University of Dhaka

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University of Dhaka
ঢাকা বিশ্ববিদ্যালয়
Logo of the University of Dhaka
Motto সত্যের জয় সুনিশ্চিত (Bengali)
Motto in English
Truth Will Prevail
Established 1921
Type Public, Coeducational
Chancellor Abdul Hamid
Vice-Chancellor AAMS Arefin Siddique
Academic staff
Students 37,800
Location Dhaka,  Bangladesh
Campus Urban, 240 hectares (600 acres) (without the Institute of leather engineering and tech.)
University of Dhaka Logo

The University of Dhaka (Bengali: ঢাকা বিশ্ববিদ্যালয় [ɖʰaka biʃʃobid̪d̪alɔe̯], also known as Dhaka University or simply DU), is the oldest university in modern Bangladesh. Established during the British Raj in 1921, it gained a reputation as the "Oxford of the East" during its early years and has been a significant contributor to the modern history of Bangladesh.[1][2][3][4][5] After the Partition of India, it became the focal point of progressive and democratic movements in Pakistan. Its students and teachers played a central role in the rise of Bengali nationalism and the independence of Bangladesh.

The university's distinguished alumni include Fazlur Rahman Khan (pioneer of modern structural engineering), Muhammad Yunus (winner of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize, pioneer of Microcredit), Muhammad Shahidullah(Famous educator, philologist and linguist), Rehman Sobhan (social democratic economist), Mohammad Ataul Karim(physicist), Abul Fateh (one of the founding fathers of South Asian diplomacy), Buddhadeb Bose (20th century Bengali poet) and Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (the founding father of Bangladesh). It also enjoyed associations with Satyendra Nath Bose, Vijayaraghavan, Kazi Nazrul Islam, Rabindranath Tagore and Faiz Ahmed Faiz.

Today, it is the largest public university in Bangladesh, with a student body of 33,000 and a faculty of 1,800. It was identified by AsiaWeek as one of the top 100 universities in Asia.[6] However, since the 1990s, the university has suffered from intensely politicized, partisan and violent campus politics promoted by Bangladesh's political parties.[7]


Earliest Bachelor of Arts certificate from the University, 1928
1904 image of Dhaka College, which was in existence from 1841 to 1921 before the founding of Dhaka University

Before Dhaka University was established, near its grounds were the former buildings of Dhaka College. But in 1873 the college was relocated to Bahadur Shah Park. Later it shifted to Curzon Hall, which would later become the first institute of the University of Dhaka.

The establishment of the university was a compensation of the annulment of the 1905 Partition of Bengal. The partition had established East Bengal and Assam as a separate province, with Dhaka as its capital. However, the partition was abolished in 1911 due to severe opposition from Indian National Congress and Bengali Hindus.[8] To appease the people of East Bengal, Lord Curzon declared that a university as a center of excellence would be established in Dacca. Khwaja Salimullah, the Nawab of Dhaka, also played a pioneering role in establishing a university in Dhaka.[9]

In 1913, public opinion was invited before the university scheme was given its final shape. The secretary of state approved it in December 1913.[10] The first vice-chancellor of the university, Dr. Philip Joseph Hartog, formerly academic registrar of the University of London for 17 years was appointed.

Meeting on the University of Dhaka premises on 21 February 1952

Established in 1921 under the Dacca University Act 1920 of the Indian Legislative Council, it is modelled after British universities. Academic activities started on July 1, 1921 with 3 Faculties: Arts, Science and Law; 12 Departments: Sanskrit and Bengali, English, Education, History, Arabic and Islamic Studies, Persian and Urdu, Philosophy, Economics and Politics, Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, and Law; 3 Dormitories for students: Salimullah Muslim Hall, Dacca Hall and Jagannath Hall.[11]

The university later played a significant role in the Bengali Language Movement, when Bengalis joined together to fight against Urdu being the official language in East Pakistan. Dhaka University was the main place where the movement started with the students joining together and protesting against the Pakistan government. Later countless students were massacred in where the Shaheed Minar stands today. After the incident, Bengali was restored as official language.

