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On the first day of July 1921 the University of Dhaka opened its doors to students with Sir P.J. Hartog as the first Vice-Chancellor of the University. The University was set up in a picturesque part of the city known as Ramna on 600 acres of land.
The University started its activities with 3 Faculties,12 Departments, 60 teachers, 877 students and 3 dormitories (Halls of Residence) for the students. At present the University consists of 13 Faculties, 71 Departments, 10 Institutes, 17 dormitories, 3 hostels and more than 38 Research Centres. The number of students and teachers has risen to about 33,112 and 1,805 respectively.
The main purpose of the University was to create new areas of knowledge and disseminate this knowledge to the society through its students. Since its inception the University has a distinct character of having distinguished scholars as faculties who have enriched the global pool of knowledge by making notable contributions in the fields of teaching and research.
The high standard of education and research for the University was set by its first Vice-Chancellor, Sir P.J. Hartog when in the 2nd Convocation address he said, “A man may be an excellent teacher of elementary subjects without the power to add to knowledge. But in advanced work I maintain that no one can really teach well unless he has the combination of imagination with critical power which leads to the original production (of knowledge), and for that if for no other reason, a university to be a true university must see that its teachers are men who are also capable of advancing knowledge.”
A new phase began in the history of the University with the emergence of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh in 1971. This has been a phase of development, expansion and consolidation of earlier gains. The University has assumed a central role in the academic pursuits of the region including this new nation. The University of Dhaka has passed through tumultuous times at different periods of our national history and played vital, at times pioneering, roles in all critical junctures in the making of this great nation. The University played a central role in the Language Movement of 1952 that ultimately culminated in the recognition of Bangla as the State Language. Scores of students, teachers and employees of the University of Dhaka laid down their lives for the independence of the country. Just after the creation of Bangladesh, the government proclaimed the University of Dhaka Order 1973 whereby democratic norms and autonomy became integral features of the institution.
While serving as the highest echelon of academic excellence, the University also functions as a central premise for free thought and democratic practices that would lead the nation to its march towards progress. The University of Dhaka is increasingly striving to combine the pursuit of knowledge and truth with the values and needs of an evolving society. It is noteworthy that the Governor of Bengal and the Chancellor of the University of Dacca, Loard Lytton in his speech at the first Convocation of the University on 22 February, 1923 said “….this University is Dacca’s greatest possession, and will do more than anything else to increase and spread the fame of Dacca beyond the limits of Bengal or even of India itself”.
Presently the University enrolls more than 5,800 students, on merit basis, in the first year Honours Program in different Departments of the Faculties and the Institutes. Besides conducting teaching courses in the 4- year Bachelor and 1-year Masters Programmes, the University also trains up a large number of researchers in different disciplines. More than 842 Ph.D. and 673 M.Phil. researchers have obtained their degrees from this University.
The University of Dhaka is dedicated to the advancement of learning, and is committed to promoting research in all fields of knowledge. As there are plans for further expansion of facilities, plans for new avenues and opportunities, the course curricula are updated and new research projects are undertaken every year. As the pioneer and the largest seat of learning in the country, the University of Dhaka has taken the task to foster the transformation processes of the individual students and the country as a whole through its educational and research facilities keeping up with demands of the day. The University of Dhaka is at this moment one of the leading institutions of higher education in Asia.
The University of Dhaka is well prepared to meet the challenges of the future days with its spirit of freedom, justice and truth as a foundation concomitant to the objectives envisaged by the founding fathers.
The open-minded character of the University of Dhaka embodying the features of beauty and historical origins can be seen as one enters the campus.
Bengali Language Movement
On 21 March 1948, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, the Governor General of Pakistan, declared that Urdu would be the only state language for both West and East Pakistan. The people of East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), whose main language is Bengali, started to protest against this declaration. On 21 February 1952, (8 Falgun 1359 in the Bengali calendar), students of the University of Dhaka called for a general strike. The government invoked section 144 prohibiting all types of public gathering. The Pakistani police fired on the students who came out on the streets defying the government order and a number of students were killed. Thus the language martyrs were created, which led to the foundation of Shaheed Minar.
Shaheed Minar, or the Martyr’s monument, is the symbol of the language movement. In 1999, UNESCO declared 21 February as International Mother Language Day in tribute to the Language martyrs marking the ethno-linguistic rights of people around the world.
The university has 66 departments under 13 faculties.
