School of Arts

Nobuhle Hlongwa

Nobuhle Hlongwa

Dean & Head of School




Contact Number



Howard College Campus

Office Address

Memorial Tower Building, Ground Floor, G101

Degrees Held

  • BA
  • BAHon
  • MA
  • DLitt (UDW)


  • She has 19 years’ experience in academia. She joined the University of Durban Westville in 1998 as a Lecturer. She is the former Dean of Teaching and Learning in the College of Humanities (2012-2017). She provided strategic leadership on issues of teaching and learning in the College of Humanities. She was the Acting Dean and Head of the School of Religion, Philosophy and Classics for six months. She is the former Acting Deputy Dean of the Undergraduate Studies in the faculty of Humanities, Development and Social Sciences. She is the former Head of the School of isiZulu Studies (2005-2007). She is a representative of the University of KwaZulu-Natal in the Community of Practice for the teaching and learning of African Languages (CoPAL) which forms part of the devolved governance structure of Universities of South Africa (USAF). She is an external examiner for MA and PHD thesis for Stellenbosch, UCT, UNISA, UNIZULU, Rhodes and DUT. She has examined more than 30 MA dissertations and PhD thesis.


  • She is an NRF rated scientist. She is the author of a scholarly book entitled “Ukuhlelwa Kolimi” translated as language planning. She is one of the guest editors of a special issue of Alternation Journal Vol.17,1 2010 with the theme: Multilingualism for  access, language development and language intellectualisation. She is also one of the guest editors of the No 13 2014 special edition of Alternation Journal with the theme: African Languages in South Africa’s Dispensation of Freedom and Democracy. She is also one of the guest editors of Alternation special edition No 18 2016 entitled: African Indigenous Knowledge Systems (AIKS) in Mental Health, African Literature, and Education. She is the member of the Board of Directors of the International Congress of Onomastic Sciences (ICOS). She was the editorial Secretary of Nomina Africana Journal.  She is an executive member of International Council on Indigenous Place Names (ICIPN). She was a member of the Ministerial Advisory Panel on the development of African Languages in Higher Education. She was appointed by Pan South African Languages Board as a Commissioner for Linguistic Human Rights Tribunal. She successfully coordinated the SANTED Multilingualism project, a collaborative project between UKZN and Durban University of Technology (2007-2009) with an aim of promoting access, retention and successful professional training. The project was generously funded by the Norwegian Agency and the Department of Higher Education and Training.


  • She was awarded Mellon Merit Award for Younger Scholars in Humanities, Development Social Sciences in 2008/2009. She got a Merit Award in 2007 for 2008 for excellence in University Service and Community Involvement. In 2012 she received Bilingualism/Multilingualism award in the College of Humanities for a commitment to longstanding and sustained promotion of bilingualism at the University and National level.

Research Interests

  • Language Planning and Policy
  • Onomastics
  • Teaching and Learning in Higher Education

Teaching Interests

  • IsiZulu 1st and 2nd language teaching
  • Onomastics
  • Comparative Nguni Linguistics
  • Historical and Comparative African Linguistics
  • Sociolinguistics and Language Planning.


  • She has successfully supervised 27 postgraduate students, 11 Honours research projects, 12 MA dissertations, and 4 PhDs to completion. She currently supervises 2 MAs and 7 PhD students in the College of Humanities.