University of Rajshahi
The University of Rajshahi, also known as Rajshahi University or RU (Bengali: রাজশাহী বিশ্ববিদ্যালয় Rājshāhi Bish-shobid-daloy) is a public university which is the second largest university in Bangladesh, in Rajshahi, a city in northwestern Bangladesh. It was established in 1953, the second university to be established in what was then East Pakistan. The university is ranked third on the Bangladesh University Ranking 2017.
|Established||July 6, 1953|
|Affiliation||University Grants Commission of Bangladesh|
|Chancellor||President of Bangladesh|
|Vice-Chancellor||M. Abdus Sobhan|
|Pro Vice-Chancellor||Professor Dr. Ananda Kumar Saha|
|1,778 (December 2015)|
|2,258 (December 2015)|
|Students||38,495 (December 2015)|
|Undergraduates||15,258 (December 2015)|
|Postgraduates||9,125 (December 2015)|
|2,112 (December 2015)|
|Campus||Urban, 753 acres (3 km2)|
|Sports||Cricket, football, basketball, karate|
The university's 59 departments are organised into ten faculties. Rajshahi University is in a 753 acres (3 km2) campus in Motihar, 3 kilometres (2 mi) from the Rajshahi city centre. With 25,000 students and close to 1000 academic staff, it is one of the largest universities in Bangladesh. In addition to hosting programs in engineering, arts, law, sciences, agriculture, social sciences, business studies and medical sciences, the university houses institutes of higher studies.
The first proposal to establish a university came in 1917, when Calcutta University created the Sadler Commission to assess the university system in Bengal. However, the recommendations of the report had no immediate consequences.
University of Dhaka, established in 1921. Demand for a university in the northern part of East Bengal gained momentum when two universities were set-up quickly in West Pakistan, using funding diverted from East Bengal, without the establishment of any in the east. Students of Rajshahi College were at the forefront of the movement demanding a new university. Finally, Rajshahi was selected as the home for the second university in East Bengal and the Rajshahi University Act of 1953 (East Bengal Act XV of 1953) was passed by the East Pakistan provincial Assembly on 31 March 1953. Itrat Hossain Zuberi, the principal of Rajshahi College was appointed its first vice-chancellor.
Initially, the university was housed in temporary locations, such as the local Circuit House and Bara Kuthi, an 18th-century Dutch establishment. B B Hindu Academy, a local school, housed the library, teachers' lounge and the medical centre. The university started out with 20 professors, 161 students (of which 5 were female) and six departments—Bengali, English, History, Law, Philosophy and Economics. In 1964, the offices moved to the permanent campus.
The 1960s was a turbulent period in Bangladesh, when demands for East Pakistani autonomy became stronger. The students and staff of the university started playing an increasing role in politics. On 18 February 1969, Shamsuzzoha, a professor, was killed by the police when he tried to prevent them from shooting student demonstrators. This date is now commemorated as Zoha Day. During the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971, the campus was used as a base by the Pakistan Army. A number of professors, students and officers of the university were killed by the Pakistan army during this period.
After independence, a new act regarding the administration of the university came into being—the Rajshahi University Act of 1973. The post-independence years saw the university grow steadily in student enrolment and size of the academic staff. However, the 1980s were turbulent for the university, as the students agitated with other institutions of the country against the military rule of Hossain Muhammad Ershad. Since the early 1990s, the university have seen relative calm and lowering of session backlogs, though active student politics remains a contentious issue.
The circle of the emblem represents the world. An open book is shown in red and gold: red representing one of the colours of the national flag and gold the value of education. The body of the book is blue, the colour of the sky, and at the centre is a shapla flower (Nymphaeaceae), the national flower of Bangladesh.
The university's main campus is in Motihar, on the eastern side of the city of Rajshahi and a mile from the river Padma. The campus area is nearly 753 acres (3.05 km2). Access to the walled-off campus is controlled through three security gates. It houses eleven large academic buildings—five for the arts, business studies and social sciences, four for the sciences and two for agricultural studies.
