account arrow-down-linearrow-down-small arrow-downarrow-download arrow-left-small arrow-leftarrow-link arrow-rightarrow-upaudio-less-volume audio-not-playing audio-plus-volume audio awarded books calendar close-modal closedate document education emailevent Facebookhamburger impact instagramjustice linkedin location-outline location opinion page phonepinterestplay pluspost preview project reports search-bigsearch-old search share startime twitterwelfare youtube zoom-in zoom-out

The Nuffield Languages Inquiry and Nuffield Languages Programme

Project overview

The Foundation set up the Nuffield Languages Inquiry in 1998 to review the UK’s capability in languages. A committee chaired by Sir Trevor McDonald and Sir John Boyd was asked to consider the following questions and to make recommendations:

  • What capability in languages will the UK need in the next twenty years if it is to fulfill its economic, strategic, social and cultural aims and responsibilities, and the aspirations of its citizens?
  • To what extent do present policies and arrangements meet these needs?
  • What strategic planning and initiatives will be required in the light of the present position?

Following the conclusion of the inquiry, we established the Nuffield Languages Programme to help implement the recommendations.

The Nuffield Languages Programme was established in 2002. Its brief was to:

  • help translate the earlier Nuffield Language Inquiry’s key messages into action;
  • promote specific initiatives, selecting a range of projects to benefit from Nuffield funding and seeking additional material support from other sources where appropriate;
  • contribute to policy debate, including internationally;
  • secure promotion of the importance of languages in the UK, including maintaining the high profile for languages achieved by the Inquiry;
  • encourage leadership and strategic action on the part of government with the aim of making the group’s existence unnecessary within two years.
  • The Programme’s Steering Group organised activities within two categories:
  • commissioning major policy-development projects;
  • awarding grants to projects with the potential to enhance opportunities for people of all ages to learn languages in the UK.

Explore our projects

Search projects

We aim to improve people’s lives by funding research that informs social policy, primarily in Education, Welfare and Justice. We also fund student programmes that give young people skills and confidence in science and research.

We are an open, collaborative and engaged funder that offers more than money. Through connecting the individual projects we fund, we strengthen their collective impact and give voice to an overarching narrative.