The Dhaka University Order, 1973[edit]

President's order no. 11 OF 1973 re-constitute and re-organize the University of Dhaka for the purpose of improving the teaching and research provided thereby and the administration after 1971 Independence war. Throughout this Order the word Dhaka was substituted for the word Dacca by section 2 of the University Laws (Amendment) Act, 1987 (Act No. XXXVI of 1987)


Residential Facilities[edit]

The university has 23 residence halls for the students and a number of dormitories for the teachers as well as for the officials of the university.

Residence Hall[edit]

Bank of pond at Shahidullah Hall, University of Dhaka.
  1. A.F. Rahman Hall
  2. Amar Ekushey Hall
  3. Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Hall
  4. Bangladesh-Kuwait Maitree Hall
  5. Begum Fazilatunesa Mujib Hall
  6. Bijoy Ekattor Hall
  7. Fazlul Haq Muslim Hall
  8. Haji Muhammad Mohshin Hall
  9. IBA Hostel
  10. ILET Hostel
  11. Jagannath Hall
  12. Kabi Jashimuddin Hall
  13. Kabi Sufiya Kamal Hall
  14. Muktijoddha Ziaur Rahman Hall
  15. Nawab Faizunnessa Chowdhurani Chhatrinibash (Hostel)
  16. Ruqayyah Hall
  17. Salimullah Muslim Hall
  18. Sergent Zahurul Haq Hall
  19. Shahidullah Hall
  20. Shahnewaz Hostel
  21. Shamsunnahar Hall
  22. Sir P.J. Hartog International Hall
  23. Surya Sen Hall


  1. Bangabandhu Tower
  2. Fuller Road Teacher's Quarter
  3. Isha Khan Road Residential Area
  4. Shaheed Abul Khair Bhaban
  5. Saheed Munir Chowdhury Bhaban


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.[citation needed]

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.

Besides the Faculty of Business Studies of the university has an E-Library which is the largest in the Asia of its kind.[12] This advanced level E-Library is connected with 35 internationally renowned libraries and publication houses in the world. Teachers, students and researchers are able to read all journals, books research papers and articles of these leading libraries, including the Dhaka University, Oxford University and Cambridge University libraries, by using the E-Library facilities.

Health services[edit]

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.


There are some cafeterias on campus, some of which hold historical and architectural interest. In 1971 Pakistani soldiers killed the owner of the Madhur Canteen.[citation needed]

The Teacher-Student Centre, University of Dhaka of the university has its own cafeteria while another cafeteria stands on the Dhaka University Snacks (DUS) chattar. The Faculty of Business Studies has a modern food court for its students.[13]

Students of Charukala (Fine Arts) Institute of University of Dhaka preparing for Pohela Boishakh
Pohela Boishakh (Bengali new year) celebrations in Dhaka, Bangladesh
Pohela Boishakh (Bengali new year) celebration in DU campus

Academic departments[edit]

Aparajeyo Bangla, a statue on the Bangladesh Liberation War, located at the center of Dhaka University Campus
Curzon Hall,a British Raj-era building and home of the Faculty of Science at University of Dhaka
Convocation dress of student graduating from University of Dhaka
Graduates of University of Dhaka celebrate the day of Convocation
Building of Faculty of Business Studies at University of Dhaka

The university has 70 departments under 13 faculties. The faculties are:

Faculty of Arts[edit]

  • Department of Arabic
  • Department of Bengali
  • Department of English
  • Department of Persian Language and Literature
  • Department of History
  • Department of Philosophy
  • Department of Islamic Studies
  • Department of Pali and Buddhist Studies
  • Department of Sanskrit
  • Department of Urdu
  • Department of Theater and Performance Studies
  • Department of Linguistics
  • Department of Music
  • Department of Islamic History and Culture
  • Department of World Religions and Culture
  • Department of Information Science and Library Management

Faculty of Business Studies[edit]

