Manchester Metropolitan University has become the first higher education institute in the United Kingdom to offer a degree in Urdu.
While shorter courses are available at other universities, this is the first time Urdu has been included in the title of an official degree.
Manchester Metropolitan University will offering the degree from September onward to students also reading international business and politics.
As per the curriculum, there will be workshops in the morning by British-Pakistani novelist and scriptwriter Qaisra Shahraz and Sheraz Ali, a lecturer at the University of Manchester, with live performances in the afternoon.
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Urdu, which is Pakistan’s official language is also spoken in India, the Middle East, Canada, and the United States. About 100 million people speak Urdu in the world, including 400,000, in the UK.
Yasmin Hussain from the Routes Into Languages university consortium campaigned for the introduction of the new degree.
"The discourse is that modern foreign languages like French and Spanish are more important. Minority languages aren't seen to be as valued and so it has taken a long time," she said.
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Students on the full-time courses will have the chance to learn how the language has been used in film and literature.
"There is a demand for Urdu-related jobs not just in this country but also in many others, especially within professions such as teaching and the health and legal sectors," Sheraz Ali said.
Ali believed the course would attract students from different backgrounds and not just native speakers of the language.
"The Urdu degree is open to everyone, not just people from the South Asian diaspora. We live in a multicultural society, where language isn't only a pile of words but something which can bring people together," he added.
This article originally appeared on BBC.
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