I am highly delighted to introduce this University Students Handbook to the students of Department of Nigerian Languages, Umaru Musa Yar’adua University, Katsina. In any case, a student’s Handbook is expected to be his/her companion. The desire for a Student Handbook is spelt out by the National Universities Commission (NUC). It is therefore in compliance with the NUC’s directive that this Handbook is produced for wide circulation and use by students.


The Handbook seeks to provide the required information on the operations and academic programmes of the Department, in particular, and the University in general. It is expected that this book will provide students and general public with the necessary information that will allow them to appreciate the ethics, norms, mission and vision, as well as rules and regulations of the University. It shall also serve as a guide to the students towards the successful completion of their academic programmes in the University.


I wish to appreciate the purposeful efforts of the University management in initiating this work. I am also indebted to the members of the Academic Staff and the Secretary of this Department for their great contribution in ensuring a successful draft.


Finally, I recommend this handbook to all students.


Dr. Shu’aibu Mustapha                                                       

Acting Head of Department


Brief History of the Department

The Department was established in January, 2007 with a total student population of forty-two and eight teaching staff. On inception, it was named Department of Hausa. However, the University Management approved its renaming as Department of Nigerian Languages in March 2007. Although the Department offers only Hausa language, it will in future teach and conduct research in indigenous Nigerian languages in their various manifestations – including literature and culture.

Mal. (now Dr) Ahmed Dan-Maigoro was the pioneer Head of Department. He was replaced in August 2008 by Professor Haruna A. Birniwa, who was then on sabbatical from Usmanu Danfodio University, Sokoto. Dr (now Professor) Ibrahim Malumfashi also on sabbatical from Usmanu Danfodio University, Sokoto, took over the headship of the Department in 2009. He was replaced by Dr. Usman U. Fagge, also on sabbatical from Bayero University Kano. Dr. Fagge was succeeded by Dr. Atiku A. Dunfawa, also on sabbatical from Usmanu Danfodio University, Sokoto in November 2010. Professor Sabry Salama took over the affairs of the Department in the 2011/12 session, and was replaced in February 2016 by Dr. Mustafa Shuaibu, who is currently the acting Head of Department.


Philosophy and Objectives

The mandate of the department is to teach and conduct research in Nigerian Languages as well as extend and expand knowledge relevant to the needs of the Nigerian society and the wider world.

The degree programme is aimed at producing graduates infused with enthusiasm to make meaningful contribution to the society and in particular restore the indigenous languages, literature and cultures of our society.

The general objectives of awarding a degree in the Department are based on the general objectives of the National University Commission:

  1. To expose students to various aspects of their chosen language, linguistics, literature and culture with a view to helping them achieve greater competence and sophistication in their understanding and appreciation of the values inherent in those aspects.
  2. To train students to be able to apply their knowledge for the advancement of their society.
  3. To prepare students for further studies in the discipline and/or for relevant careers (e.g. teaching, administration, etc).
  4. To produce highly motivated and conscious Nigerians.