Bureau and Research Centers:
- Bureau of Economic Research
- Bureau of Business Research
- Bose Centre for Advanced Study and Research in Natural Sciences
- Centre for Advanced Studies and Research in Biological Sciences
- Dev Centre for Philosophical Studies
- Renewable Energy Research Centre
- Centre for Advanced Research in Humanities
- Centre for Advanced Research in Social Sciences
- Semiconductor Technology Research Centre
- Biotechnology Research Centre
- DU Cyber Centre
- Nazrul Research Centre
- Nazmul Karim Study Centre
- Disaster Research Training and Management Centre
- Dr. Sirajul Haque Islamic Research Centre
- Centre for Biomedical Research
- Bangladesh-Australia Centre for Environmental Research
- Delta Research Centre
- Centre for Advanced Research in Physical, Chemical, Biological and Pharmaceutical Sciences – The Centre of Excellence
- Centre for Advanced Research in Arts and Social Sciences – The Centre of Excellence
- Centre for Corporate Governance and Finance Studies
- Center for Microfinance and Development
- Japan Study Centre
- History Research Centre
- Centre for Development and Policy Research
- University and Industry Alliance
- Professor Dilip Kumar Bhattacharya Research Centre
- Organic Pollutants Research Centre
- Refugee and Migratory Movement Research Unit
- Center for Administrative Research and Innovation-CARI
- Dhaka University Earthquake Observatory
- Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue
- Dhaka University Arboriculture Section
- Center for genocide studies
Trusts, foundations and scholarship programsThe University contains about 220 trusts and foundations offering scholarships and medals to meritorious students of the University. Besides, a large number of scholarships are also offered by the University, Dhaka University Alumni Association and the Government.
- Shahidullah Hall
- Amar Ekushey Hall
- Sergent Zahurul Haq Hall
- A.F. Rahman Hall
- Bangladesh-Kuwait Maitree Hall
- Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Hall
- Begum Fazilatunesa Mujib Hall
- Fazulul Haq Muslim Hall
- IBA Hostel
- Jagannath Hall
- Kabi Jashimuddin Hall
- Muktijoddha Ziaur Rahman Hall
- Nabab Faizunnessa Chowdhuri Hostel
- Ruqayya Hall
- Salimullah Muslim Hall
- Shamsunnahar Hall
- Surya Sen Hall
- Sir P.J. Hartog Int. Hall
- Shahnewaz Hostel
- Haji Mohammad Mohshin Hall
- Kabi Sufiya Kamal Hall
- Bijoy Ekattor Hall
The University Library, housed in three separate buildings, is the biggest in Bangladesh. The Library holds a collection of more than 617,000 volumes, including bound volumes of periodicals. In addition, it has a collection of over 30,000 manuscripts on various languages and a large number of microfilms, microfiche and CDs. It subscribes to over 300 current foreign journals.
The Dhaka University Library comprises three buildings: The administrative building, the main library building, and the science library building. The administrative building has the administrative offices, a book acquisition section, a book processing section, a reprographic section, a book binding section, a manuscript section, and a seminar section.
The Medical Center of the University of Dhaka, located near the Science Annex Building, offers free medical service and free pathological examinations to students, teachers and staffs of the University and also family members of the teachers and staffs. The Centre provides service round the clock, seven days a week, with 30 doctors working in different shifts. The Centre also has dental unit, eye unit, x-ray department and two ambulances. The Centre has in its premises arrangement for 30 bed accommodation so that students suffering from such contagious diseases as chicken pox, mumps, etc. may be taken care of in isolation.
Student counseling and guidance
The Students Counselling and guidance service is an integral part of the academic programs of students of the teaching departments and institutes of the university. It aims at helping students to adjust to campus life, effectively pursue curricular as well as co-curricular activities, develop their abilities for making wise choices and plans, and solve individual problems through counselling.
Sports and extracurricular activities
The University Of Dhaka Organizes Sports And Other Extracurricular And Recreational Activities. The Office Of The Director Of Physical Education Provides Three Types Of Programs:
- Compulsory Physical Education,
- Certificate Course In Coaching Major Games And Sports, And
- Intramural And Extramural Programs.
The University Of Dhaka Ground Is The Official Stadium Of The University Of Dhaka. It Hosts Many Inter-Collegiate Sports Tournaments At Inter-City, Provincial And National Levels.
Intramural and extramural program (games and sports)
The Directorate Also Organizes And Conducts Interdepartmental And Inter-Hall Tournaments, Individual Hall Athletics, Dhaka University Athletics, And Inter- University Games And Sports. University Students Participate In National Championships In Different Games And Sports For Which Prior Training And Coaching Are Offered.
There Are Some Cafeterias In The Campus Of University Of Dhaka. Some Of Them Are Historically Important. The Madhur Canteen Is Not Only A Cafeteria, But Also A Place Of Historical Interest Of Bangladesh.
University Of Dhaka Has Transport Services For Students. Though The Number Of The Bus Is Not Enough For The Vast Student Community It Is A Great Facility For The Students. The Bus Schedule For Different Parts Of The City Can Be Found In The Bus Depot. The Service Is Always Available Even On University Holidays, To Help Those Students Who Come To University For Library Or Teacher’s Council.
- Institute of Education and Research(IER)
- Institute of Statistical Research and Training
- Institute of Business Administration(IBA)
- Institute of Nutrition and Food Science
- Institute of Social Welfare and Research
- Institute of Modern Language
- Institute of Health Economics
- Institute of Information Technology
- Institute of Renewable Energy
- Institute of Leather Engineering and Technology(ILET)
Source: Wikipedia, Dhaka University website.