  • Department of Finance
  • Department of Accounting and Information System (AIS)
  • Department of Marketing
  • Department of Management Information System (MIS)
  • Department of Management
  • Department of Banking and Insurance
  • Department of International Business
  • Department of Tourism and Hospitality Management

Faculty of Biological Science[edit]

  • Department of Botany
  • Department of Soil, Water and Environment
  • Department of Microbiology
  • Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Department of Fisheries
  • Department of Genetic Engineering and Bio-technology
  • Department of Psychology
  • Department of Clinical Psychology
  • Department of Zoology
  • Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology

Faculty of Engineering and Technology[edit]

  • Department of Electrical & Electronic Engineering (Former Department of Applied Physics, Electronics & Communication Engineering)
  • Department of Applied Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
  • Department of Computer Science and Engineering
  • Department of Nuclear Engineering

Faculty of Education[edit]

  • Technical Teachers' Training College (Technical Education)

Faculty of Fine Arts[edit]

  • Department of Crafts
  • Department of Drawing and Painting
  • Department of Graphic Design
  • Department of Printmaking
  • Department of Oriental Art
  • Department of Sculpture
  • Department of History of Art
  • Department of Ceramics

Faculty of Law[edit]

  • Department of Law

Faculty of Medicine[edit]

Faculty of Postgraduates Medical Sciences & Research[edit]

Faculty of Pharmacy[edit]

  • Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry
  • Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacology
  • Department of Pharmaceutical Technology

Faculty of Science[edit]

  • Department of Chemistry
  • Department of Physics
  • Department of Mathematics
  • Department of Statistics, Biostatistics & Informatics
  • Department of Theoretical Physics
  • Department of Biomedical Physics and Technology
  • Department of Applied Mathematics

Faculty of Social Sciences[edit]

  • Department of Anthropology
  • Department of Criminology
  • Department of Development Studies
  • Department of Economics
  • Department of International Relations
  • Department of Sociology
  • Department of Mass Communication and Journalism
  • Department of Population Sciences
  • Department of Political Science
  • Department of Public Administration
  • Department of Peace and Conflict Studies
  • Department of Women's and Gender Studies
  • Department of Television and Film Studies

Faculty of Earth and Environmental Sciences[edit]

  • Department of Geography and Environment
  • Department of Geology
  • Department of Oceanography
  • Department of Disaster Science and Management


  1. Institute of Education and Research
  2. Institute of Statistical Research and Training
  3. Institute of Business Administration
  4. Institute of Nutrition and Food Science
  5. Institute of Social Welfare and Research
  6. Institute of Modern Languages
  7. Institute of Health Economics
  8. Institute of Information Technology
  9. Institute of Renewable Energy
  10. Institute of Disaster Management and Vulnerability Studies
  11. Institute of Leather Engineering & Technology

Bureaus, Research Centers and Scholarship programs[edit]

Teacher Student Centre

Trusts, foundations and scholarship programs[edit]

The 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.


International ranking[edit]

In 2014-2015, the University of Dhaka was ranked 701 by QS World University Rankings (formerly Times Higher Education–QS World University Rankings).[16]
In 2011-2012, the University of Dhaka made it into the list of 'Top World Universities' in the ranking carried out by QS World University Rankings. Out of over 30,000 universities around the world, DU was placed at 551.[17] In Engineering & IT the university positioned 100 th where in Life Sciences & Biomedicine the university ranked 284th.
However, the university ranked better in 2007 (within top 500) and 2006 (365th). The ranking in 2007 was: 336th in Arts & Humanities, 256th in Natural Sciences, 256th in Engineering & IT, 297th in Social Sciences and 251st in Life Sciences & Biomedicine.[18]

Asian level ranking[edit]

in 2015-2016, the University of Dhaka was ranked 126 by QS Asian University Rankings.[16]
In the best Asian (and Australian) universities ranking, AsiaWeek ranked the University of Dhaka 37th in 1999[19] and 64th (overall and multi-disciplinary category) out of 77 ranked universities in 2000.[20]
In 2000, the university got a comparatively higher rank in student selectivity (23rd) while got lower ranking in academic reputation (74th), faculty resources (59th), research (65th) and financial resources (74) categories.[21]

Sports and Extracurricular Activities[edit]

University of Dhaka organizes sports and other extracurricular and recreational activities. 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.

