The University of Dhaka was established in 1921 as the first university in East Bengal. Following demands from Nawab Sir Khwaja Salimullah Bahadur and others, Viceroy Lord Hardinge proposed on 2 February 1912, that a new university should be established in this partition of Bengal.
Curzon Hall, where the science faculty of University of Dhaka was established in 1921.
The University was established as compensation for 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. In 1913, public opinion was solicited before the university scheme was given its final shape, and the Secretary of State approved it in December 1913. The first vice-chancellor of the university was Philip Joseph Hartog, who had been academic registrar of the University of London for 17 years.
Foundation and early daysEdit
Established in 1921, under the Dacca University Act 1920 of the Indian Legislative Council, the university is modelled after British universities. Academic activities started on 1 July 1921, with three faculties: Arts, Science, and Law. Classes were taught in 12 Departments: Sanskrit and Bengali, English, Education, History, Arabic and Islamic Studies, Persian and Urdu, Philosophy, Economics and Politics, Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, and Law. Initially there were three dormitories for students: Salimullah Muslim Hall, Dacca Hall and Jagannath Hall.
Establishment and the British eraEdit
Dhaka University Central Students Union building
Sir Syed Nawab Ali Chowdhury, one of the proposers of University of Dhaka
The university continued to grow under the direction of leaders including Harry Langley, A. F. Rahman, R. C. Majumdar, and Mahmud Hussain. Under Vice-Chancellor Hussain, the University consolidated its fundamental focus on academics. It also made national headlines when he extended an invitation to then-President of Pakistan, Ayub Khan, who declined citing 'security reasons'. This was the first of many subsequent refusals from high-ranking officials to visit East Pakistan.
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