Open World Research Initiative Showcases Value of Modern Languages

Monday 27 September 2021

The Open World Research Initiative (OWRI) was a transformational research programme that aimed to showcase the strategic importance of languages at local, national and global levels. Established in 2016 by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the initiative received a £16 million investment over four years. Within OWRI, four large projects – each with an interdisciplinary team of co-investigators, postdoctoral fellows and PhD students – worked to demonstrate the multiplicity of ways in which languages are critical in responding to the major challenges of our time. 

Professor Janice Carruthers (AHRC Priority Area Leadership Fellow for Modern Languages) commented: 'Languages have never been more important. Whether we think of the value of cultural communication and collaboration in a world-wide pandemic, or the need to re-build international relationships and global trade after Brexit, language skills and intercultural understanding have a key role to play. Within our communities, languages are fundamental to identity and social cohesion – both in terms of indigenous languages, such as Welsh, Gaelic and Irish, and the rich variety of community languages spoken across the UK.'

Download the brochure highlighting the impact of OWRI and some of the many case studies that were undertaken.