University of Dhaka ground is the official stadium of the University of Dhaka. It hosts many inter-collegiate sports tournaments at inter-city and national levels.

Intramural and extramural program (games and sports)[edit]

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.

Badhan: Dhaka University Zone[edit]

Badhan is a voluntary blood donors' organization that mobilizes fresh blood donors in Bangladesh. It started its journey from the Shahidullah Hall of the University of Dhaka in 1997. The organization came to light through a free blood group testing program at the Shahidullah Hall premises of the university on October 27 of the same year.

Since then, Badhan has become a pioneer of voluntary blood donors with 34 wings in different universities of the country. The zonal office of Badhan in the university is on the ground floor of Teacher-Student Centre. Other than donating blood, Badhan motivates the youths and the students to donate blood, tests the blood group of the students and the poor population at free etc.

Dhaka University Cultural Society[edit]

DUCS logo

The Dhaka University Cultural Society, from 2015, also known as DUCS is a university affiliated voluntary organization with the motto is Express to Explore.

Dhaka University Tourist Society[edit]

Dhaka University Tourist Society was formed on October 30 of 1995 and has been being functional till date. The motto of DUTS is “To develop the tourism sector we need a social movement”.[22]

DUTS focuses on the tourism development of the country and facilitates tours for the students of the university at comparatively lower cost. DUTS works to create awareness among the people of the country regarding tourism and promote tourism in every aspect. DUTS organizes programs like National Tourism Rally, Migratory Bird Fair, Indigenous Fair etc.

Dhaka University Information Technology Society[edit]

Dhaka University Information Technology Society (DUITS) was formed in September, 2011 with a view to digitalizing the university campus and make the students of the university aware of the uses of information technology. DUITS has been working to enhance the knowledge of the students with the best utilization of the information technology.

DUITS aims to build ICT based campus through technology friendly environment for students. National Campus IT Festival, an event to encourage the innovations and creativity of the students from national arena, is one of the most significant initiatives DUITS has taken so far.[23] DUITS is organizing the festival since 2012.[24]

Dhaka University Film Society[edit]

Dhaka University Film Society also known as DUFS is a voluntary students' organization of the University of Dhaka in Bangladesh.[25][26]

It is one of the pioneers of film society movement in Bangladesh. DUFS's motto is Better Films, Better Viewers. DUFS is an active member of the Bangladesh Federation of Film Societies (BFFS).[27] DUFS is TSC based students' organization. Professor Dr. Mohammad Touhidul Anwar was the first club moderator. Present moderator of Dhaka University Film Society is AAMS Arefin Siddique; present vice chancellor of the university.

Dhaka University Photographic Society[edit]

Dhaka University Photographic Society (DUPS) was established on August 29 of 1999 and is working till date relentlessly to encourage the students of the university to learn to art of photography to open the eyes of the society.[28] DUPS not only facilitates the privileged and professionals, but also motivates the passionate ones.

DUPS organizes photography courses for the students of the university. National Photography Festival is one of the flagship projects of DUPS while it is well known for arranging many local and international exhibitions and photography contests.[29]

Dhaka University Model United Nations Association[edit]

DUNMUN 2014 Opening

Dhaka University Model United Nations Association, popular as DUMUNA is the only MUN club of the university and the first of its kind in Bangladesh. DUMUNA promotes the concept of Model United Nations in the university and practices it since 2011 after being established on January 13 of same year with the motto, "United We Work, United We Achieve".[30] The Chief Advisor of DUMUNA is Professor Dr. AAMS Arefin Siddique with Professor Dr. Delwar Hossain as the Moderator of the club.

