Overview of Routes into Languages (2006 – to the present day)
Routes into Languages (RiL) was an initiative funded between 2006 and 2016 by the Higher Education Funding Council for England to promote the take-up of languages through cooperation between universities, schools and colleges in England. It was managed by the University of Southampton working with nine regional networks across the country. By the end of the funding period, this consortium network of 67 universities across England was working with some 2,300 schools and 87,000 young people, with a focus on those from less advantaged backgrounds.
Since 2016, Routes consortia have continued working with local schools and running a range of regional events and a highly successful Student Language Ambassador scheme. They have operated under the custodianship of Universities UK International (UUKi) which is working with stakeholders within the modern languages community to transfer the ownership of the Routes brand and consortia to a sector-wide HE modern languages body. This will provide a governance structure and organisational support for Routes networks’ ongoing development.
Routes into Languages Cymru has been running in Wales since 2009, funded initially by the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW), and now by a consortium of Welsh Universities, educational consortia and third-sector organisations (see http://routesintolanguagescymru.co.uk/).
See below for details of the 2 funded phases of the RiL programme: 2006-2013 and 2013-2016
Routes into Languages 2
Routes in Languages: promoting the take-up of languages and student mobility
The new Routes into Languages Programme in England is funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England and will run from August 2013 to July 2016. It will bring new ideas and partners to address the challenges and policy priorities of the next three years. It will adopt the following objectives:
- Promote increased take-up in learning languages and associated cultures in secondary and higher education, including the learning of a diverse range of languages.
- Promote increased take-up of work and study abroad in language degrees and in other subjects, especially encouraging students to spend a year abroad during their studies.
- Promote greater national capacity in those areas of employment that require proficiency in languages and intercultural competence, including careers where cultural mediation is a key asset, as well as careers in translation, interpreting, teaching and research.
- Promote raised aspirations and attainment of students in secondary school and higher education, thereby widening access to language study and helping to encourage a broader social profile of undergraduates studying languages (gender, ethnicity, socio-economic background, diversity of languages).
- Promote greater collaboration between participating universities, schools and key stakeholders, including cooperation between academic communities with different identities and between academics and managers in widening participation and careers services.
Routes into Languages Cymru is funded by 4 Higher Education Institutions in Wales and is led by CILT Cymru.
Routes into Languages Phase 1 (2006/07 to 2012/13)
- Download: Business plan 2006/7 onwards (pdf, 560Kb)
The Routes into Languages programme (Phase 1) was funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England.
Under the programme, a number of regional consortia were established where groups of universities worked together, with schools and colleges, to enthuse and encourage people to study languages. National networks were also set up to promote translation and interpreting as careers; and four research projects were carried out.
The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) agreed to fund the Routes into Languages Programme to encourage the take-up of language courses in England. It was originally funded from HEFCE's Strategic Development Fund, following the Roberts review into Strategic and Vulnerable Subjects published in June 2005. The Dearing Language Review recommended additional funding to be awarded to Routes into Languages. This enabled additional regional consortia to be set up across England. Similar projects have been funded for Chemistry, Physics, Maths and Engineering.
The proposal was developed by the three main organisations concerned: the University Council of Modern Languages (UCML), LLAS Centre for Languages, Linguistics & Area studies, and CILT, the National Centre for Languages.