About the Department

The department of Social Work is an old and dynamic program offering entity (POE) in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Rajshahi that has been playing a significant role in the enhancement of social work education and making valuable contribution towards producing professional social workers since the POE’s inauguration in 1964.

The department as well as professional social work education in Bangladesh was initiated on the backdrop of an international context. Modern or professional social work was indeed emerged in the occidental world as structured helping networks to meet the most pervasive and difficult needs created due to industrialization, urbanization and laissez-faire practice of capitalism. But in Bangladesh, social work comparatively is of recent origin. It has got its root in the urban Community Development Project introduced (UCDP) which was initiated at Kaettully of Dhaka in 1952 with the help of United Nations Organization to cope effectively with the problems generated from/due to over population, rural-urban migration, industrialization and urbanization, unemployment, natural disasters, mass-exodus and rehabilitation of the refugees and emigrants. Voluntary efforts were found to be not enough to run the UCDP hence the need for qualified, trained and skilled social workers was badly felt and for that a three- month long training course had been arranged and latter it was reorganized and extended for nine months. With the demand and necessity of the time, to produce professional social workers, an academic institution entitled “College of Social Welfare and Research” was established in Dhaka which was renamed as “Institute of Social Welfare and Research” and incorporated with the University of Dhaka afterward. Thus the institutionalization process of social work education in Bangladesh took its course. Along with the UCDP, various social welfare programs related to patients’ welfare, corrections and rehabilitation of the delinquents, youth welfare and socioeconomic development of women were gradually being undertaken by the government throughout across the country; and taking the fact of proper management of these programs into consideration, Rajshahi University, the second largest academic institution of the country, was selected as another center for the expansion of social work education.Resulting, in 1964, a constituent college was established in the Rajshahi University campus.

Indeed, the Department of Social Work was initially started as a college of Social work under the affiliation of University of Rajshahi. The college started its journey having 11 students and 4-5 teachers. It was then located within a tin roofed building. The college of Social Work was started under a special officer professor Badaruddin Umar. The first Principal of the College was Dr. A. Mazid Khan; later on he was an Education, Planning and Religion minister of Bangladesh.  The college was integrated with the Department of Sociology in 1969. This means, in 1969, the Department of Social Work was jointly started as the Department of Social Work and Sociology under the headship of Professor Fazlur Rashid Khan. In 1973 the Department of Social Work was evolved as an independent academic department of the university. And since then, as a program offering entity (POE) the department of social work of Rajshahi University has been playing a significant role and making valuable contribution towards producing/preparing professional social workers.