Jagannath University (JnU) is one of the leading public universities in the country which came into being in 2005 after the passage of a bill named 'Jagannath University Act-2005' in the national parliament. The institution has a history of more than 150 years. It is located on 7.50 acres of land at Chittaranjan Avenue 9-10, the southern part of Dhaka city near the river Buriganga.
Prof Mijanur Rahman, former treasurer of Dhaka University, is the current Vice Chancellor (VC) of the JnU, while Prof Md Salim Bhuiyan and Engineer Md Ohiduzzaman are serving as treasurer and registrar respectively.
At present, the JnU has 31 departments under six faculties, namely Science, Arts, Business Studies, Life and Earth Sciences, Social Science and Law. More than five hundred teachers are engaged in imparting quality education to around 23,000 students in the university.
'Education, Faith and Discipline' is the motto of the JnU. The mission of the university is to make the institution a centre of excellence for creating productive and responsible citizens of Bangladesh.
The institution started its journey as a primary school named 'Dhaka Brahma School', founded in 1858 by Dinanath Sen, Prabhaticharan Roy, Anathbandhu Mallik and Brajasundar Kaitra. The name Jagannath School was given by Kishorilal Chowdhury, the zamindar of Baliati in Tangail. He took over the school in 1872 and renamed it after his father. In 1884, it was raised to a second grade college named 'Jagannath College.' Law was one of the first courses taught there.
In 1910, Raja Manmath Roy Chowdhury, the zamindar of Santosh, Tangail, affiliated Pramath-Manmath College of Tangail with Jagannath College. It was known as the best equipped private college in Dhaka at that time.
The college had to stop admission in Degree courses and was renamed Jagannath Intermediate College when Dhaka University opened its doors to all students of the college in 1921.
The college again reopened Degree classes after 28 years in 1949 and in 1968, the then government took the responsibility of running the college.
Through opening honours and masters programmes in 1975, the college was upgraded to a postgraduate college. In 1992, the college introduced evening shifts and closed down its programmes at intermediate level.
In 2005, the college was granted the status of a university and became a government-financed public university.
The teachers and students of the college took part in the Language Movement of the early 1950s, in the mass movements of the 1960s and in the War of Liberation in 1971.
Sufi Motahar Hosen (poet), Abdul Hamid (sports organizer and journalist), Bhabatosh Dutta (economist), Premendra Mitra (writer and poet), AR Yusuf (former minister), AKMA Rouf (artist), Anisuzzaman (educationist, researcher) and Brojen Das (the first Indian to cross the English Channel) are the alumni of the college.
The university provides Bachelor, Masters, MPhil, and PhD programmes. Faculty of Arts comprises Department of Bangla, Department of English, Department of History, Department of Islamic History and Culture, Department of Philosophy, Department of Islamic Studies and Department of Drama and Music. Faculty of Science has Department of Physics, Department of Mathematics, Department of Chemistry, Department of Statistics and Department of Computer Science and Engineering. Departments under the Faculty of Social Science are Department of Sociology, Department of Anthropology, Department of Economics, Department of Political Science, Department of Public Administration, Department of Social Work and Department of Mass Communication and Journalism. Faculty of Business Studies includes Department of Accounting and Information Systems, Department of Management Studies, Department of Finance and Department of Marketing. Faculty of Law comprises Department of Law while departments under Faculty of Life and Earth Sciences are Department of Geography and Environment, Department of Biochemistry, Department of Botany, Department of Microbiology and Biotechnology, Department of Zoology, Department of Psychology and Department of Pharmacy.
The university has twelve halls in different areas of old Dhaka for the students but nine of them are now not in possession of the university. The JnU has its second campus at Bagoir, just opposite to the newly-built Dhaka Central Jail in south Keraniganj, where the university authorities have a plan to build a new hall named 'Banga Bandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Hall' and a 20-storeyed academic building.
Besides, the authorities have already completed preliminary steps to build Begum Fazilatunnesa Mujib Hall for female students at Bangla Bazar area adjacent to the university.
There are a total of 28 vehicles for students and teachers.
More than 20,000 books including journals and manuscripts are available in the JnU library. In addition to hard copies, the JnU has already launched e-book facilities for the students.
The JnU has also an advanced cyber centre to help the students to be connected with new ideas and knowledge along with their needed sectors free of cost.
There are a medical officer and two medical assistants in the university to provide the students, teachers, employees and staff with medical services from 8:00am to 4:00pm.
The JnU Cafeteria tries to offer different kinds of food items for the students and teachers with more than ten staff.
There is also a common room offering various facilities for female students.
There are different associations in the university such as JnU Journalists Association, Film Society, BNCC, Udichi, Cultural Centre, Photographic Society, Management Club, Sociology Club, Rover Scout, Teachers Association, Debating Society, Abriti Songho, Social Welfare Association, Dramatic Association and Badhan. They hold different programmes round the year.
The JnU also organizes sports and recreational activities.
Nawshin, a seventh semester student of Mass Communication and Journalism department, said "We are really satisfied with different facilities provided by the university and feel fortunate to have a chance to study in this renowned public university."
Jowel Rana, a student of the English department, said they get proper guidelines from their skilled teachers on different issues. Moreover, they are very happy with the friendly environment on the campus.