The central part of the university, accessible by the main gate, is dominated by the administrative building, where the offices of the vice-chancellor and other officials are located. This is flanked by the senate building and the residence of the vice-chancellor on one side (featuring the famous Shabash Bangladesh sculpture) and the university mosque and Shaheed Minar complex on the other. Behind the administrative building is the central library, around which the four science buildings and three main arts buildings are. The science buildings are named numerically as the "First Science Building" and so on. The arts buildings are named after Muhammad Shahidullah, Momtazuddin Ahmed and Rabindranath Tagore. More towards the east lie the stadium, the new teacher-student centre and the main auditorium.
The Kazla gate provides access to the southwestern part of the campus. The Juberi international guest house, Rajshahi University School and the main residential facilities for the academic staff and university officers are here. Near the residential areas are all five dorms (known as residential halls) for female students. The eastern part of the campus houses the Institute of Bangladesh Studies, the medical and sports facilities, and more residential facilities for the staff—but is dominated by the eleven large dormitories for male students. From the Binodpur gate, the residential halls named after Nawab Abdul Latif, Shamsuzzoha and Madarbux are to the north, while Sher-e-Bangla hall and the oldest dorm Motihar Hall lie to the west. The second largest mass graves in Bangladesh from the 1971 war era is behind Shamsuzzoha Hall.
The campus contains many mango orchards and some litchi trees. The Paris Road is one of the most soothing places inside the campus. It starts from just behind the Juberi international guest house and ends in front of the Shaheed Minar. It has been said that it has been named as Paris Road because of the trees beside this beautiful road originating from Paris.
The Rajshahi area is regarded as one of the best mango producing areas in the country, and these orchards are leased out to professional farmers during the summer, when the fruits grow. The campus also reflects the region's silk industry, fields of mulberry trees are in the campus for agricultural and research needs. The northern part of the campus houses a botanical garden, which has a good collection of rare plants.
A few miles from the main campus is the Varendra Research Museum, one of the richest repertory of Bengal sculptures in the world. Established in 1910 by Ramaprasad Chanda, the museum became a part of the university in the 1960s when a financial crisis threatened its existence. Under the university, the museum has thrived, adding a folklore gallery to its impressive collection from ancient and medieval Bengal.
The Bara Kuthi, where the university was established is still under university control, and is on the Padma not too far from Varendra Museum. The university has an agricultural facility few miles from the main campus. Rajshahi University maintains other facilities across the country including a guesthouse in the capital city, Dhaka.
University of Rajshahi is home to many architectural and artistic landmarks, with an area of about almost 304 hectors. The Shaheed Minar is an important example, complete with a mural designed by Murtaza Bashir. The Senate House is a modern mini-parliament house, has 206 rooms and is fully air-condHitioned. It is usually used for meetings of the senate of the university, but it accommodates national and international conferences, seminars and symposiam. In front of the Senate House is Shabash Bangladesh, one of the largest war memorial sculptures in the nation, designed and constructed by Nitun Kundu. The name comes from a poem by Sukanta Bhattacharya of the same name, the last four lines of which is engraved under the structure.
Golden Jubilee Tower, a 2003 addition to the university's array of sculptures, commemorates the its 50th anniversary. It is right beside the main gate. It has also an open theatre and two beautiful murals. Other well-known buildings include the library and the university mosque. The Department of Fine Arts hosts a sizeable collection of contemporary art, while Varendra Museum has a large collection of ancient and medieval art.
Organization and administrationEdit
The university is run according to the Rajshahi University Act of 1973. The act, passed in 1973, allows the university considerably more autonomy than most other peer institutions. The president of Bangladesh is the de facto chancellor, but his role is mainly ceremonial. The highest official after the chancellor is the vice-chancellor, selected by the senate of the university every four years. The vice-chancellor, as of June 2017, is M. Abdus Sobhan.
Other important officers include the pro vice-chancellor, the registrar, the controller of examinations and the proctor. The proctor is in direct charge of student activities and is the official with most direct contact with the students. The most important statutory bodies of the university are the senate, the academic council and the syndicate.
As a public institution, most of Rajshahi University's funding comes from the government. The University Grants Commission (UGC) is the body responsible for allocating funds to all public universities.
