The University of Dhaka was established in 1921 as the first university in East Bengal . Because of the demands from Nawab Sir Khwaja Salimullah Bahadur and others, Viceroy Lord Hardinge proposed on 2 February 1912, that a new university should be established in this partition of Bengal. The University was established as compensation for the annulment of the 1905 Partition of Bengal . The partition had established East Bengal and Assam as a separate province, with Dhaka as its capital. However, the partition was abolished in 1911. In 1913, public opinion was solicited before the university scheme was given its final shape, and the Secretary of State approved it in December 1913. The first vice-chancellor of the university was Philip Joseph Hartog, who had been academic registrar of the University of London for 17 years. it is the largest public research university in Bangladesh today, with a student body of 37,018 and a faculty of 1,992. It was identified by Asia Week as one of the top 100 universities in Asia. Before Dhaka University was established, near its grounds were the former buildings of Dhaka College . In 1873 the college was relocated to Bahadur Shah Park. Later it shifted to Curzon Hall, which would become the first institute of the university.
There are a number of courses offered in the university, among which are: Architecture, Biological Sciences, Business & Management Studies, Chemistry, Computer Science and Information Systems, Economics and Econometrics and Engineering. The Dhaka University Library comprises three buildings: The administrative building, the main library building, and the science library building. The administrative building has the administrative offices, a book acquisition section, a book processing section, a reprographic section, a book binding section, a manuscript section, and a seminar section. Besides, the Faculty of Business Studies of the university has an E-Library which is the largest in the Asia of its kind.
This advanced level E-Library is connected with 35 internationally renowned libraries and publication houses in the world. Teachers, students, and researchers are able to read all journals, books research papers, and articles of these leading libraries, including the Dhaka University, Oxford University, and Cambridge University libraries, by using the E-Library facilities. This e-library was built in collaboration with Robi Axiata Limited in August 2015. It can accommodate around 1400 students altogether. The library is a 12,000 square feet library that has three sections: computer section, silent zone, and discussion zone. Some 7,000 students and 208 teachers of the faculty are being directly benefited from the facility. The library capacity makes it possible for varying number of students to access it and make use of materials and writings both in electronic means and on paper. It allows staffs to also further knowledge and understanding on difficult topics.
For students to be considered for admission, candidates must have total GPA 8.00 in SSC and HSC level exams. The university is said to have an acceptance rate of 5%. This simply implies that only the best students who too their classes will be considered for admission.