North South University, the first private university in Bangladesh, was established by a group of philanthropists, industrialists, bureaucrats and academics. The government of Bangladesh approved the establishment of North South University in 1992 under Private University Act (PUA)-1992 (now replaced by PUA-2010). The university was formally inaugurated on 10 February, 1993 by the then Prime Minister of Bangladesh. The honorable President of the People's Republic of Bangladesh is the Chancellor of NSU.
Following the private university act-2010, Mr. Azim Uddin Ahmed is the current Chairman of the Board of Trustees, North South University and North South University Trust. The Board of Trustees (BOT), the apex body which provides the overall policy guidelines and approves annual budget of the University, is headed by its Chairman. The Syndicate runs the administration of the University within the policy guidelines provided by BOT 2010.
The Vice Chancellor, as the chief executive and academic officer, along with the Pro Vice Chancellor, runs the universities with the cooperation of the statutory bodies operate under the provision of the Statutes prepared within the framework of PUA 2010. The Registrar maintains the university records including admissions and Controller of Examination results and keeps liaison with Ministry of Education,University Grants Commission (UGC) and other relevant authorities.
NSU has the authority, under its Charter, to impart instruction and confer undergraduate and graduate degrees in all branches of arts, business and sciences, including engineering, agriculture, law and medicine. It also has the authority to grant diplomas, certificates and other academic distinctions. Currently, NSU offers Bachelor's and Master's degrees in 29 subjects (15 Bachelor's degrees and 14 Master's degrees). Additional programs including Ph.D.in different subjects are under preparation.
The university follows the North American academic system with all its distinctive features-semesters, credit hours, letter grades, one examiner system and so on. Its curricula, when first introduced, were reviewed by relevant departments of University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and University of California at Berkeley, USA, and duly approved by University Grants Commission, Bangladesh. The academic programs are continually updated and adapted to meet the changing needs country.
Prof. Dr. Atiqul Islam, Vice Chancellor is providing leadership in improving, expanding and diversifying various academic programs. NSU now has 329 core (fulltime) faculty members. All faculty members have higher degrees from reputable foreign universities, with over 90% holding degrees from British, American, Australian and Canadian universities. Visiting faculty members from foreign universities including US,U.K, Canadian and Australian universities also teach at NSU.It is very selective in recruiting teachers and admitting students. Its current student enrolment is about 22,000.
The first freshman classes had 137 students enrolled in three Departments: Business Administration, Computer Science, and Economics. Department of Environmental Studies and Management (DESM), English and General and Continuing Education (GCE) were added in May 1997. The Master's program in Economics was introduced in 1994. The MBA program was launched in Summer 1997. Master's in Development Studies and Bachelor's in Computer Engineering were introduced in 2002 while MS in Computer Science is being offered from Summer 2003. Bachelor's in Architecture was introduced in Fall 2004. Master's in English was launched in Spring 2005. Pharmacy (Undergraduate) and Executive MBA programs came into being in Spring 2006 and Master's in Biotechnology and Master's in Public Health programs were started in Summer 2006. BS in Biotechnology, BS in Microbiology and BS in Biochemistry programs were introduced in Spring 2007. Master in Public Policy and Governance (MPPG) opened in Fall 2008, BS in Electrical and Electronic Engineering (EEE) and Master in Resources and Environmental Management (MREM) launched in Spring 2009 and Fall 2009 respectively. The university launched Executive Master in Public Health (EMPH) during Summer 2010 , MPharm during spring 2012 and BS in Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEED) opened in Summer 2013.
NSU has three Institutes and one Center: (i) Institute of Development, Environment and Strategic Studies (IDESS) (ii) Institute of Modern Language (IML) (iii) Confucius Institute Chainess Language Institute, and (iv) Center of Information & Communication Technology (CICT).