Students are admitted after they pass the Higher Secondary Exam (HSC exam). In earlier days students partook in entrance examinations, a separate one for each department. But now students need to partake under unit of different faculty. This has been a contentious issue, as there used to be only one exam for each faculty, after which students would be allocated to departments according to their result and choice of program.
The public University of Rajshahi's tuition fees are relatively low; nevertheless, a hike in admission fees, during the 2006–07 session, drew criticism from student bodies. As of 2007, the university awarded a total of 340 scholarships, whose annual value is around 1.1 million taka. In addition, there are merit awards given by residential halls, departments and the university itself. Students are eligible for the Prime Minister's Gold Medal award.
All colleges of the northern and southern regions of the country used to be affiliated with University of Rajshahi. However, the administration of colleges across the country was taken over by the National University when it was established in 1992.
List of vice-chancellorsEdit
Following is the complete list of the vice-chancellors:
- Itrat Husain Zuberi (6 July 1953 – 30 September 1957)
- Momtazuddin Ahmed (1 October 1957 – 30 August 1965)
- Muhammad Shamsul Huq (31 August 1965 – 4 August 1969)
- Syed Sajjad Hussain (5 August 1969 – 18 July 1971)
- Muhammad Abdul Bari (19 July 1971 – 8 January 1972)
- Khan Sarwar Murshid (1 February 1972 – 3 August 1974)
- Mazharul Islam (4 August 1974 – 18 September 1975)
- Syed Ali Ahsan (27 September 1975 – 22 June 1977)
- Muhammad Abdul Bari (7 July 1977 – 17 February 1981)
- Makbular Rahman Sarkar (26 February 1981 – 22 February 1982)
- Moslem Huda (22 February 1982 – 20 September 1982)
- Abdul Rakib (4 October 1982 - 19 March 1988)
- Amanullah Ahmed (20 March 1988 – 22 July 1992)
- M. Anisur Rahman (22 July 1992 – 22 August 1994)
- M. Yusuf Ali (22 August 1994 – 16 February 1997)
- Abdul Khaleque (17 February 1997 – 3 August 1999)
- M. Sayeedur Rahman Khan (4 August 1999 – 13 November 2001)
- Faisul Islam Farouqui (13 November 2001 – 5 June 2005)
- Md. Altaf Hossain (5 June 2005 – 15 May 2008)
- Mumnunul Keramat (acting) (16 May 2008 – 28 February 2009)
- M Abdus Sobhan (26 February 2009 – 25 February 2013)
- Muhammad Mizanuddin (19 March 2013 – 20 March 2017)
- M Abdus Sobhan (7 May 2017 – present)
Faculties and departmentsEdit
The university's 58 departments are organised into 10 faculties: Arts, Law, Science, Medicine, Business Studies, Social Sciences, Life and Earth Sciences, Fine Arts and Agriculture. The Arts and the Law faculties are the oldest, both established in 1953, closely followed by the Faculty of Science (1956) and the Faculty of Engineering (est. 2009). The university's departments represent the traditional studies in arts, commerce, sciences and engineering through programs such as English,History, Languages and Linguistics, Economics, Business Studies, Mathematics, Applied Mathematics (est.2002), Physics, Computer Science & Engineering, Chemistry, Statistics, Geology & Mining, Geography, Psychology, Zoology, Botany, etc. The university is increasingly emphasising more specialised programs such as Pharmacy, Biochemistry, Information and Communication Engineering (ICE) (est. 2000), Genetics and breeding (est. 1996).
Faculty of Life and Earth ScienceEdit
- Geography and Environmental Studies
- Geology & Mining
- Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology
- Clinical Psychology
Faculty of ArtsEdit
Prominent departments in the faculty of Arts are
- Islamic History and Culture
- Islamic Studies
- Persian Language
Faculty of LawEdit
The Faculty of Law has the following departments:
- Department of Law, University of Rajshahi
- Department of Law and Land Administration
The Department of Law is one of the pioneer institutes for graduate level legal education in Bangladesh as well as in South Asia. It was the first institution in South Asia that offered B.Jur. Honours (Bachelor of Jurisprudence). Now it offers a very prestigious LL.B(Honours), LLM, Evening LLM, MPhil and PhD in the field of Law and justice. It has a great number of alumni around the world including former president, chief justice and many of former and current judges of the apex courts of Bangladesh. This is one of the most demandable choice for the High school/college students of Bangladesh.
