The Top 6 Benefits of Translation for Higher Education Organizations

Dynamic Language | January 20, 2024

In higher education, embracing language diversity is a strategic imperative. To meet their enrollment and graduation goals, colleges and universities must work to create an inclusive and accessible educational environment (and overall college experience) for linguistically diverse students — and that starts with translation. 

Here, we’ll unpack the top 6 benefits of translation for higher education organizations, and how language service providers can help them achieve those benefits.

1. Increasing language accessibility

Higher education institutions need to be accessible to and inclusive of multilingual students — both English language learner (ELL) students and those who are fluent in more than one language. 

By translating your website, communications, and educational content for those who speak different languages, your organization can boost student success KPIs (e.g. student retention, graduation rates) as well as enrollment goals for diverse and international students. 

How many college students are international?

In the 2022-23 school year, international students represented 5.6% of the total number of college students in the US. Of national universities in the US, the New School in New York

City had the highest percentage of international students — 33% of the student body — as of fall 2022.

Additionally, 508 compliance standards require certain organizations — like federally-funded schools — to make their content accessible to all audiences, including people who speak different languages than the source content.

2. Boosting international recognition and reputation

When translation and interpretation services are a known feature of your institution, you can more easily attract those who are looking to study abroad (or simply learn in an environment that supports multilingual students). 

Someone’s first touch points with your college or university — websites, forms, printed marketing materials, promotional video content, and points of contact who are available to answer questions — will be far more effective if they’re available in that person’s native language.

Additionally, if you’re hoping to boost your institution’s recognition and reputation on the world stage via publications, academic papers, and partnerships with other organizations, you’ll need to translate applicable content into target languages.

3. Improving communication between students, family members, professors, and staff

Whether it’s a parent who doesn’t speak English inquiring about paying their child’s tuition, an ELL student making an appointment with their academic advisor, or an international student requesting a syllabus in their native language, communication between all parties must be clear, regardless of language — and experienced interpreters and translators can make that happen. 

In case of emergency, it’s also crucial to be able to communicate with the emergency contacts of students, faculty, and staff in their native language. For those situations, it’s ideal to have interpreters available on demand.

4. Increasing student participation in campus activities

Student engagement isn’t just about learning — it’s also about encouraging participation in extracurricular activities and clubs. When students from various linguistic and cultural backgrounds feel included, they are more likely to participate in campus activities, leading to a more vibrant, active, and inclusive institution.

Students who feel a sense of community and belonging on campus are more likely to have a positive college experience and less likely to drop out, so it’s important to make information about clubs, activities, and events available to all students, regardless of language. 

5. Fostering cultural diversity

College students don’t just learn from their professors — they also learn from each other. One of the most important aspects of higher education is the opportunity to interact with diverse people and engage with diverse perspectives. 

In order to foster that kind of diversity on your campus, you have to make people from a wide range of cultures feel welcome and valued — and that starts with embracing linguistic diversity by providing translated materials. 

6. Expanding access to eLearning and hybrid learning opportunities

In an era where many college students are opting for hybrid or remote learning options, colleges and universities are putting greater emphasis on making online course materials accessible to as many students as possible — and that requires the localization or transcreation of eLearning content. Transcreation is more in-depth than translation and takes a creative approach to ensuring content is not just understood, but also evokes the same kind of emotions and/or actions across languages.

Even for students who are only attending in-person classes, online access to course materials in their native language — like translated documents or recorded lectures with subtitles — can make a significant difference in their learning experience by allowing them to review content anytime, as many times as they need to.

Read more: 5 Best Practices for Remote Training and eLearning Localization

How language service providers can support colleges and universities

From promotional content to course materials, higher education translation can’t just be left to tools like Google Translate, which don’t always convey meaning accurately across languages and cultural contexts. 

To ensure a successful translation, partner with a trusted language service provider. These companies offer a wide range of translation, interpreting, and localization services that can help higher education institutions achieve the benefits discussed above. These services often include:

  • Translation for documents like transcripts, course guides, and diplomas.
  • Localization for eLearning content, mobile apps, and websites.
  • Subtitling and voice-overs for multimedia learning content, including webinars, lecture recordings, and eLearning videos.
  • Transcreation for promotional content.
  • In-person interpretation for courses, events, and symposiums.

If you work with the same provider across multiple services, you’ll be able to benefit from efficiencies associated with building a style guide and glossary for your institution’s brand, as well as reusing or reworking existing translations where appropriate.

Ready to take your university’s offerings to the next level?

Utilizing academic translation services from a trusted provider can help your institution enhance accessibility, boost your international reputation, improve vital communication, increase student engagement, and open up new eLearning opportunities for remote, hybrid, and in-person classes alike. 

If you’re looking to partner with a language services provider with years of experience working with colleges and universities, highly qualified academic language translators, and processes that drive success, Dynamic Language is right for you. Get in touch with us to learn more about how we can support your translation needs.


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