National University established in 1992 primarily with a view to improving the standard of education at the tertiary level in the colleges of the country, is located at Gazipur district about 35 km away to the north of Dhaka city. Unlike other public universities of the country, National University conducts its academic programs through its affiliated colleges. 'Its functioning is defined by the National University Act 1992.
The Act No 37 passed by the Bangladesh Parliament in 1992 allows the National University to affiliate colleges, frame curricula and syllabi, look into development and dissemination of knowledge, provide teaching and research facilities, hold examinations, and confer degrees. The President of Bangladesh is the Chancellor of the university. The main functionaries are the vice Chancellor, two pro-vice Chancellors, the deans of different schools, the Registrar, the Inspector of Colleges and the Controller of Examinations. The most important statutory bodies of the university are the senate, the academic council and the syndicate. Although a public institution, most of National University’s funding comes from the fees taken from its affiliated institutions.
National University has been conducting undergraduate and postgraduate education program on BA, BSS, BCom, BSc (Pass and Hons), MA, MSS, MSc, MCom in general education and BEd, BPEd, LLB, BBA in Professional Education and equivalent courses through affiliated colleges or institutions. More than thirty-nine lakh students are studying in these courses. It is one of the largest universities in the country to award Bachelor (Pass) degrees in Arts, Social Sciences, Science and Commerce for different affiliated colleges. A large number of students of the country are obtaining Honors and Master’s degrees from this institution on various subjects. The National University is responsible for off-campus teaching and approving higher education and research activities and at the same time this is a university of on-campus teaching. As part of on-campus education National University is conducting MAS, Advanced MBA, MPhil, and PhD courses and providing subject based training to teachers working in various colleges. Since 2014 one year and six months long Advanced Masters courses with thesis have been launched in five subjects (Bengali, History, Sociology, Computer Science and Advanced MBA).
The National University regularly conducts the functions of timely admission, registration, commencement of classes in affiliated colleges and institutions, organizes examinations, publishes results, awards degrees and certificates, inspect colleges, grants and cancels affiliation, forms governing bodies of colleges and trains college teachers.
As in other public universities, academic divisions of the National University are not organized in terms of faculties. According to its regulation, the university has three academic units – 1) School of Undergraduate Studies, 2) School of Post Graduate, Training and Research and 3) Centre for Curriculum Evaluation and Monitoring. Each academic unit is led by a dean. Academic programs are organised centrally and are directed to be carried out by the affiliated institutions spread all over the country.
The School of Undergraduate Studies looks after the tertiary level education in the affiliated institutions on the basis of the rules and regulations framed by the Academic Council and Syndicate. The most important activities of this school include admission, registration, examination and other related task. There are two types of Bachelor degree programs: 1) three years Bachelor (pass) degree and, 2) four years Bachelor (honors) degree. For getting admission into a Bachelor (pass) degree program students are required to pass Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) examination. While for a Bachelor (honors) degree program undergraduates should enroll in a major discipline of an affiliated institution through a highly competitive written admission test conducted centrally by the National University. Most programs are organized by yearly semesters, though there are some programs like BBA, Fashion Design, Garments Manufacturing Technology and Merchandising, and Computer Science use two semesters a year.
The School of Post Graduate Training and Research is responsible for registration and admission for Masters and Professional academic programs. Masters programs under the National University are of one or two years in duration and are carried out by a select number of colleges. On the other hand, this school conducts professional studies by institutions such as Law colleges, BEd colleges, Fine Arts colleges, different Military Academies eg Bangladesh Military Academy, Bangladesh Naval Academy, Bangladesh Air Force Academy, Marine Fisheries Academy, Defense Services Command and Staff college, National Defense college etc. Besides, it also organises regular training and research programs like MPhil and PhD.
To ensure and improve the quality of teaching offering foundation training and different in-service subject-based trainings are integral part of this school. Besides, in view of the current national concern for the use of digital devices in every sphere of socio-economic life the university has undertaken ICT training program to acquaint the teachers with the latest ideas and technologies so that they can prepare their students to face this competitive world and open new horizons of knowledge.
