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Heriot-Watt University’s Department of Languages & Intercultural Studies (LINCS) is delighted to announce an official partnership with the UK Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIOL) as part of the professional body’s new Higher Education Language Partner scheme.

The Department of Languages and Intercultural Studies, which sits within Heriot-Watt’s School of Social Sciences, has specialised in language, translation and interpreting degrees for almost 50 years, and now trains language professionals and linguists. 

The Department is staffed by leading researchers and professional linguists who teach a range of languages, including British Sign Language, Chinese, French, German, Spanish, and Arabic as an elective.

The high standard of postgraduate and undergraduate teaching and training offered here at Heriot-Watt has now been recognised by the UK’s leading body for language professionals, The Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIOL), through their Higher Education Language Partner scheme.

The CIOL is an internationally recognised organisation which aims to enhance and promote the value of languages and language skills in the public interest. Their Higher Education Language Partner scheme has been introduced to recognise, and support the delivery of, high-caliber degrees that deliver quality training for language professionals.

Our degrees prepare students for a wide range of careers such as interpreters, translators, and language teachers for the state and private sectors. Many graduates work in high-level positions at the European Parliament and the United Nations, or serving on the boards or councils of professional bodies.

Working in collaboration with the CIOL will allow us to offer greater support to students during their studies. The free Student Affiliate Membership will offer students the chance to interact with professional linguists and establish networks before entering the profession. It will also give staff access to reduced fee membership.

The CIOL also provides regulated qualifications through the Institute of Linguists Educational Trust (IoLET) and will offer lectures and careers information to students working towards professional language practice.

On hearing news of our regognition by the CIOL, Professor Jemina Napier, Head of the Department of Languages and Intercultural Studies, said,

‘This recognition from CIOL provides us with a wonderful collaborative opportunity for students to have access to professional networks and early insight into the work of language professionals. This partnership sets in stone a long-standing informal relationship between Heriot-Watt and CIOL and we are delighted to see this affiliation continue on a more formal basis”.

Professor Napier, Head of LINCS

Fanny Chouc, the LINCS Employability Officer confirms the benefits of the partnership in saying:

“Working in close cooperation with the industry and professional bodies like the Chartered Institute of Linguists ensures that our graduates have all the support they need to make the transition into the professional world. We regularly welcome alumni who share their expertise and advice with students, and they all highlight the benefits of being a member of a recognised professional body, so furthering our cooperation with the CIOL will undoubtedly be beneficial to students and contribute to maintaining the exceptionally high employability level of our graduates.”

Fanny Chouc, Employability Officer, Department of Languages and Intercultural Studies

Eneida Garcia, Heriot-Watt languages alumni and representative of the Chatered Institute of Linguists Scotland, who will be returning to undertake a PhD in January 2018, was proud to hear of the partnership, saying,

“The Higher Education Language Partnership Scheme provides the perfect framework for aspiring linguists to network with practitioners and initiate and build their pathway towards professional recognition.”

“Heriot-Watt University has a longstanding reputation amongst language professionals and academics worldwide, and the Chartered Institute of Linguists is the only membership body offering Chartership. As both a Chartered Linguist and an alumnus beginning my PhD with Heriot-Watt University, I am proud to see academia and professionalism join efforts to give languages parity with other chartered professions.”

Eneida Garcia, HWU Languages Alumni

To read more about our Undegraduate and Postgraduate Languages Degrees, follow the links below: 

Heriot-Watt Undergraduate Languages Degrees 

Heriot-Watt Postgraduate Languages Degrees 

Find out more about the Chartered Institute of Linguists and their Higher Education Partner scheme, here: http://www.ciol.org.uk/language-partners