The National University was established in 1992 under an act of Parliament of the Government of the people's republic of Bangladesh with features distinct from those of the traditional Universities of the country. The National University caters the general education at graduate and post-graduate level in colleges/institutions which were affiliated to different public universities since independence. About one million students are studying in more than 1600 colleges/institutions affiliated to this university. The National University is expanding in terms of number of students, courses and institutions day by day. To day this university plays the most significant role to provide opportunities for higher education among the students living especially in rural and semi-urban areas. The university has taken a lot of important steps to improve the standard of education by formulating a modern uniform curriculum, providing training of the teachers and supplying teaching materials to the affiliated institutions.
The Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences (IHS) was opened in 1997 to offer two-year M.Phil. following modern American credit hour and semester system including course work, two-month internship and thesis guided by supervisor. The M.Phil. is an interdisciplinary degree which is intensive enough to help the students to pursue Ph.D. courses. The course is open to faculty members who are employed at universities and colleges. Four more institutes — the Institute of Liberation and Bangladesh Studies (ILBS), Institutes of National Science (INS), Institute of Life Sciences (ILS), and Institute of Business and Management Studies (IBMS) — have all the formalities complete toward their constitutions and are soon to provide higher courses related to science, needs of life, and national heritage.
Very few of the teachers teaching at honours and masters level have higher training. The training programme of the university is designed to augment the knowledge of the college teachers, enhance their skill in teaching and get them an exposure to higher ideas. Eminent educationists and scholars of the country are associated with the academic programmes provided on campus.
The university has four academic units: School of Under Graduate Studies, Centre for Post Graduate Education, Training & Research, Centre for Curriculum Development and Evaluation, and Institute of Post-Graduate Studies.
The school and centres organize education in colleges and improve the standard. The university provides bachelors, honours and masters degrees in ten disciplines: languages, humanities, social science, commerce and business administration, physical sciences, mathematical sciences, biological science, education, law and computer technology.