To be a top-class European Languages’ Department in learning and research; tracking and disseminating knowledge to and from the dominant linguistic and cultural European entities in response to the vision and mission of the University as well as in service to Nigeria and humanity at large.
To encourage the advancement of learning in all its ramifications as related to languages, cultures, civilization and dynamics of societies. Playing an intermediary role in knowledge exchange and its dissemination between Nigeria and in European countries, Francophone countries within and in the diaspora.
To provide language, linguistic, cultural, civilization and socio- economic courses of instructions and, make available facilities for research in those areas on proper terms to persons equipped to benefit from them.
To expand e-learning services to all in every corner of the globe especially in the core languages of French and Russian.
To encourage, promote and conduct research in the languages mentioned above and to relate research information in those languages to Nigeria.
To hold conferences of national and international imports towards initiating ideas that could help fashion out both micro and macro policies for socio-economic development of Nigeria and humanity at large.
To produce high-flying and accomplished multi-lingual graduates with their vantage multilingual competence and well-informed knowledge of transnational issues among which are World Literature , French, Italian and Russian culture and civilizations as well as be of great knowledge source in linguistics, administration, education, technology, international trade, diplomacy, information and civil service.
To uphold academic freedom by allowing both teachers and students to express themselves in line with academic discipline.
To have an admission policy that allows both Nigerians and other nationals feel homely and, interact freely without fear of victimization or be afraid in expressing themselves.
To create an atmosphere of hybrid culture within the Department in order to serve as a simulation ground for multicultural understanding and provide template for successful integration in Africa.
History of the Department
The Department of European Languages, one of the oldest departments in the Faculty of Arts of the University of Lagos, was established in 1964. It was renamed Department of European Languages and Integration Studies in 2016, after being successively known as the French Division of the School of Humanities (1964-1975), the Department of Modem European Languages (1975-1997) and the Department of European Languages (1997-2016).
Apart from its undergraduate courses, the Department also offers postgraduate courses. Its first M.A degree in French by thesis was awarded in 1980, while its M.A (French) degree by course work started in 1982, and this naturally led to M.Phil and Ph.D programmes. So far, the department has produced three M.A graduates by thesis, M.A graduates by course work and Ph.D (French) graduates. About twenty others are presently working assiduously on their M.Phil and the Ph.D (French) degrees. In 2007 an MOU was signed to introduce MTFFL (Masters’ in Teaching of French as a Foreign Language), MTL is also ongoing.
The Department has significantly grown in terms of students’ numbers recently, thanks to the introduction in 1997 of the B.A. Evening Programme in the Faculty of Arts as well as the introduction, in 2003, of the UNILAG Diploma in French. Candidates who possess good grades in the Diploma of French Studies of the Nigeria French Language Village also constitute a good source of candidates for our degree programme. The students’ population has also increased with the take-off from the current 2005/2006 session of the Pre-Degree programme in French.
The Department is well staffed both at the academic and non-academic cadres. No wonder, it has succeeded in putting into the Nigerian and international markets highly prized products who are doing well in public, academic and private sectors. Some are teaching in Colleges of Education (Adeyemi College of Education, Ogun State Colleges of Education at Ijebu-Ode, AOCOED, etc). Universities (such as the University of Ilorin, the University of Maiduguri, Ogun State University, LASU etc) and the Nigeria French Language Village. Five of them are presently members of our academic staff. Others work at the Alliance Française and in foreign missions, (the present Nigerian Ambassadors to France and China are graduates of our Department). Many of them work in hotels and international organizations such as the West African Institute of Bankers in Mali; where one of them once served as the Secretary-General for a period of five years. Two are professors in two leading American Universities.
Foreign students come from our neighbouring countries viz, Benin, Cameroun, Niger and even from the fairly distant Burkina Faso and Guinea to pursue their French degree programmes in our department.
The general trends among our first degree products in the last decade or so are the acquisition of other European languages as well as more professional skills (such as computer literacy). Which have helped our graduates to secure very rewarding jobs apart from the supplementation of their first degrees with postgraduate professional programmes in Translation, Interpretation, Public Administration, International Law and Diplomacy, Hotel Management. MBA, MPIA etc. These are courses which enable our graduates to be fully equipped with specialized skills and expertise and which make them very relevant to the new millennium with its focus on globalisation professionalism and specialization. Some of our graduates venture into acting and beauty contests. Two of them have won Laurel, in that regard (Uforma Ejenebor and Ololade Facus.
Russian as a sub-discipline was added into the Department of European Languages in 1970/71, first, as a minor, but later in 1983, it became a full-fledged degree programme. Students of Russian have, since 1994, been undergoing the Russian Immersion Programme initially at the Pushkin Institute of Russian Language, Moscow and later at Volgograd, both in Russia. During the period, students offer 20 unit courses (12 major, 4 minor, 4 elective) per semester. The performance of the students at home and at the Pushkin Institute (Moscow) and Technical Institute (Volgograd), has been extremely impressive.
The first set of graduates in Russian, who were three, completed their degree programme at the end of the 1986/87 session. The number has been on the increase in subsequent years and so the Unit has witnessed a gradual and steady growth in its yearly intake of students, hi 2003/2004 session alone, 34 students were admitted. It is expected that the students’ population will further increase in 2005/06 session.
It is noteworthy that many of the graduates are successful in their respective places of work while others are pursuing their .post-graduate studies in various universities in Nigeria and abroad. ‘
The unit, since inception, has witnessed tremendous improvement in terms of teaching staff and provision of teaching facilities. With initial staff strength of two lecturers and sometimes with assistance of Russian experts from Pushkin Institute, the unit had in its fold six bright and dedicated lecturers before the voluntary exit of one and enrolment of another in the Postgraduate School of Volgograd University. The University scouts continually for qualified academics to join its small team of dedicated and dynamic lecturers. Recently the Russian Embassy signed an agreement with the University to establish a cultural centre in UNILAG.
The Department of European Languages prides itself on the quality of its team of highly qualified lecturers. It is perhaps the only Department that had a turned out the highest number of Professors of French today in Nigeria. At present, the Department has eighteen lecturers in all, made up of three Professors and an Associate Professor. Some engineering lecturers are part of the resource persons in Russia.
In 1997, Italian courses were added to the programme as electives for students and the entire universities. Efforts are on to introducing Spanish. There are four non-academic members of staff, comprising a Department Secretary, a Chief Typist, an Office Assistance and a Driver.