The Rabindra Bharati University was established in 1962 to mark the birth centenary of the legendary poet Rabindranath Tagore, who was the first Indian as well as Asian recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature. It is a State University named after Tagore dedicated to the mission of disseminating his thoughts and ideas through humanities, social sciences, art and culture. The Rabindra Bharati University thus features uniqueness in projecting itself as a centre for higher learning in performing arts, fine arts, language, literature and social sciences. There are three major faculties Arts, Fine Arts and Visual Arts, housed in the Emerald Bower Campus while the original campus Jorasanko, now houses a museum, and hosts a number of events like Tagore’s birth and death anniversaries, or the annual University Convocation, to name just a few. Many renowned actors like Sisir Bhaduri, Ahindra Chaudhuri, Shambu Mitra, Kumar Ray, Manoj Mitra, Jogesh Chowdhury, famous singers like Suchitra Mitra, Sumitra Sen, Maya Sen, painters like Shanu Lahiri, Dharmanarayan Dasgupta, well-known musicians like Sisirkana Dhar Chowdhury, Timir Baran, Pandit Swapan Chowdhury, reputed art historians like Shovan Som have contributed their mites to its overall academic endeavours down these decades.
Over the years, keeping in pace with contemporary times, the University, without losing sight of its basic identity, has ventured into new academic pastures by introducing courses in Geography, Human Rights and Human Development, Sociology, Environmental Studies and Mathematics. As a centre for higher learning the Rabindra Bharati University has been offering a variety of other courses to cater to the demands of the emerging academics-market interface for instance, foreign language courses are offered by the School of Languages and Culture. Apart from this, the University offers training courses in competitive examinations including NET and SET. The University also fulfils its social responsibility by offering successful courses in Adult Education, Computer Literacy as well as a course in Special Education for the differently-abled, particularly for the Visually Impaired.
The Rabindra Bharati University is a unique educational institution of higher learning that caters mostly to the students of the peripheries of West Bengal Girls and boys from far-flung areas of the state and from backward strata of the society constitute more than seventy percent of the total strength of students. Yet the University takes pride in its share of international students ranging from Europe to Asia, who come, either through the Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR), or on their own, to learn mainly Indian art and culture and to acquire a degree in academics underpinned by Tagore > philosophy. University data show that the students from small towns and villages have availed themselves of the scope of the opportunities provided by the University including the Remedial Coaching Courses offered to the first generation learners to overcome the challenges faced by them while adapting to advanced level curriculum. The University has spared no pains in facilitating the government scholarships, stipends and funding for the needy students which include Rajiv Gandhi Fellowship, Indira Gandhi Single Girl Child Fellowship, Maulana Azad Fellowship, Swami Vivekananda merit-cum-means Scholarship, Kanyasree Scholarship, scholarship offered by the National Handicapped Finance and Development Corporation, and many other scholarships. Many students, especially female students, have immensely benefitted from these facilities. The University also looks into their extra-academic requirements by providing them accommodation, especially the female students, in hostels and also arranges financial relief for students in certain extraordinary circumstance. In other words, the University authorities continue to operate relentlessly in providing the maximum facilities to the students. The University also arranges placement sessions with organisations and MNCs, familiarize the students with the market and find themselves a suitable job. The University arranges health workshops with prominent medical centres and hospitals provide students with health awareness, education along with check-ups. The University has a Health Centre with a full-time doctor to attend the sick students (and any staff of the University) in cases of medical emergencies. Besides, the University maintains a vibrant social outreach programme involving students and sometimes faculties, through National Service Scheme. These programmes also give a good exposure to students about social responsibilities and community participation.
The Rabindra Bharati University has plans to broaden its academic ambit responding to the needs of the contemporary times and prove how education in a globalised world order can be reached to those members of the future generations to whom higher education does not come easy. The University administration always gives out its best help in reaching out to the goals that this University has set before itself. Some of our administrative goals have been achieved while others are being solidly pursued, for instance, we have achieved digitising the admission process to ensure transparency and the process of green administration has been initiated. Our unique identity as a University which does not offer engineering, technology, pure science and commerce streams arid which yet has over the years grown into strengths so much so that it continues to make substantial contributions towards society in educating and producing some of the finest writers, artists and performers of the country.
It has earned the University a name and thus confidence in showcasing an education system that has so far excelled without the support of pure science and technology as curriculum and continues to benefit its students in the form of letting them secure their future in the world at large.