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Closure of interpreting course could have serious implications for English in the EU
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Published on 26-05-11

The head of the interpreting service for two of the EU's main institutions has written to the UK government to raise concerns following the recent announcement by the University of Westminster that its MA in Conference Interpreting is to close.

Marco Benedetti, head of the European Commission's DG for Interpretation, has pointed out that at least 10% of English interpreters in the EU institutions are graduates of the University and the closure comes at a time when the EU institutions are facing a major shortage of English-language interpreters.  Such a shortage would make it difficult for British officials to take part in the EU's decision-making process, as they would not have discussions at these meetings interpreted into English.

    English interpreter

    English interpreter

    Amid existing concerns about the under-representation of British nationals among EU civil servants, the University's decision is likely to reduce the number of potential candidates.

    While wholly recognising that education issues are entirely a national matter, Mr Benedetti highlights the importance of interpreter training given its vital role in the functioning of the EU institutions.

    Letter from Marco Benedetti

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