British academy

On this page you will find information on the purpose and aims of Born Global, the context in which the project was undertaken, and the evidence gathered.

Download a detailed overview of the project ‘About Born Global’ (PDF file - 631 KB).

The full data sets, each accompanied by a summary booklet, are available to download from the Born Global evidence page.

Information on how to use the data is available on the How to use the Born Global evidence page.

The British Academy’s own report on the implications of the evidence for Higher Education is available from the Born Global: Implications for Higher Education page.

What is Born Global?

Born Global is an open and free-to-use resource for the languages community: universities, teachers, employers, researchers, and students.

We have collected data, both quantitative and qualitative, on the complex relationships between language learning and employability.

All the data is published in full on the Born Global evidence page, and each data set is accompanied by a booklet with background information and a summary of key findings. We invite the language community to use our evidence to help make the case for the importance of languages – from teaching at primary school right through to university research.

The Academy has used this evidence in its own report, Born Global: Implications for Higher Education, offering some reflections on the current state of play for languages at university.

The Evidence

 The British Academy commissioned the following research:

  • SME Omnibus Survey
    In Autumn 2014, the British Academy commissioned a bespoke survey of 410 UK SMEs (Small and Medium sized Enterprises). The sample was nationally representative, in terms of sector, size and location.
  • Languages at Work Survey
    In October 2014, the British Academy in collaboration with the Education and Employers Task Force carried out a survey of the Inspiring the Future Network, a network of individuals from a range of sectors who use languages in the workplace.
  • Bringing Languages to Life
    An in-depth look at 10 respondents to the Languages at Work survey.
  • Study of a cohort of Institution Wide Language Programme (IWLP) students at LSE
    The British Academy commissioned the London School of Economics to follow a cohort of IWLP students in the academic year 2014 – 2015 to document and analyse their motivations, attitudes, and progress.
  • British Cohort Study analysis
    In 2014, the British Academy commissioned the Education and Employers Taskforce to analyse the British Cohort Study (BCS) longitudinal data set to see if language study was linked to labour market advantages such as wage premiums, employment outcomes and job satisfaction.

Steering Group

The project has benefited from the energy and commitment of its Principal Researcher, Bernardette Holmes, and of its Chair, Richard Hardie, Senior Adviser to UBS in the UK.

Born Global was overseen by a high level Steering Group convened by the British Academy:

  • Richard Hardie, Senior Adviser to UBS in the UK (Chair)
  • Rob Wall, Head of Education and Employment, Confederation of British Industry (CBI)
  • Nick Chambers, Director of the Education and Employers Taskforce
  • Sir Peter Job, Formerly Director of Reuters (CEO), Schroders, Royal Dutch Shell and Deutsche Bank
  • Dr Adam Marshall, Director of Policy and External Affairs, British Chambers of Commerce
  • Professor Rosamond Mitchell, Chair in Applied Linguistics at the University of Southampton
  • Professor Sir Adam Roberts FBA, Former President of the British Academy
  • Professor Michael Worton, Former Vice-Provost (International) of University College London

Principal Researcher: Bernardette Holmes MBE