The Department of Law and Land Administration was established in the session of 2015-16. It is the pioneer department in Bangladesh as well as in the world in the field of education on Laws relating to land administration, land management and land survey. All core courses of Law are taught here. Graduates of this discipline can apply for all jobs which are for Law graduates, including the positions of Assistant Judge and Judicial Magistrate. They are able to practise as both civil and criminal lawyers and also as Income Tax lawyers. In addition, they are able to apply for jobs in the field of land administration/management. It is currently under a consideration that a separate BCS Cadre (Land) may be created and graduates from this discipline will only be able to apply for those jobs. The programmes offered by this Department include LLB (Honours), LLM, MPhil and PhD.
These two departments operate through a separate faculty - the Faculty of Law. Initiatives are under process to establish a new department on the field of Corporate law under this faculty which is going to be the first institution for graduate level education in this field within Bangladesh.
This faculty is well known for the innovative environment on its premises. A huge library facility is provided here for the students and researchers. This institution provides a great chance to work with some of the greatest legal scholars of this country. The Bangladesh code was developed and was given a great shape for practical use under the leadership of a former chairman of this department in 2006.
Students of this institution are also popular for their extra-curricular activities. One of the leading debating clubs of the campus belongs to this department. Having a great tradition of mooting, and some nationally popular great legal practitioners as alumni, its Mooting Club RUMCS is well recognised and reputed in Bangladesh.
Faculty of EngineeringEdit
The Faculty of Engineering include the following departments
- Information and Communication Engineering (ICE) (est. 2000)
- Computer Science & Engineering
- Applied Chemistry & Chemical Engineering
- Materials Science and Engineering
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering (EEE) (est. 2015)
In the late 1990 and 2000s, programs in computer science & engineering and Information & Communication Engineering were introduced. The newest addition to the Faculty of Engineering is the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering in 2015. The university used to have a separate engineering program through BIT (Bangladesh Institute of Technology) Rajshahi, which has become an independent university: Rajshahi University of Engineering & Technology in 2002. University authorities have decided to merge Applied physics and electronic engineering department with electrical and electronic engineering department on 5 December 2018.
Faculty of Social ScienceEdit
The Social Science Faculty has the following departments:
- Political Science
- Social Work
- Mass Communication and Journalism
- Information Science & Library Management
- Public Administration
- International Relations
Faculty of Business StudiesEdit
Faculty of Business Studies has following departments:
- Accounting & Information Systems
- Management Studies
- Banking & Insurance
- Tourism & Hospitality Management
All of these departments are in the Rabindra Building.
Faculty of ScienceEdit
Faculty of Science has the following departments:
- Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
- Population Science & Human Resource Development
- Applied Mathematics
- Physical Education and Sports Sciences
Most of these departments are in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th science buildings.
Faculty of AgricultureEdit
Faculty of Agriculture has the following departments:
- Agronomy and Agricultural Extension
- Crop Science and Technology was established in 2005. It offers a 4-year B.Sc.Ag.(Hons) degree and 18 months M.S. degree. M.Phil and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) degrees are also offered. About 250 students are studying in the department.
- Veterinary & Animal Science
All of these department are in the Agricultural Faculty Building. Only 'practical work' is performing in Narikelbaria Campus. Founded in 2000, the Faculty of Agriculture was formed when a local agricultural college was absorbed into the university.
Faculty of MedicineEdit
This faculty is organised differently from other disciplines. Medical education is provided by seven medical colleges located around Rajshahi Division and Khulna Division. Though these colleges are autonomous to a large extent, the degrees are conferred by Rajshahi University. Rajshahi Medical College is the oldest medical college under administration of the university and is a few miles west of the university campus along with the highly equipped 1000-bed Rajshahi Medical College Hospital.
