University of Rajshahi: An Institution of Excellence

Founded in 1953, the University of Rajshahi (also known as Rajshahi University), abbreviated as RU, is a coeducational, autonomous public university in Rajshahi, Bangladesh. RU is the second oldest university in Bangladesh which celebrated its 70th anniversary in 2023. The 750-acre green and single campus of RU is situated 4.5 km away from Rajshahi city Centre and 1.5 km from the river Padma.

RU is recognized as one of the leading higher educational institutions for quality education and research in South Asia. The domestic students of RU enjoy almost free education, residence in student halls, and other facilities including gymnasiums, sports facilities, libraries, medical services, transport, and internet. The university also offers 49 scholarships, fellowships, and awards to home students. The university has recently taken various initiatives to attract international students, collaborations and exchanges through establishing a dedicated office. Every year RU takes nearly 4,500 students following a stringent admission criterion. Only 1 in 50 applicants get a chance to get admitted at RU.

Currently, there are 1,081 faculty members, 17,582 undergraduate and 3,667 master’s students, and 986 MPhil/PhD students across 59 departments and six Institutes. Among the students, 39 students are from foreign countries. Most of the faculty members (82.15%) have PhD degrees and many earned their PhD from world-renowned institutions abroad.

The departments of RU are divided into 12 faculties including the Faculty of Arts; Law; Science; Business Studies; Social Science; Agriculture, Engineering; Fine Arts; Biological Sciences; Geosciences; Fisheries, and Veterinary & Animal Sciences.  Additionally, there are six institutes including the Institute of Bangladesh Studies; Biological Science; Business Administration; Education and Research; English and Other Languages, and Environmental Science.

RU’s departments and institutes offer 66 undergraduate 4-year honours degree programmes and 87 master’s programmes of 1-2 years. The MPhil (2 years) and PhD courses (3-4 years) are offered by all departments and institutes.

Located in Rajshahi, recognized as one of the most beautiful and clean cities in South Asia, the 750-acre green campus of RU houses 14 multi-storeyed academic buildings, two administrative buildings, 17 residential halls equipped with internet, dining, kitchen, prayer halls, indoor sports facilities, gymnasiums, library, etc. Among the 17 halls, 6 are for female students and 11 for male students which can accommodate more than 10,000 students. For international students, there is a separate dormitory with similar facilities that can accommodate about one hundred international students. The university has a total of 43 smart classrooms equipped with high-tech facilities including an 86-inch smart board, audio-visual system, video conferencing and distance learning platforms.

The large and beautiful campus of RU also houses a huge central library with 350,000 book collection where 400 students can study at a time, two large auditoriums with a total of 2,600 seat capacity, a large stadium with 15,000 seat capacity, two central gymnasiums- one for male and one for female students, a swimming pool, a medical centre, a mental health centre, an ICT centre, five large football fields, many water bodies, two museums including Martyrs Memorial Museum and Varendra Research Museum, the latter is considered as the oldest museum in Bangladesh and attracts thousands of foreign and local tourist each year for its rich collections. The RU is also a famous tourist attraction for its green campus, rich biodiversity, beautiful architecture, and natural beauty.

More than a hundred thousand RU alumni work in academia, government, research centres, and private sectors in Bangladesh and abroad with high reputations. RU alumni include the current president of Bangladesh, 20 Members of Parliament, world-renowned scientists working in different universities and research institutes at home and abroad, many successful business entrepreneurs, high officials of public and private sectors, popular politicians, writers, poets, actors, and so on. The students of RU regularly attend national and international competitions including inter-university games, Olympiads, debates, business idea competitions, etc. There are more than 100 active student societies and clubs as well as three associations of student journalists of print and electronic media.

The university has been ranked by THE World University Rankings (1001-1200th in the world), Webometrics (1192nd in the world; 2nd in the country), QS World University Rankings, EduRank (3rd in the country) and Scimago Institutions Rankings. RU strives to be a centre of excellence for high-quality education and research by producing skilled graduates to build a smart Bangladesh under the leadership of its current Vice-Chancellor Professor Dr. Golam Shabbir Sattar.

-Professor Dr. Md. Ajijur Rahman, Professor, Department of Pharmacy and Director, Office of International Affairs, University of Rajshahi