Work Package 2 addresses two core European values: multilingualism, and inclusiveness. Both revolve around the role language has to play in a Europe for the future; the former as its most characteristic strength, the latter as its most important precondition.
In working towards a European Education Area by 2025, EPICUR addresses the Commission’s aspiration that new generations of Europeans will speak at least two languages in addition to their own.
Our ultimate objective is that, over time, EPICUR will become one of Europe’s preferred suppliers on all issues related to European multilingualism. Thereby not only preserving, but also enhancing Europe’s linguistic diversity. As such, EPICUR is committed to deliver tangible outcomes that will serve European society by strengthening its rich multilingual character. In doing so, as is the case across all project activities, EPICUR will deploy both inter- and transdisciplinary perspectives as well as a challenge-based approach.
The EPICUR partner universities are based in 6 different European countries, where 5 different recognised European languages are the native language: Dutch, French, German, Greek and Polish. This linguistic diversity of EPICUR universities is one of the main strengths of the network. EPICUR will utilise this strength by establishing a European ‘stock of knowledge and practice’ on multilingualism and interculturality that serves as a source of inspiration on future-proof language teaching for universities and society at large.
One of the first activities to achieve our objective is an exploration on the language programmes offered at the partner universities and to determine where connections and collaborations can be established, deepened, further continued and even possibly extended to other partner universities.
In addition, a Statement on Multilingualism and a Letter of Intent EPICUR European Model Language policy signed by all rectors and presidents of the partner universities will be formalised.
Next steps will be to develop an EPICUR European model Language policy and pilot the model at other partner universities, among them the University of Freiburg, in order to create an overview of incentives for students to learn European languages and develop new mobility strategies for European language programmes.
The University of Amsterdam (UvA) is work package 2 leader and therefore responsible for a successful and timely development of the deliverables set in WP2.
Other universities involved in specific WP2 tasks are the University of Strasbourg (Unistra) in language programmes and incentives for students to learn European Languages, and the University of Haute-Alsace (UHA) in intercultural skills training and language tandem “train the trainer” workshops.
The University of Freiburg will serve as a ‘test bed’ for the implementation of an institutional language policy based on the EPICUR model language policy and share their experiences across the alliance.
Naturally, there are also many links with other work packages such as WP3, innovative teaching within a Liberal Arts & Sciences context and WP4, virtual and blended mobility of students, teachers and staff.