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The review, led by Professor Michael Worton, Vice-Provost, University College London, will make recommendations to HEFCE, Government and other partners aimed at the long-term sustainability and vitality of modern foreign languages. It will look at recent languages policy and the impact of investment in this area.

The review will include:

  • an analysis of data including HESA data, leading indicators of demand, destination of leavers from HE data, National Student Survey data, and evidence on the extent and planned changes in the patterns of supply
  • the performance of languages in the Research Assessment Exercise 2008
  • how the Research Excellence Framework is likely to affect language sustainability and future patterns of provision
  • the relationship between research (and researchers) and what is taught
  • the impact of emerging economies on the provision of languages
  • whether existing languages provision meets the future needs of the discipline, its students and their prospective employers
  • the ways in which languages provision in HE might and should respond to the changing academic, economic, political and social challenges of the 21st century.

An interim report is expected by 31 July 2009, followed by a final report to HEFCE's Strategically Important and Vulnerable Subjects advisory group, Government and other relevant stakeholders in September 2009.

At least one national consultation event will take place in early July 2009. Further details will be published under HEFCE’s pages on strategically important subjects.