History : Department of European Studies



The Department of Modern European Languages (now European Studies) was one of the first departments created by the new University of Ibadan in 1962. French and German were first set up in the Faculty of Arts of the then University College Ibadan (UCI) during the 1959/60 session with two lecturers in charge. A slight expansion occurred in 1960/61 with the appointment of one lecturer to cater for Arabic Studies. Finally in 1961/62, the last year of the sub-unit’s existence, further expansion occurred with the appointment of five lecturers, three in French and German and two in Arabic.

During the 1962/63 session, when the UCI became the autonomous University of Ibadan, the sub-unit metamorphosed into two full-fledged departments with three lecturers each, namely the Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies and the Department of Modern Languages. The first five years in the life of the new department recorded numerous achievements. Among which were the award of the first Doctorate degree in French and the creation of a full honours degree programme in German in 1967.

Russian was introduced in 1965 with one lecturer to provide ancillary tuition for science and agriculture students. Further development of Russian language culminated in the creation of a full honours degree programme in 1979. Thus, by the close of the 1970s, three first-degree programmes had been fully and firmly established in the department, with facilities for postgraduate studies in French.

The department adopted its present designation of ‘European Studies’ during the 1995/96 session. This present designation is to adequately reflect the broad focus of the department in the teaching and study of European civilisation and culture, and contemporary European societies.

This focus includes not only languages and literature, but also regional histories and institutions, politics and economies, thoughts as well as European relations. The department has been blessed with renowned scholars, lecturers and heads of department who have contributed immensely to its overall development.

The graduates of the Department are successfully employed in various fields in Nigeria and abroad and notably contribute to the national and global progress.