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বাংলাদেশ উন্মুক্ত বিশ্ববিদ্যালয়
|Type||Public, Open University|
|Established||21 October 1992|
|Chancellor||President of Bangladesh|
|Vice-Chancellor||M. A. Mannan|
|Students||433,413 (2016) (formal programs)|
|Location||Board Bazar, Dhaka Division, Bangladesh|
|Total academic programs||62 (includes 43 formal and 19 non-formal programs)|
Commonwealth of Learning|
SAARC Consortium on Open and Distance Learning (SACODiL)
University Grants Commission (UGC)
Asian Association of Open Universities (AAOU)
The Bangladesh Open University (Bengali: বাংলাদেশ উন্মুক্ত বিশ্ববিদ্যালয়) or BOU is a public university with its main campus in Board Bazar, Gazipur District, Dhaka Division. It is the 7th largest university in the world according to enrolment.
The university was established on 21 October 1992. As the only public university in Bangladesh to use distance education as a method of delivery, BOU is mandated to "promote through multimedia; instruction of every standard and knowledge – both general and scientific – by means of any form of communications technology, to raise the standard of education and to give the people educational opportunities by democratizing education and creating a class of competent people by raising the standard of education of the people generally."
Distance education was first introduced into Bangladesh when the Education Directorate was assigned with the responsibility for distribution of 200 radio receivers to educational institutions. This led to the creation of an Audio-Visual Cell and later the Audio-Visual Education Centre (AVEC) in 1962.
Upon achieving independence in 1971, mass education was viewed as a priority in the new nation. The School Broadcasting Programme (SBP) was launched in 1978. The project was later expanded to become the National Institute of Educational Media and Technology (NIEMT) in 1983. In 1985, the NIEMT was renamed the Bangladesh Institute of Distance Education (BIDE) which offered, apart from audio-visual materials, a Bachelor of Education (BEd) programme via distance learning validated by the University of Rajshahi. The success of BIDE encouraged policymakers to take up a major plan for establishing an open university.
In 1992, the plan came into fruition with the tabling and passing of the BOU Act 1992 and Prime Minister was the chancellor of the Bangladesh Open University. On 22 June 2009, a bill was placed in the parliament to assign the president as chancellor replacing the prime minister.
BOU offers two types of programmes, formal and non-formal, in seven schools and a network of 12 regional resource Centres, 80 co-ordinating offices and 1,000 tutorial centres nationwide.
A total of 21 formal academic programmes are offered by BOU. Formal programmes are academic programmes that result in the awarding of an academic qualification up to a master's degree upon completion and examination.
As low rate of literacy remains an issue in Bangladesh, non-formal programmes are conducted by the BOU to create awareness and impart knowledge about health, environment, disaster management, basic science, agriculture, food, nutrition and other branches of knowledge for human development. To date, 19 non-formal programmes have been initiated in the areas of environmental protection, basic science, elementary mathematics, agriculture, bank services, marketing management, health, nutrition, population and gender issues.
BOU's 11 divisions are organised into seven schools:
A full list of the regional resource centres and tutorial centres affiliated with BOU can be found from BOU's website.
BOU is granted the authority to confer degrees under Clause 6(c) of the BOU Act 1992. BOU is recognised as a national university by the University Grants Commission of Bangladesh, a statutory body attached to the Ministry of Education.