Seminar 3

 The role of HE in language revitalisation initiatives 

Strathclyde University, Room 405, Colville Building, 48 North Portland Street, GLASGOW, G1 1XM

Friday, 19 June 2015, 9.30-4.30

Research into the revitalisation of minoritised languages (MLs), such as Gaelic or Welsh in the UK, has tended to focus on minoritised language-medium (MLM) provision in the school sector. But what opportunities exist for fluent ML speakers or learners to continue to study these languages and to learn through the medium of these languages in Higher Education? To what extent are they able to continue to use these languages for social and cultural purposes as well as in academic contexts? This seminar will address the challenges and future prospects of MLM HE provision, addressing policy and planning at national and institutional level, and exploring student experiences and identities, in the wider context of national language revitalisation projects.


  • Iain Campbell (CEO, Bòrd na Gàidhlig), Welcome and Introduction
  • Jerry Hunter (Pro Vice-Chancellor, University of Bangor), Changing institutional culture and practice: reflections on recent developments in Welsh-medium higher education (abstract and presentation)
  • John Norman MacLeod (Vice Principal, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, University of the Highlands & Islands), Gàidhlig aig cridhe ar coimhearsnachd/ Sabhal Mòr Ostaig – Revival and Growth: Gaelic at the heart of our community (abstract)
  • Wilson McLeod (University of Edinburgh), Challenges in ‘traditional’ universities in Scotland (abstract and presentation)
  • Morag Campbell (Assistant Director, Scottish Funding Council), Gaelic Language Plans and the Scottish Funding Council (abstract and presentation)
  • Fiona Dunn (Gaelic Officer, University of Glasgow, Gàidhlig @ Oilthigh Ghlaschu), The practicalities and approach to developing Gaelic language and culture beyond the classroom and within an international community (abstract)
  • Fiona O’Hanlon (University of Edinburgh) & Joanna McPake (University of Strathclyde), Learning to work as a Gaelic-medium teacher: the role of universities in developing skills in bilingual pedagogy and professional Gaelic (abstract and presentation)
  • Michelle MacLeod (University of Aberdeen), Discussant