The Tatar language and literature have been studied at universities of Kazan for more than two centuries.
In 1804, with the creation of Kazan State University, the Tatar language was taught along with Arabic and Persian at the Oriental department. One of the first university professors of the Tatars was Professor NigmatIbragimov. Professor I.N.Berezin, A.K.Kazembek, H.D.Fren, Carl Fuchs also worked at the Oriental department . Tatar scientists and educators I. Halfin, M. Makhmudov took part in research and teaching activities along with Russian and foreign scientists.
After the Oriental department moved to St. Petersburg in 1855 there was a pause in studying the Tatar and Turkic languages at Kazan University. However, in the second half of XIX-early XX centuries the university researchers N.Ilminsky, V.Radlov, N.F.Katanov and others continued their studies in the field of the Turkic and Tatar languages.
In the early twentieth century, the Tatar language as the mother tongue was taught in madrassas. In this area G.Ibragimov, D.Validi, M.Kurbangalieva as well as other scholars and public figures played a significant role. Finally, in the early 1920s the University of Kazan resumed teaching the Tatar language basing on the centuries-old tradition of scientific instruction. In the 1920-1930-ies Tatar was taught as a second state languageunder the direction of Kurbangalieva.
In 1944 the Department of the Tatar language and literature was opened at the Faculty of History and Philology. Its first director was Associate Professor R.A.Hakimova. In 1989, on the decision of the Academic Council of Kazan State University, the faculty of Tatar Philology, History and Oriental Languages was created. In 2000 the Institute of Oriental Languages withdrew from the faculty and the Department continued to work as the Faculty of Tatar Philology and History.
In the Tatar State Humanitarian-Pedagogical University (Kazan Pedagogical Institute) the department for learning the Tatar language and literature was opened in 1925, which was the only department in the Soviet Union training teachers of the Tatar language and literature until 1944. Over the years, well-known scientists G.Alparov, G.Sagdi, M.Kurbangaliev, M.Fazullin, IbrahimovI.Halfin, M.MahmudovG.Nigmati, D.Validi, G.Sharaf , A.Sayganov, H.Gosman were engaged in research and teaching activities at this department.
After merging of the Faculty of Tatar Philology and History of Kazan University and the Faculty of Tatar Philology of the TSHPU in 2011, the Institute of Philology and Arts, which included the Division of Tatar philology was founded within Kazan (Volga) Federal University. Currently, the Division of Tatar Philology of the Institute of Philology and Arts has 5 departments: History of Tatar and Turkic linguistics, Modern Tatar language and methods of its teaching, History of Tatar literature, Tatar literature of XX-XXI centuries and methods of teaching, Linguistics, mathematics and information systems in philology. At the department 19 professors, doctors and more than 35 associate professors, candidates of sciences, are employed. 80 per cent of the teachers have academic degrees.
The Department has the youth theater "Mizgel"working under the leadership of the People's Artist of the Republic of Tatarstan Marcel Zabbarov, creative associations "Әllүki" and "Ilһam." The Tatar student newspaper "DARELFӨNYN." is published.