Teaching of foreign languages at the higher educational establishments in Azerbaijan began in 20s of last century, independent department of foreign languages was established at API (Azerbaijan Pedagogical Institute) first in 1936/37. As there was lack of national teachers teaching foreign languages, Azerbaijan People’s Commissars Soviet came to a decision about “organizing of the school of foreign languages at Azerbaijan Pedagogical Institute” on October 9, 1937. 175 students were admitted to the school in 1937/38. 59 students on English language,92 students on German language, 24 students were admitted on French language. 46 of them to the Azerbaijan section, 129 to the Russian section. Only 95 students from that admission got diplomas in 1941. After the beginning of Second World War, necessity for the teachers of foreign languages rose, on the basis of decision reached by Azerbaijan SSR PCS about “education of German, French and English languages at higher institutions and secondary schools of Azerbaijan SSR” in October of 1940, the school of foreign languages of API named after V.I.Lenin turned to Pedagogical Institute of Foreign Languages beginning from 1941/42 and 150 students were admitted to the institute the same year.
But the institute could only realize organization process connected with the beginning of Great Patriotic War and by the order of PCS the school of API continued its activity from the first of September in 1941.
Pedagogical Institute of Foreign Languages was opened on the base of the school of Foreign Languages of API in Baku city from 1948/49 years by the order of Minister of Education for the purpose to improve preparation of specialists of foreign languages. Graduate of the school of Foreign languages and a teacher of the school for some time, then activating as a dean of the school Heybat Pashayev was appointed the first rector of the institute. 150 students were admitted to the institute first year.
During the 10 years that the institute activated independently nearly 1400 specialists on foreign languages were prepared: 861 of them were specialists on English, 278 on German, 234 on French languages. Most of them were Azerbaijanis.
Azerbaijan Pedagogical Institute of Foreign Languages joined with Institute of Russian Language and Literature named after M.F.Akhundov by the order May 14, 1959 signed by Minister of Republic Education.
After nationwide leader of Azerbaijan people Heydar Aliyev’s appointment as first secretary to CP CC of Azerbaijan, serious changes were made on every field as in the field of education system, especially preparation of specialists with higher education, improvement of their theoretical and professional skills, application of modern scientific methods in the organization process of education- science. A decision about “Improvement of higher education in Azerbaijan SSR “ adopted by CP CC of Azerbaijan and Azerbaijan Ministries Soviet on October 17, in 1972 played an important place in this field. Azerbaijan SSR Ministries Soviet adopted a decision about “reorganization of Azerbaijan Pedagogical Institute of Languages named after M.F.Akhundov on November 4, 1972 connected with the execution of the decision. Azerbaijan Pedagogical Institute of Foreign Languages began activates as an independent higher institution again and Zemfira Nadir Verdiyeva was appointed the rector of the institute.
By the decision December 25, 1992 of ministry of Education of the Republic of Azerbaijan Professor Z.Verdiyeva was dismissed from his post. Vice rector for Academic Affairs, Professor Gorkhmaz Guliev was appointed a rector by the internal decision.
After our country gained independence the management of APIFL was changed and on January 25 1993 Professor Fakhraddin Veysalli was appointed a rector.
On September 6 in 1993, Z.Verdieva was reappointed a rector , F.Veysalli was dismissed.
Nationwide leader Heydar Aliyev always took care of the development of institute and gave Decree on June 13,2000 Azerbaijan State Institute of Languages turned to Azerbaijan University of Languages by increasing its activity. Samad Seyidov was appointed the rector of the university by the order June 30, 2000 signed by the President.
Additional educational building delivered to the university in 2003 in the result of care of national leader Heydar Aliyev, new educational building of five stored was given into the use considered for 2500 students by the direction of Ilham Aliyev in 2005.
There are 7 schools, 25 departments at the university, a lot of scientific centers, laboratories activate at present, during a short time the number of the students increased from 3000 to 7000. Permanent Dissertation Council activates on 4 specialties at the University:” German languages”, “World Literature”, “Theoretical methodic of education and teaching”, “Comparative historic and comparative –typological linguistics”.
Azerbaijan University of Languages that quickly reacts to the reforms in educational system of the Republic passed to the credit education system for the first time among the state higher educational establishments. Center for “Maintenance of the quality” in the frame of project of Tempus for the purpose to keep maintenance of the quality in the focus of attention, to make tight partnership with foreign partners was established. Relations with advanced universities of the world are expanded day by day. Relations with the universities of Turkey, America, England, France and Europe intensively develop, mutual contracts are made, exchange of teachers and students increase, intensive works are carried in the direction of recognition of diplomas.