University of Chittagong

University of Chittagong situated on about 1754 acres of hilly land in mouza Jangal Paschchim-Patty of Fatehpur union under Hathajari Upazila, 22 kilometre north of Chittagong city. This is the third largest public university of the country. The academic activities of the university was formally began on 18 November in 1966.

University of Chittagong

From the beginning of the 20th century the enlightened section of local people was pressing to set up a university in Chittagong. Considering the long felt requirement on 28 December 1940, Moulana Muniruzzaman Islamabadi disclosed the news of construction of the Islamic University in Chittagong while presiding over the conference of the All India Jamiate Ullamaye Hind in Kolkata. He also bought a land for that purpose in the Deyang Hills under Anwara upazila of Chittagong district. On 28 February 1942, lawmaker Nur Ahmed formally placed a demand in the Bengal Legislative Assembly to establish a university in Chittagong.

The government of Pakistan took up a decision to set up a 'Science University' in Chittagong during the 2nd Five-year plan period (1960-65). The Chittagong Government College campus in the heart of the port city was selected as the location of the new university. Fazlul Kader Chowdhury of Chittagong during the 1962 elections gave a commitment to establish a University in Chittagong. And he initiated the move accordingly later after becoming the Education Minister.

Central Library of Chittagong University

Earlier, the preliminary decision to set up the third public university of the then East Pakistan at the Chittagong Government College premises was changed. The local intelligentsia group organised a rally at the Chittagong Muslim Hall protesting the changed decision. Dr Muhammad Shahidullah delivering his speech as the chief guest in the rally opined in favour of the establishment of Chittagong University and to materialise the popular demand he formed the Chittagong University Movement Council. Later on 30 December 1962 the Chittagong University Students Movement Council was also constituted. The activities of these committees include maintaining contact at deferent levels, put forwarding memorandum, issuing press statements and holding seminars intensified public opinion in favour of the foundation of Chittagong University. On 9 December 1962, a mammoth public rally was held at the Laldighi maidan at the initiative of joint councils to press the demand. It was followed by a strike initiated by Students Movement Council in all educational institution of Chittagong on 8 January 1963. Meanwhile on 29 November 1963, Fazlul Kader Chowdhury was elected Speaker of the Pakistan National Assembly. In absence of President ayub khan, on 12 December 1963, he presided over the cabinet meeting as the Acting President and asked the central Education Minister ATM Mostafa to take all out measures for setting up of the third public university of East Pakistan in Chittagong. Necessary grants for the construction of Chittagong University were allocated on 9 March 1964 in the meeting of National Economic Council, which was also presided over by Fazlul Kader Chowdhury. A site selection commission was formed with the Vice Chancellor of Dhaka University Dr M Osman Ghani as its chairman and Dr Qudrat-e-Khuda, Dr Muhammad Shahidullah, M Ferdous Khan and Dr Mafizuddin Ahmed as members. The Commission after making physical inspection recommended selecting the solitary hilly area of Jangal Paschim-Patty mouza of Fatehpur union under Hathajari upazila as the site of Chittagong University. The National Economic Council in its meeting on 17-19 July 1964 held in Islamabad with Acting President of Pakistan Fazlul Kader Chowdhury in the chair decided to set up the University of Chittagong there following the recommendation of the site selection commission and gave final approval of the government accordingly. President of Pakistan Ayub khan laid foundation stone of Chittagong University on 29 August 1964.

Shaheed Minar, Chittagong University

Professor of History, University of Rajshahi and Ex-Curator of Varendra Research Museum Dr Azizur Rahman Mallick was made the Project Director of Chittagong University on 3 December 1965. He set up the project office of the university at a building 'Kahkashan' on road no 3, Nasirabad Housing Society, Chittagong. All the officers and staffs of the university wing, Department of Education were transferred to the Chittagong University Project office through a gazette notification issued on 14 December 1965. A master plan of the university was prepared through 'Bastukala', an organisation led by Architect Mazharul Islam. Initially a two-storeyed administrative building, departmental offices, classrooms and a library building were built. Student hostels and a teachers' dormitory were also constructed in the first phase.