Government medical colleges under the supervision of Rajshahi University:
- Rajshahi Medical College
- Pabna Medical College
- Shaheed Ziaur Rahman Medical College
- Rangpur Medical College
- Dinajpur Medical College
- Kushtia Medical College
- Jessore Medical College
- Khulna Medical College
- Satkhira Medical College
- Shaheed M. Munsur Ali Medical College, Sirajgonj
- Institute of medical Technology, Rajshahi (BSPT)
There are six institutes of Rajshahi University.
- Institutes of Bangladesh Studies
- Institutes of Biological Science
- Institute of Business Administration
- Institute of Education and Research
- Institute of Environmental Science
- Institute of English and Other Languages
Affiliating colleges under Rajshahi UniversityEdit
- BCMC college of ENGINEERING and TECHNOLOGY, Jessore
- Rangpur Engineering College
- International Institute of Applied Science & Technology, Rangpur
- Tomaltola Agricultural College, Nator
- South East Engineering College, Khulna
- Epsilon Engineering College, Rajshahi
- Rajshahi College of Science & Technology, Rajshahi
- Islami Bank Medical College, Rajshahi
- Barind Medical College, Rajshahi
- TMSS Medical College, Bogra
- Prime Medical College, Rangpur
- Udoyon Dental College, Rajshahi
- Institute of Health Technology, Rajshahi
- Northern Medical College, Rangpur
- Rangpur Dental College
- Bangladesh Police Academy, Sardah, Rajshahi
- Imperial College of Engineering, Khulna
The university has 18 residential halls for students, six for women and eleven for men and one International Dormitory. The halls are named after prominent Bangladeshi historical and cultural figures, some of them from Rajshahi. The largest men's hall is Shahid Habibur Rahman Hall, named after a mathematics professor killed on campus during the 1971 war by the Pakistani Army. The largest women's hall is Monnujan Hall, followed by Begum Rokeya Hall, named after Rokeya Sakhawat Hussain, a leading figure in women's rights activism in Bengal.
The housing system can accommodate more than 10,000 students, which has created a deepening accommodation crisis as the student body has risen to 25,000. Apart from the seat limitations, the amenities of these halls do not always meet decent accommodation standards. This has led to the establishment of many privately owned off-campus "messes". The residential halls provide meals, which are subsidised by the university authorities.
Names of hallsEdit
|No||Name||Name of Provosts||PABX Telephone|
|01||Sher-e-Bangla Fazlul Haque Hall||Mostofa Tarequl Ahsan||4191|
|02||Shah Makhdum Hall||M. Zahangir Alam||4193|
|03||Nawab Abdul Latif Hall||Bipul Kumar Biswas||4195|
|04||Syed Amir Ali Hall||Golam Mortuza||4194|
|05||Shahid Shamsuzzoha Hall||M. Belal Hossain|
|06||Shahid Habibur Rahman Hall||Prof. Abdur Rahman||4200|
|07||Motihar Hall||Afrouzzaman Khan Chowdhury||4192|
|08||Madar Baksh Hall||M. Abdur Rahim Khan||4198|
|09||Shahid Sohrawardi Hall||M.Robiul||4197|
|10||Shahid Ziaur Rahman Hall||A.N.M. Zahangir Kabir||4199|
|11||Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Hall||Mohd. Nurul Islam||4190|
|12||Monnujan Hall||Irin Banu Luci||4204|
|13||Begum Rokeya Hall||Nazma Afroz||4202|
|14||Tapashi Rabeya Hall||Hosne Ara Jesmin||4201|
|15||Begum Khaleda Zia Hall||Salma Banu||4203|
|16||Rahamatunnesa Hall||Mele Jesmin||4205|
|17||Bongomata Sheikh Fazilatun-nesa Hall||Fahima Khatun||711206|
|18||Shaheed Mir Abdul Qauyum Int’l Dormitory||711237|
The physical education department of the university has 27 instructors and is equipped with a 25,000-seat stadium, two gymnasiums, one swimming pool, four football grounds, one hockey ground, four tennis courts, two basketball courts and a squash court.
