UNESCO Education UIL

Mercator, Netherlands

European Research Centre on Multilingualism and Language Learning

European Research Centre on Multilingualism and Language Learning aims at the acquisition, circulation and application of knowledge. Mercator gathers and mobilises expertise in the field of language learning at school, at home and through cultural participation in favour of linguistic diversity of Europe. Mercator Research Centre is an independent and recognised reference centre for policy makers and professional workers in the field of multilingual education and language learning.
Mercator Research Centre will start a research division on the subjects mentioned above, continues its activities such as the Network of Schools, publishing of Regional Dossiers, is partner in international projects and organises regional, national and international conferences concerning the projects it's involved in.

Areas of Specialization:

Education, Language issues, Language policy, Minority groups, Minority languages, Multilingual education, Second language instruction

User Profile:

Policy makers; students; researchers; journalists; the public at large

Contact Information


Doelestrjitte 8 , P.O. Box 54
NL–8911 DX Ljouwert/Leeuwarden

Mailing Address:
P O Box 54
NL–8900 AB Ljouwert/Leeuwarden, Netherlands

(+31–58) 2131 414
(+31–58) 2131 409
Contact person:
Drs. Cor van der Meer ( Head of Department of Social Sciences / Mercator Research Centre)

Basic Institutional Data:

Founded in:
Parent Organisation:
Fryske Akademy
Dr. Hanno Brand (acting director)
Information staff:
Countries Served:
European Union Member States, Europe, Worldwide
Working Languages:
Dutch, English, French, German, Western Frisian


Books and Documents:
(7500) titles in library-database; present in library about (7800)
Periodicals recieved p.a.:
A limited number of professional journals regarding multilingualism, bilingualism, education, linguistics.
Multimedia materials:
Videos and CDs, link-section
Annual growth of Collection:

Methods of Data Management

Cataloging Rules
Classification System
International classification scheme, adapted and extended for the special field
Methods of Data Processing
Database Software
BRS-TT Search; Microsoft Windows XP;In 2013/2014 our catalogue system will be converted to the cataloguesystem ( OCLC) of our partner Tresoar, Leeuwarden (www.tresoar.nl)OCLC library

Services and Special Activities

Information Services Provided

Library facilities available for information purposes and serving as study centre; Internetsite; Questions and Answers-service; Granting access to Database of Experts and Database of Organizations concerning European minority or regional languages, bilingual- and multilingualism; bilingual- and multilingual education; language learning, language policy; Expert in the Spotlight ( related to our database of experts); Granting access to the Database of Bibliographic Data of the Mercator Library; Network of Schools website (http://www.networkofschools.org); Mercator European Network of Language Diversity Centres (http://mercator-network.eu/ )

Publications Produced

Mercator Newsletter; brochures, reports and proceedings; Regional Dossiers; Newsbulletin and newsflash Network of Schools; Language factsheets (list available at the website: http://www.mercator-research.eu)

Special Activities

Project: LANGOER : Enhance teaching and learning of less used languages though Open Educational Resources and Practices
Project: Language use on social media
Project: Endangered Languages
LearnMe  Mercator Network

(For detailed information about the projects, please consult the website: http://www.mercator-research.eu/research-projects/)



LEARNME: Mercator Network of Language Diversity Centres; Frisian education organisations; national and international institutions and agencies

Studies and Surveys

Regional Dossiers that aim at providing concise descriptive information and basic educational statistics about minority language education in a specific region of the European Union. http://www.mercator-research.eu/research-projects/regional-dossiers/

Other material

Challenges and Obstacles in Carrying out the Work

Targeting information to the right groups; language of communication; continuity of financial support; the demands made by grant–givers vis–a–vis number of staff

Strategies and Perspectives to Improve Services

Extend services through Internet; continue collaboration policy; strengthen activities in Central Europe and East Europe; the continuity of learning and teaching, the development and improvement of language learning and multilingualism (regional and minority languages as well as immigrant and (smaller) state languages).