The History of Dhaka University

Dhaka University was founded in 1897. Its founders were prominent Bengalis, including the fourth Nawab of Dhaka, the leading Muslim politician during the British period. Sir Salimullah donated 600 acres of land to the university and called for the establishment of institutions of higher learning in East Bengal. Other notable figures in the development of the university included Sher-e-Bangla A K Fazlul Huq, a prominent Bengali writer, lawyer, and parliamentarian.


The history of Dhaka University traces its beginnings back to 1921. Its first Vice-Chancellor, Sir P.J. Hartog, set up the university in the city’s picturesque Ramna district on 600 acres of land. Since then, the University has been one of the oldest colleges in the country and has been producing some of the country’s top scholars. Today, it continues to attract students from all over the world.


Originally a residential institution in Bengal, Dhaka University assumed authority over all educational institutions in East Bengal in 1947. From that point on, the university experienced unprecedented growth. While the emergence of other universities in the city did little to alleviate the burden, the liberation war severely disrupted academic life at the university. Now, the University’s history is more than 100 years old. Let’s examine how the university was formed and where it is today.


Faculty of Dhaka University is the largest private university in Bangladesh, with over 32,540 students and 13 faculties. The university has a huge impact on the country’s social, political, and economic life. The university’s first woman student, Hindu Lila Nag, enrolled for the MA course in 1921. Her contribution to the university is immeasurable, and it has led to the emergence of a thriving Muslim middle class in Bangladesh.


After the partition of India, Dhaka University embarked on a new journey. Originally, the college consisted of a medical college and small residential halls for science, law and commerce faculties. These halls were later combined into a single building and named Dhaka Hall. The university also had a female hostel and a part of the medical college building served as East Pakistan’s Legislative Assembly.


The Planning and Development Office is responsible for exploring and acquiring resources. It processes development plans and investment projects and prepares monthly and annual progress reports. The office is also responsible for building a dedicated playground for female students. Despite these challenges, the university plans to develop its campus to meet global standards. Moreover, there are also plans to convert the campus into a solar energy campus. To further boost the university’s energy efficiency, the administration is implementing a green infrastructure plan to help reduce the environmental impact of the university.


In 1931, the government of British India created a commission to determine the university’s status. The commission considered two options: a residential university or a grant-sanctioning entity. The former was preferred by the colonial government, and the Muslim leaders of East Bengal sought to protect their students from the discrimination of Calcutta University. In contrast, the Hindus opposed the university’s status as either an affiliating university or a grant-sanctioned one.


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