• Universiti Malaya Library
  • query_perpustakaan@um.edu.my
  • +603 79567800


Professor Emeritus Datuk Dr. Nik Safiah Karim

Professor Emeritus Datuk Dr. Nik Safiah Karim was born on December 17, 1939 in Kampong Banggol, Kota Bharu, Kelantan. She received her early education at Sekolah Rendah Inggeris Perempuan Kota Bahru(now known as Sekolah Rendah Zainab). Then, she went on to study at the Malay Women’s College, Jalan Damansara, Kuala Lumpur (now known as Tunku Kurshiah College, Seremban). After that, she studied at St. Francis Institution, Malacca until she graduated from the Higher School Certificate in 1959. In 1965 she obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Linguistics from the University of Malaya. Later in 1975 she obtained his Doctor of Philosophy in Linguistics from Ohio University, USA. Her academic career began with her appointment as a tutor in the Department of Malay Studies, University of Malaya in 1963. Throughout her career, she held the position of lecturer, Associate Professor and later was appointed Professor in the Department of Malay Studies.


  • Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences twice from 1982 to1983 and 1992 to 1994.
  • Head of the Department of Malay Studies from 984 to 1986 and the first Director of the Academy of Malay Studies from 1990 until 1992.
  • Between 1989 and 1990, she was seconded to the Language and Library Hall as Deputy Director General. There she continued to invest in the struggle for the need of the Malay language not only in the country but also throughout the world. This is reflected in her 14-year appointment in the Lembaga Pengelola Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka and Ahli Jawantankuasa Tetap Bahasa Melayu (JKTBM) representing Malaysia at the Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia and Malaysia (MABBIM) Malay Language Council meetings. She is also an invited member of the International Malay Language Council (MABM).

Last Update: 11/04/2023