The Teacher Students Center was designed to be the centre of cultural activities of the university. Reception of fresh students, celebration of national holidays, and the annual cultural competition are key cultural events at the campus. The university is home to recitation groups like Shwanan, and drama groups like Anushilon and Rajshahi University Drama Association (RUDA). A vibrant fine arts scene thrives around the Department of Fine Arts, and the campus hosts exhibitions each year. The university has branches of all major national cultural groups, including Udichi and Gono Natto Shongstha.
During the three major national days — Language Movement Day (21 February), Independence Day (26 March) and Victory Day (16 December) — the university hosts public meetings, cultural programs and political activities. On these days, students and teachers, going barefoot, congregate around the Shaheed Minar and pay their respect. During the major Muslim religious occasions of Eid, the university is usually deserted as students go home to be with their families. Other religiously important days like Shabe-barat are observed through discussions and religious activities. The major Hindu festival celebrated in the university is Saraswati Puja—Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge, is worshiped in a central location as well as individually in many residential halls. The Bengali new year, Pohela Baisakh is also observed with much pomp.
- Physicist Arun Kumar Basak
- Former Minister Mr Narayan Chandra Chanda MP
- Former State Minister for Home affairs-Shamsul Hoque Tuku MP
- Singer Farida Parveen
- Singer Andrew Kishor
- Cricketer Al-Amin Hossain
- Writer Selina Hossain
- Writer Hasan Azizul Huq
- Physicist M. Sayeedur Rahman Khan
- Poet Mahadev Saha
- Director Giasuddin Selim
- Playwright Malay Bhowmick
Incidents and controversiesEdit
During the 1980s, the four-year honours course took as long as eight years due to the session backlogs, resulting mainly from conflicts between factions of political groups. Since the early 1990s, student politics has been comparatively calmer, with student body elections not being held for more than a decade. The student groups have been demanding elections whereas others feel student politics should be banned.
In late 2004 and early 2005, two professors of Rajshahi University got assassinated within three months: Professor Yunus from the Economics department in December 2004 and Professor Taher from the Geology and Mining department in February 2005. Both murders were suspected to be driven by political motivations. In 2006, the commander of Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh admitted to the RAB interrogators that his operatives carried out the attack on Yunus, as well as the 2004 attack on writer Humayun Azad, the murder of another writer, bomb blasts, and attacks on cinemas.
Around the same time, a controversy over the hiring of over 500 new employees broke; detractors suggested that they were hired illegally, either in return for money or for political reasons.
Since the new millennium, much attention has been focused on politics among university teaching staff. Observers have claimed that the teaching staff have been thoroughly polarised according to party lines in national politics.
In August 2007, six detained professors of the university were temporarily suspended for their involvement in organising protests for restoring that violated Emergency Power Rules, though they were discharged later from allegations and returned to the university with proper honour.
In November 2017, a woman student was abducted from the university campus, sparking protests by students demanding her rescue and improved security on the campus.
In July 2018, protests and counter-violence erupted at various universities, particularly RU, over the "quota reform movement," which sought to change the quota system that allocated 56% of Bangladesh government jobs to specific "entitled" classes. RU's vice-chancellor, Professor M. Abdus Sobhan, dismissed the quota-reform movement as an "anti-government movement with a motive to carry out sabotage."
RU student and quota-reform movement leader Toriqul Islam, and 15 others, were attacked during their protest march, July 2, 2018, by opposing students. A prominent Bangladesh newspaper, the Daily Star, which filmed the incident, identified 10 of the attackers as leaders and activists of the Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL), a pro-Awami League (Bangladesh's ruling party) student organisation. Video footage and photos published in Bangladeshi media showed BCL men—with sticks, bamboo poles, a dagger and a hammer—beating Toriqul, who suffered a broken leg and severe head injury. Several police officers standing nearby (unaware the incident was being filmed) did not intervene until the attack was finished, then took the victim to hospital—but without arresting any of the attackers, publicly denying it was anything more than a "scuffle." University authorities declined to investigate, for lack of a filed complaint. Images of the attack, distributed on social media, sparked widespread criticism over police and university administration inaction.
Despite student Toriqul's unresolved major injuries, the university's Rajshahi Medical College Hospital discharged him July 5, 2018, forcing his doctor to arrange for immediate surgery elsewhere.
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