in a GCSE language requirement for new UCL students from 2012.

In a global economy, knowledge of other languages and a lifelong engagement with other cultures will be crucial for our graduates’ future success, and we will continue to encourage the development of these skills throughout our students’ years at UCL.

Whether you are a international student who is immersed in an English-speaking culture for the first time, a full-time languages student, a member of a cultural club or society at the UCL Union, or simply someone with an interest in the world around them, UCL provides many opportunities for language learning and global engagement. Use the links at the top of the article to find out more.

Image: Students sitting on the Portico steps during Autumn 2007 enrolment