The Berkeley Urdu Initiative was officially launched on September 25, 2011, with a fundraising drive to create a permanent endowment to protect the position of the Urdu lecturer as well as Urdu instruction at UC Berkeley.
Urdu language instruction has been part of Berkeley's South Asian language curriculum since the late 1950s and we offer instruction in Urdu at all levels, from beginning to advanced. Berkeley does not combine Urdu and Hindi instruction. We are also extremely proud to report that after a 5 year hiatus the Berkeley Urdu Language Program in Pakistan's (BULPIP) is back and the first cohort will soon be leaving for a semester-long study abroad program based in Lahore.
We are happy to report that by the spring of 2013, with the support of donors both in the US as well as in Pakistan, we reached our goal of raising the required $300K. This amount, along with with the generous support of UC Berkeley and the US Dept. of Education's Title VI Grant, help reaffirm the university’s place as one of the premier instructions for the study and propagation of Urdu in the United States. Our present priorities for Urdu Studies at Berkeley include raising money to: a) create a fund to support Urdu programming, b) create an artist/scholar-in-residence program, and c) create an endowed book prize. Read more about this initiative here >>