History of the Department
The Department was founded in 1992/1993 session as a Unit in the Department of Arts which was housed by the Faculty of Education. Then the Department was known as Unit of Linguistics and Nigerian Languages. The founding lecturers who prepared the B. A. degree programme of studies were Professor (then Dr.) O. M. Anizoba and Professor (then Dr.) G.O. Onyekaonwu.
Later in 1999, the Department of Arts, which had ten-degree awarding units, was merged with the Faculty of Social Sciences which then became the Faculty of Social Sciences and Arts. In 2001, the ten-degree awarding Units became the Faculty of Arts and each Unit became full Department. Unit of African Language, as the Department was called from inception, became Department of African Language.
The Department produced its first set of graduates in 1997/98 session; and has produced up to four hundred and fifty (450) graduates to date most of who are serving in various fields of life, in 1999/2000 session, the department introduced the Post-Graduate programmes with M.A students as its first intake. Later, in 2001/2002, the Department introduced a Postgraduate Diploma (PGD) programme; and in 2004/2005 registered its first Ph.D candidate. At present, the Department has produced about Thirty (30) Post-Graduate Diploma graduates and over fifty (50) M.A. graduates and twenty (20) Ph.D graduates in the various fields of Language, Literature, Culture and Translation.
Due to continued lack of interest by students, the Department was having problem with admission of students. As a result of this, it applied to the senate for a new name and the senate approved it on 6th July, 2005. After the approval, the Department was known as and called Department of African and Asian Studies. With effect from the 2005/2006 session, the Department started offering courses in Chinese Language, Culture and Literature. And in 2006/2007, the Department included Mass Communication courses in its curriculum.
Later, in 2007/2008 session, the Department introduced a Diploma programme in Chinese to attend to the yearnings of the public, especially the business community in and around the state. The Diploma programme registered the pioneer set of twenty-three (23) students out of which eight (8) graduated in 2008/2009 thus being the first set of Chinese Diploma graduates produced by the Department.
Again, in 2009/2010, there arose serious agitations to change the name of the Department to highlight Igbo studies and thus help in the present campaign for the promotion of Igbo language. Consequently, at the Senate meeting of 14/03/2010 a new name Department of Igbo, African and Chinese Studies was approved for the Department.
Heads of Department
The following have at one time or the other headed the Department:
Dr. G.O. Onyekaonwu 1992 – 1999
Dr. O. M. Anizoba 1999 – 2000
Dr. G.O. Onyekaonwu 2000 – 2003
Dr. O. M. Anizoba 2003 – 2007
Prof. G. O. Onyekaonwu 2007 – 2008
Sir George E. Onwudiwe 2008 – 2009
Prof. G. O. Onyekaonwu 2009 – 2010
Sir George E. Onwudiwe 2010 – 2011
Prof. Nkechinyere Nwokoye 2011 – 2014
Dr. I. Okodo 2014 – 2017
Dr. Thecla Udemadu 2017 till date