DUMUNA is credited for organizing the most prestigious internationally recognized Model United Nations conference of Bangladesh, Dhaka University National Model United Nations (DUNMUN).[31][32] DUMUNA has been successfully organizing this conference since 2012. In addition, DUMUNA organizes workshops on MUN, mock MUN, and sends delegation to various MUN conferences including Harvard National Model United Nations. DUMUNA, besides being a campus based voluntary organization, it is recognized by United Nations Information Center, Dhaka.[33]

BNCC, DU Wing[edit]

After the establishment University of Dhaka (1921) the, BNCC, Corps initiated its activities under the provisions of the Indian Territorial Forces Act, 1923. Captain E. Groom was the first Adjutant of the Corps. He imparted military training to 100 students and 16 teachers in November 1927. Later University Training Corps was officially founded in June 1928. In 1943, the name of the Corps was changed to University Officers Training Corps (UOTC). The members of this Corps took part in the liberation war of Bangladesh in 1971. After independence, Bangladesh Cadet Corps comprising college students, and Junior Cadet Corps comprising junior students, were formed in addition to University Officers Training Corps. On 23 March 1979, University Officers Training Corps, Bangladesh Cadet Corps and Junior Cadet Corps were all merged by President Ziaur Rahman, he has united Bangladesh National Cadet Corps (BNCC).

List of vice chancellors[edit]

  1. Sir. Philip Hartog:[34] 1.12.1920-31.12.1925
  2. Professor G. H. Langley: 1.1.1926-30.6.1934
  3. Sir. A. F. Rahman : 1.7.1934-31.12.1936
  4. Dr. Ramesh Chandra Majumdar : 1.1.1937-30.6.1942
  5. Dr. Mahmud Hasan : 1.7.1942-21.10.1948
  6. Dr. S. M. Hossain : 22.10.1948-8.11.1953
  7. Dr. W. A. Jenkins:[35] 9.11.1953-8.11.1956
  8. Justice Muhammad Ibrahim:[36] 9.11.1956-27.10.1958
  9. Justice Hamoodur Rahman:[37] 5.11.1958-14.12.1960
  10. Dr. Mahmud Hussain : 15.12.1960-19.2.1963
  11. Dr. Md. Osman Ghani[38][39] 20.2.1963-1.12.1969
  12. Justice Abu Sayeed Chowdhury : 2.12.1969-20.1.1972
  13. Dr. Muzaffar Ahmed Chaudhury : 21.1.1972-12.4.1973
  14. Dr. Abdul Matin Chowdhury:[40] 13.4.1973-22.9.1975
  15. Professor Muhammad Shamsul Huq : 23.9.1975-1.2.1976
  16. Dr. Fazlul Halim Chowdhury : 2.2.1976-20.3.1983
  17. Dr. A. K. M. Siddiq:[41] 21.3.1983-16.8.1983
  18. Dr. Md. Shamsul Huq : 17.8.1983-12.1.1986
  19. Professor Abdul Mannan : 12.1.1986-22.3.1990
  20. Professor M. Maniruzzaman Miah : 24.3.1990-31.10.1992
  21. Professor Emajuddin Ahamed : 1.11.1992-31.8.1996
  22. Professor Shahid Uddin Ahmad : 31.8.1996-29.9.1996
  23. Professor A. K. Azad Chowdhury:[42] 30.9.1996-12.11.2001
  24. Professor Anwarullah Chowdhury : 12.11.2001-31.7.2002
  25. Professor Dr. A.F. M. Yusuf Haider:[43] August 1, 2002 – September 23, 2002.
  26. Professor Syed Mohammad Abul Faiz : 23.9.2002-16.1.2009
  27. Professor AAMS Arefin Siddique: 17.01.2009–present

Notable alumni and faculty members[edit]

See also[edit]

Coordinates: 23°43′53.57″N 90°23′32.99″E / 23.7315472°N 90.3924972°E / 23.7315472; 90.3924972


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  25. ^ Dhaka University Film Society (DUFS)
  26. ^ Dhaka University Film Society: A hub for young cine-enthusiasts
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  41. ^ "Professor A.K.M. Siddiq". Retrieved 18 March 2015. 
  42. ^ A. K. Azad Chowdhury
  43. ^ "Department of Physics". Retrieved 18 March 2015. 

External links[edit]