According to the data obtained from the official sources of the National University, its total number of colleges/institutions is 2275. Among them 1922 are general education institutions and these are primarily for bachelor in pass courses. On the other hand, among the total number of colleges/institutions, 353 are imparting professional education. This is to be mentioned that among the colleges imparting Bachelor (Pass) education, there are 881 Bachelor (Honours), 115 Preliminaries to Masters and 178 institutes are conducting Masters programs. National University is the largest higher education institution in the country from a structural point of view. According to the latest data, list of all affiliated educational institutions is given in the table below:
Department wise courses and number of colleges/institutes
|Courses||Dhaka Division||Mymensingh Division||Barisal Division||Rangpur Division||Rajshahi Division||Khulna Division||Chittagong Division||Sylhet Division||Total|
|1. Bachelor (pass)||331||107||170||259||370||305||290||90||1922*|
|2. Bachelor (Honours)||248||35||59||97||143||165||134||44||881|
|3. Preliminary to Masters||42||07||11||06||09||13||22||05||115|
|8. CS, BBA, Electronics and Communication Technology||37||06||02||02||06||06||06||-||95|
|9. Police Staff College||01||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||01|
|10. Marine Fisheries Academy||-||-||-||-||-||-||01||-||01|
|11. Fine Arts||02||01||-||-||02||02||-||-||07|
|12. Library and Information College||07||02||02||03||06||05||04||01||30|
|14. PGD in Journalism||01||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||01|
|15. Garments Manufacturing||10||-||-||-||-||-||02||-||12|
|17. Special Education||03||-||-||01||-||-||-||-||04|
|18. Bachelor of Madrasa Education||01||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||01|
|19. Tourism and Hospitality Management||02||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||02|
|21. Theater Studies||01||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||01|
|22. Aeronautical and Aviation Science||01||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||01|
|23. Home Economics||-||-||-||-||01||-||-||-||01|
|24. PGD in Fire Science||01||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||01|
- Serial No. 1-4 are General Education providing colleges. The number of such colleges is 1922 and primarily these colleges are affiliated to provide bachelor (pass) education. However, some of these colleges offer education in Bachelor (Honours)/Preliminary to Masters/Masters level.
Source Admission and Registration Cell, National University, 2021.
National University does not have a wide range of research programme. However, it offers M.Phil and Ph.D programs mainly for the teachers of the affiliated colleges. This is the only degree oriented academic program conducted' by the university from its main campus and is carried out by five academic groups such as Arts, Social Science, Natural Science, Life and Earth Science, and Business Studies. Since 2006 National University is carrying out this program for the academic and professional development of the teachers of the affiliated colleges.
The National University publishes four bi-lingual journals. These are: Journal of Arts, Journal of Social Science, Journal of Science, and Journal of Business Studies. Normally, teachers and researchers of the National University and its affiliated colleges are encouraged to contribute to these journals. Besides, National University also publishes a bulletin entitled The Link, which brings important events and activities of the university to the notice of the university community and related people and institutions.
In professional educational institutions, educational programs are being conducted at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels that help students acquire professional skills. Among the educational programs offered by these colleges/institutions are Law, Education, Special Education, Physical Education at the undergraduate level. There are 4 years Bachelor (Honours) degrees in Computer Science, BBA, Fashion Design, Garment Manufacturing, Fine Arts, Theater and Media Studies, Home Economics, Aviation Management, Aeronautical and Aviation Science etc. Post Graduate Diploma Degrees are offered in Library and Information Science, Journalism, Sports Science, Photography, Music, Theater Studies. And at Masters Level Computer Science and Engineering, MBA, Media and Journalism, Applied Criminology and Police Management, Education, Special Education, Physical Education, MBA in Apparel Merchandising are among the subjects. About 2.8 million students (1.5 million male and 1.3 million female) study in its affiliated institutions. Currently 82 teachers, 597 officers and 550 employees are working in the university. [Md Anawar Hossain and Mobashera Khanam]