E.g., 03/30/2020
E.g., 03/30/2020

Translation is Science - Save Translation at Imperial College

By: GALA Team, Information

The Imperial College Management Board has announced that the activities carried out by the Translation Studies Unit (TSU) are not considered core to the College strategy and that, if possible, the Unit should be transferred to another institution. If this solution proves not to be feasible, consideration will be given to closing the unit by the end of September 2013.

We believe that the Management Board’s view is a deeply mistaken one and that the work of the TSU is indeed fully in line with all the College’s strategic aims. In keeping with the College’s mission, the TSU embodies and delivers world-class scholarship, education and research in scientific, technical and medical translation. We consider that the relevance to the College Strategy of the activities carried out by the TSU is clear in that:

  • The TSU unit plays an essential role in scientific communication across languages and cultures.
  • The TSU trains professional translators who engage in the transfer of knowledge, expertise and technology from one language to another, thus maximizing the social and economic impact and value of education and research.
  • The translation and communication of scientific material across languages is essential for finding innovative ways to extend the reach and impact of the College’s work.
  • Engaging with the world to understand, identify and take the lead in confronting emerging scientific challenges and devising solutions is not possible without translators and interpreters specialized in science, medicine and technology.
  • With a track record of 12 years of large-scale MSc teaching and PhD provision, the TSU has established itself as a strong player within the College, with very healthy recruitment, particularly of overseas students, at both MSc and PhD levels, and a strong provision of further complementary activities (summer courses, online courses and Saturday courses).

The fact that the College is making such plans indicates that it is uninformed about the vital role played by translation in disseminating its own ground-breaking work throughout the worldwide research community and across languages. GALA urges you to support TSU by signing a petition calling upon the Imperial College Management Board to rule out the transferal or closure of the Translation Studies Unit and to permit the Unit to continue providing world-class translation teaching and translator training.

If you would like to register your concerns about Imperial College’s extremely worrying plans, then you are invited to add your signature to the on-line petition by 15 February at: www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/petition-against-the-transferral-or-closure-of-the-translation-studies-unit

You can also follow the conversation on LinkedIn and Twitter.


The Globalization and Localization Association (GALA) is a non-profit tade association supporting the language industry. As a membership organization, we support our member companies and the language sector by creating communities, championing standards, sharing knowledge, and advancing technology.