Dr azizur rahman Mallick was appointed as the first Vice Chancellor of Chittagong University through the Chittagong University Ordinance promulgated on 25 September 1966. The Chancellor of the University and Governor of East Pakistan Abdul Monem Khan formally opened the academic programmes on 18 November 1966. The classes of M A (preliminary) of Bangla, English, History and Economics departments under the Faculty of Arts began first from 18 November 1966 with only 200 students and seven teachers. Dr Abdul Karim joined as the Reader and head of the Department of History while Mohammad Ali and Dr Shafiul Alam were appointed as Reader and Head of the Departments of English and Economics respectively. Abul Kalam Manzor Morshed joined as a Senior Lecturer in Bangla. Professor Syed Ali Ahsan was the first full professor of Chittagong University. Professor Moinul Islam of Economics department got highest national award Ëkushey podok”. Professor Alamgir Mohammad Sirajuddin has been nominated as prestigious UGC emiretus Professor”.

All degree colleges located in Chittagong division were brought under jurisdiction of Chittagong University in 1967 amending the Chittagong University Ordinance. The first degree (pass) examinations under the university was held in 1968. The following departments were opened in Chittagong University from 1968-69 sessions: Political Science, Commerce, Mathematics, Statistics, Chemistry and Physics, Sociology and Fine Arts departments were introduced from 1970. Meanwhile, 3-year honours courses in Bangla, English, History and Economics were introduced from 1968-69 academic session. The faculty of Science was created in 1969, while the faculty of social sciences and commerce were launched in 1971.

At present, the University of Chittagong has fifty four (54) departments under nine faculties; these are Arts, Science, Business Administration, Social Sciences, Biological Sciences, Engineering, Marine Science, Law and Education; four institutes- Institute of Marine Sciences and Fisheries, Institute of Forestry and Environmental Sciences, Institute of Social Sciences and Research, and Institute of Modern Languages; one affiliated faculty- Medical Faculty; two affiliated institutes- Institute of Community Ophthalmology and Institute of Child Health and eleven affiliated colleges.

Different faculties of Chittagong University conduct course work and examinations on behalf of several other bodies like Bangladesh Military Academy, (Bhatiari), Bangladesh Marine Academy (Patenga), Bangladesh College of Forestry (Sholoshahar), Chittagong College of Fine Arts and Bangladesh Navel Academy (Patenga). The University of Chittagong awards honours, post-graduation, MBBS, DVM degrees and diploma beside higher degrees like MPhil, PhD, MD and MPH.

The teachers, students, officials and staff of Chittagong University had played a significant role during the war of liberation in 1971. A council of the University was constituted to intensify the struggle for liberation in a meeting held on 8 March 1971 with Vice Chancellor Dr AR Mallick in the chair. One teacher, eleven students and three staff members of the university embraced martyrdom in the war of liberation. Mohammad Hossain, an employee of the Engineering department of Chittagong University was honored with the gallantry award of 'Bir Protik' for his heroic role in the war of liberation.

Chittagong University regularly publishes some journals and research periodicals. These include the Chittagong University Studies a research publication centrally published by the university; Pandulipi published by the Department of Bangla and Eco by the Department of Economics. The central library of the university has over 350,000 books, 3500 journals, accessible e learning centre and Internet facilities. The Chittagog University Museum set up beside the library has been playing a leading role in preserving the archaeological objects discovered in this region. The library has a bangabandhu corner dedicated to the father of the nation.

A number of world class research laboratories have been established with an aim to promote research and innovation. Students of university of Chittagong got prestigious scholarships from Harvard University, MIT, Oxford University, Princeton University, Stanford, Cambridge, Melbourne University, Imperial College London and Kings College London for higher study. Alumni for this university are now working in top corporate, research institute and tech giant companies including google, facebook, intel, Microsoft, uber, NIH, NCI, FDA, Tesla, Max Plank Institute and Ford.

Students of the University regularly participate in various creative activities, cultural competition, sports, debate competition, bncc and Rover Scouts program besides the academic activities. In 2021, Chittagong University has fourteen residential halls for the students, one hostel and residential quarters for teachers and staffs. It has more than 27000 students, about 900 well qualified teaching staffs and 1182 supporting staffs and officers.

The first convocation of Chittagong University was held in 1994. Earlier in 1981, a special convocation was held to award an honorary DSc degree to Nobel Lauriat physicist and world famous scientist Abdus Salam. A special professor's chair has been created in Chittagong University after the name of national poet kazi nazrul islam. [Fayezul Azim]