While over 1.5 million people in Scotland speak Scots and 1.9 million use or have some knowledge of Scots, there is no coherent research agenda on language policy and planning for the language. 

The Future of Scots is a collaborative research project seeking to change that. Led by the University of Glasgow and supported by The Royal Society of Edinburgh, it has partnered with Education Scotland and Oor Vyce to deliver an exciting programme of research activities between 2021 and 2023. 

We start with a public survey that captures opinions and attitudes to Scots and its future from across the nation. The survey has a particular focus on what can be done in four areas that can have a significant impact on the future of the Scots language:

  • Education
  • Media
  • Creative industries
  • Policy-making 

The results of this initial public research will then be used to inform activities and discussion in a series of workshops held during the year. These will bring linguists together with stakeholders from the four research themes, combining the aspirations of the public with their professional experience to identify ways forward for Scots and potential new research themes .

The project will culminate in a symposium which will bring the different research themes together. This will also draw on experiences of other minority languages from around the world. Using the research and evidence built up over 2022, the project will lay groundwork for a consensus on what the future of Scots could be, and what will be required to make it happen—setting a new agenda towards a community-driven language policy for Scots.