Article Details

Article Details

Prospering Wisely: How the humanities and social sciences enrich our lives

Author: British Academy
Publisher: British Academy
Date of Publication: February 2014

Prospering Wisely aims to kick-start a national conversation about the place of humanities and social science research in our society. It argues that we need to think about the nature of 'prosperity' in much broader terms than its usual purely financial definition.

Key messages on language skills:

  • More than three-quarters of the UK economy is now in services, which flourish by employing people with knowledge and skills from the humanities and social sciences, including speaking other languages.
  • Foreign language skills play a crucial role in opening up many overseas markets.
  • Foreign language skills open up cross-national and cross-cultural discourse, including diplomacy and international security.
  • As research itself becomes an ever more international enterprise, the importance of language skills is increasingly evident.
  • We need more people who can supplement their specialist knowledge in a particular professional, scientific or other disciplinary area with an understanding of other languages.


Posted in: UK
University of Strathclyde Education Scotland British Council Scotland The Scottish Government
SCILT - Scotlands National centre for Languages