It is with great sadness that we announce the death of John Hill, Head of French within the Board of Applied Languages and Linguistics (BALL) at the University of Kent until 1993.
With a background in secondary school teaching, John joined the University Language Centre in the 1960s, working together with his wife Jacqueline to produce a range of new and innovative language courses for the fledgling university. He became Head of French in the Institute of Languages and Linguistics (ILL) – where he and Jacqueline were known affectionately as the ‘Hills of ILL’ – which was later to become BALL. Here, his role was to prepare students of other disciplines in a short time, and to an exceptionally high standard, for their year abroad. Many such students have come to Kent with little language background, and expressed gratitude to John for enabling them fully to benefit from a year’s study in a francophone country.
In a very real sense, he and Jacqueline were pioneers of ‘the European university’ concept that has long made the University of Kent distinctive. He outlived his wife Jacqueline, who died in April, by only three months. The couple are survived by their two sons.