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Bishop of Bradford’s shock over language courses drop
The Bishop of Bradford has reacted with sadness to reports that as many as 40 per cent of university language departments are likely to close within a decade.
The Right Reverend Nick Baines spoke out about the situation after a former government adviser charged with bolstering foreign language uptake in higher education warned that the closure of such departments would deliver a huge blow to the UK’s diplomatic and economic hopes.
The Bishop said: “It seems that language learning in England, rather than getting stronger, is melting like snow. And all that those responsible for UK universities can say in response is that this is the way the market works – supply and demand.
“So, fewer children learn a foreign language. Fewer take examinations in a foreign language at GCSE and A-level. The number of universities offering degree courses in modern languages will have halved in just over a decade. And the UK is shamelessly unembarrassed about producing generations of people who speak only their own native language. This is shocking.”