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Fewer undergraduates opting for language courses

Published: Tuesday, 30 June 2009   Category: Creative Industries: arts and design

Fewer students are opting to study languages at degree level, which could mean that UK university leavers struggle to compete for international graduate jobs.

The University of the West of England is to stop courses in French, Spanish and Chinese this year because it received just 39 applicants.

This follows news that Queen's University Belfast has announced plans to close its German department.

Speaking to the BBC, the chief executive of CILT, the National Centre for Languages, Kathryn Board said that the UK needs to work on the number of its graduates who are capable of working abroad.

"Languages are important for our economic prosperity, for our security and for our cultural and intellectual clout in a globalised world," she added.

Earlier this month, a report from the British Academy called for the government to address the language deficit in schools to help prevent work being lost to multilingual overseas competitors.

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