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HEFCE closed at the end of March 2018. The information on this website is historical and is no longer maintained.

Many of HEFCE's functions will be continued by the Office for Students, the new regulator of higher education in England, and Research England, the new council within UK Research and Innovation.

The HEFCE domain - - will continue to function until September 2018. At this point we will close the site entirely and all its information will only be available from the National Web Archive.


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What are the key ways we are supporting modern foreign languages?

  • A £10.5 million programme of demand-raising activity, to encourage the take-up of modern foreign language courses in England.
  • Additional funds for students exchanging in a year of study or work abroad through the ERASMUS exchange programme, or study abroad through another route.
  • We treat proposals to the Catalyst Fund which have a focus on modern foreign languages as a  priority.

Student demand-raising activity in modern foreign languages

We are funding a programme of demand-raising activity in modern foreign languages to encourage more young people of all backgrounds to study languages at university.

The three-year programme – which began in 2013 – is led by the University of Southampton.

It encourages universities, schools and employers to work together, with the aim of raising aspirations and attainment for students in secondary schools and higher education.

The programme comprises a number of activities. It runs events, and appoints student ambassadors. It also runs a national language-related spelling bee competition.

It places a focus on increasing participation in work and study abroad, and promoting career opportunities and employability for language students. 

Routes into Languages

The demand-raising activity builds on the work of the Routes into Languages programme.

Routes into Languages is a £10.5 million programme that aims to encourage the take-up of modern foreign language courses in England.

The programme started in 2006-07 and is led by the Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies (LLAS) in partnership with the University Council of Modern Languages (UCML).

What does Routes into Languages do?

The programme promotes:

  • increased take-up in learning languages and associated cultures in secondary and higher education, including the learning of a diverse range of languages.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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.

Further information

For more information contact Darren Watson, tel 0117 931 7452, email


Page last updated 16 December 2016