The first edition of the Interuniversity Style Guide for Writing Institutional Texts in English
was a product of the Vives Network of Universities Language Policy Plan 2012-2014 and its publication was – and still is – an opportunity to remember two of our organisation’s guiding principles: first, that our universities should be multilingual communities whose members can demonstrate linguistic competence in a variety of languages; and second, that the Network itself is committed to making the Catalan language and our institutional and international relations more widely visible abroad.
Because resources of this nature need to be reviewed on a regular basis, and in response to the observations and suggestions made by the university community, this new edition has been revised from start to finish and a new section, Model documents, has been added. We hope this new, improved Guide
will not only continue to help users perfect their communication techniques and write better English-language texts but also respond to the ever-increasing needs of university staff to draft institutional documents in English.
The promotion of multilingualism is the general objective of one of the four axes in the Vives Network’s Plan and is given form in three specific objectives, two of which are important here: the improvement of the third-language communication skills of students, administrative and service staff and teaching and research staff; and the creation of English-language resources and guidelines for English language use. Amongst other initiatives, the Guide
is the result of our universities’ efforts to address these specific objectives. We believe that it will play an essential role in facilitating interuniversity communication and improving the quality of the institutional English-language documents we produce for international readers. It will also help our community bolster its knowledge of the English language and acquire the linguistic competence in English that is widely considered to be necessary.
Finally, if there is value in the fact that twenty-one different universities can work together and eventually share a single set of homogeneous, English-language guidelines, then we have two groups of people to thank for that. First, there are the university language services who coordinated their efforts to write the Guide
. Building on extensive professional experience in higher education and a familiarity with our community’s terminology and with Catalan speakers’ specific needs as producers of information, the language specialists in those services have proved their ability to select and write guidelines to ensure that our English-language texts suit the purposes of international communication and exchange. And second, we should also thank the various university units which have given their feedback to help tailor the Guide
to our specific communicative needs.