Routes into Languages Cymru, now entering its sixth year, is an innovative award-winning project tasked with raising the take-up of modern foreign languages (MFL) and promoting international student mobility. Working closely with secondary schools, further education colleges and universities in Wales, Routes Cymru aims to bridge the gap between secondary and higher education by supporting events, competitions and workshops, as well as creating inspiring resources and partnerships between students, teachers, academics and educational professionals.

We live in an age of globalisation, and UK universities have embraced this in many different ways. Yet the perception remains that the status of English as the global lingua franca makes learning other languages unnecessary, with potentially disastrous consequences for language disciplines in our universities. The continuing decline of foreign language study in higher education was highlighted in a recent Times Higher Education article (“Demand for STEM subjects holds up in wake of fees hike”, 21 August), following a warning from the Higher Education Funding Council for England that student numbers in 2013-14 could be at their lowest level for a decade.

The GCSE results are published today by JCQ. In 2013 the languages community was celebrating an overall increase of 15.42% on the year before. However, this year there has been a decline of 2.6% on last year, although the figures are still the highest since 2009. However, to put this in context, across all subjects, there was a total decline of 4.18% total GCSE results this year, compared to last.

The A level results were published on 14th August 2014 by JCQ. The overarching news is that language A level figures are down again. But language AS level figures are up! Has the tide turned? We can only hope so.

Responding to the report of the A-level Content Advisory Board’s panel reviewing modern foreign and classical languages, the University Council of Modern Languages has published its response.

Two important new language campaigns are launched today.

There are two nominated candidates. Voting closes on 22 July 2014 at 5pm. Each institution in good standing has a single vote. The election statement of each candidate is included to the right of this web page.

Three candidates have been nominated for French Studies. The election will close on 22 July at 5pm. Voting will take place via the attached link from the Nominated institution representative (see list) by that date. The election statement of each candidate accompanies this page.

UCML members will be delighted to know that Mike Kelly has been awarded an OBE. And that Michael Worton has been awarded a CBE.

Nominations are required for the post of UCML Wales representative. This is an important role requiring liaison with the Welsh Assembly and all Welsh institutions with Modern Languages Departments. Those nominating candidates must be from member institutions.