EXPANDING the study of languages at Scottish universities is proving difficult to achieve, a report by funding chiefs says.

The warning by the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) comes after talks with universities about increasing languages as part of new outcome agreements – which match funding to objectives.

A number of languages taught at Scottish universities have come under threat in recent years.

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Documents published yesterday by the SFC state: "While institutions recognised the importance of modern languages, there was limited scope for provision to be extended beyond the opportunities that were already in place.

"The SFC will continue to explore possibilities for extending modern language provision beyond those majoring in modern languages."

The Stirling University outcome agreement said: "We recognise that equipping learners with language skills and international perspectives needs to begin much earlier during primary and early secondary education. This issue is only capable of being addressed through long-term action."