Striving for Higher University World Rankings: The Role of the Language Centre

Koblížková, Andrea and Leeming, David Elvis orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-0426-2385 (2016) Striving for Higher University World Rankings: The Role of the Language Centre. Linguistics and Literature Studies, 4 (6). pp. 392-401. ISSN 2331-642X

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There has been a long discussion in academia about crucial competencies of university graduates and factors which particular universities manage to perform better in the prestigious Times Higher Education World University Rankings (THE World University Ranking) or Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU, also called Shanghai Ranking) than the others. The role of university language centres (LC) has not been explored in this context, till now. This paper deals with a role of LCs as homes not only to language instruction but also as workplaces through which universities may become more successful institutions in terms of the rankings. A meaningful language policy (LP) is thus closely related to the future development of LCs beyond their current perceived role of a university language centre. This paper gives examples of language policy implementation steps while building on marketing principles for addressing target audience needs and communication. Drawing on the higher education institutions (HEI) priorities in terms of university rankings, the LCs´ natural role is to foster university communication culture, conditions for successful internalization and readiness to effectively communicate research results. The process of language policy implementation at the Language Centre of the University of Pardubice may provide an insight into the practice of a middle-size institution and illustrate the workplace emancipation process within an HE institution. Attention will be paid to general EU context as well as to tangible experience, implications of which may go beyond the limited space of one institution.

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