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European Language Council: Multilingual universities for a multilingual Europe

The European Language Council has just released the Nancy Declaration, a document that is the result of a major conference held in Nancy last April, which gathered higher education experts and major organisations, amongst which the Council of Europe and the European Commission. ACA was also present as a project partner. The conference marked the end of the ENLU project (European Network for the Promotion of Language Learning Among All Undergraduates), a European Commission-supported project, coordinated by the European Language Council. Through ENLU the Commission intended to stimulate the development of networks and associations to encourage the sharing of best practice between professionals across Europe in a number of key policy areas, among them the generalisation of language learning at first-cycle level.

The principal aim of the project was, therefore, to assess whether there is sufficient demand for this kind of network. Through desk research and surveys, the project established that, looked at as a whole, provision needs to be improved in terms of both the number of undergraduate language learners and the range of languages offered and learnt, and of the quality of provision.

The Nancy Declaration aims to raise awareness among all stakeholders of the urgent need for a generalisation of language learning among undergraduates and of the issues that have to be addressed in this context. It also seeks to show how the gap between policy development at European level and at institutional level can be bridged.

Nancy Declaration