Skip to main content

Languages in a Global World

Languages in a Global World

Languages in a Global World

Languages in a Global World is held annually and brings together local Modern Foreign Language teachers and their GCSE and A-level students, University of Exeter alumni, and current staff and students of languages and international cultures at the University. 

Upcoming events

Languages in a Global World 2023: Dame Melinda Simmons

The UK Ambassador to Ukraine will be in conversation with Associate Pro ViceChancellor, Professor Li Li and Professor Melissa Percival. Pro Vice-Chancellor, Professor Gareth Stansfield, will introduce the conversation which will be followed by a Q&A for school students.

The faculty of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences is delighted to announce the next event in the Languages in a Global World series: Dame Melinda Simmons in conversation with Professor Li Li and Professor Melissa Percival is scheduled to take place online, on Thursday 12th January 2023, 5.00pm – 6.00pm.

Professor Gareth Stansfield, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences will introduce guest speaker, Exeter graduate and UK Ambassador to Ukraine, Dame Melinda Simmons. Professor Li Li, Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Global Engagement and Professor Melissa Percival, Professor of French, Art History and Visual Culture, will lead a conversation with Melinda to explore the key role her undergraduate degree in French and German has played in her career and her experience of the powerful skillset that comes with knowledge of a variety of languages. The conversation will be followed by a Q&A for school students.

The event will bring together our local foreign Modern Languages teachers and their students, Exeter Alumni, current staff and students of Languages, Cultures and Visual Studies at the University of Exeter.

To register your attendance, please visit the Eventbrite page. The event will take place virtually and registered attendees will receive joining instructions closer to the event. The deadline for registrations is: 17:00 Wednesday 4 January 2023.

We hope to see you there!

About the speaker –

Dame Melinda Simmons is currently serving as British Ambassador to Ukraine, where she has been posted since 2019. She has a BA degree in French and German from the University of Exeter and in addition speaks fluent Ukrainian, and has a decent understanding of modern Hebrew. She began her career in business and after studying at night school for an MA in European Politics, switched to work for an international NGO specialising in conflict prevention and resolution in fragile and conflict affected countries. She moved from there to the civil service and has worked for three government departments. She has previously been posted to South Africa. She is now based in Kyiv leading the UK’s support in country for Ukraine’s defence against the Russian invasion. 

Melinda was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (DCMG) in the 2023 New Years Honours for her services to British foreign policy.

Past events

To register for this event, please follow the eventbrite link. 

Guest Speaker, Richard Lyntton will join the College of Humanities at the University of Exeter on 21st January 2022 for the next event in the Languages in a Global World Series.

The Author will be in conversation with Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Global Engagement, Professor Mark Goodwin and Professor Katharine Hodgson, Professor in Russian.

Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive, Professor Lisa Roberts, will introduce the conversation that will be followed by a Q&A hosted by Professor Melissa Percival, Associate Dean for Global in the College of Humanities. 

About the guest:

Author Richard Lyntton was born Richard Bramford in Highgate London. He attended William Ellis School, Exeter University, Moscow State Linguistic University (Formerly Maurice Thorez Moscow State Pedagogical Institute of Foreign Languages), and Sandhurst. Richard served as a captain and tank commander in the British Army in the first Gulf War; European Community Task Force Humanitarian Liaison in Russia; UNHCR Liaison Officer, and United Nations Military Observer (during heavy shelling and NATO airstrikes) in Sarajevo, Bosnia; and was a United Nations Television Producer in former Yugoslavia. He was called to testify at the International War Crimes Tribunal in the Hague after witnessing and filming human rights atrocities and abuses in Bosnia. His films are archived at the Imperial War Museum, London. When he's not writing, Richard is a professional actor--you may have seen him as the Ringside Doctor in Creed 1. He lives in Philadelphia with his wife, interior designer Michelle Wenitsky, and their two sons. 


This event took place virtually on 18 June 2021 16:30 – 17:30 BST.

Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of the University of Exeter, Professor Lisa Roberts, introduced Susannah Poulton, who is an International Trade Adviser at the Department for International Trade and a graduate of Spanish and German, in conversation with Professor Janice Kay.

The conversation was followed by a Q&A chaired by Professor Sally Faulkner, Assistant Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Europe) and Professor of Hispanic and Film Studies. Questions were  submitted by school students in advance of the event and preselected accordingly.

The full video of this event can be found here


The 2020 event was held on 10 January.

Frank Gardner, OBE, in conversation with Professor Emma Loosley, Professor in Theology and Religion, College of Humanities. Followed by a Q&A with Professor Sally Faulkner, Assistant Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Europe).

The event was followed by a drinks reception and book signing of Blood and Sand and Ultimatum.