Bharathidasan University, named after the great revolutionary Tamil Poet, Bharathidasan (1891-1968) was established in February 1982. The motto of the University "We will create a brave new world" has been framed from Bharathidasan's poetic words "புதியதோர் உலகம் செய்வோம்". The University endeavours to be true to such a vision by creating in the region a brave new world of academic innovation for social change"(NAAC, - 2005, p.69). The year 2006-07 is the Silver Jubilee year for this great and vibrant University.
The University's main Campus was initially located in a sprawling area of over 1000 acres in Palkalaiperur. However, as years passed on, the South Campus at Palkalaiperur with the available infrastructure was donated to the newly started Anna University of Technology. Very recently, another portion of the land has been allotted to the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Tiruchirappalli. Also, the University has a downtown campus at Khajamalai, which housed originally the Autonomous Post-Graduate Centre of the University of Madras at Tiruchirappalli. In addition to the administrative complex, which includes the Vice-Chancellor's Secretariat, Registrar's Office, Finance and Examination offices, most of the academic departments and research laboratories are located in the main Palkalaiperur Campus. Among the academic units in the Palkalaiperur Campus are Schools of Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Life Sciences, Basic Medical Sciences, Geosciences, Social Sciences, Marine Sciences and the Schools of Languages. In addition, the Campus also has the Central Library, Hostels, Informatics Centre, Staff Quarters, Health Centre, Canteen and others. The downtown campus has the Departments of Economics, Social Work, Computer Science, the Centre for Remote Sensing, the Academic Staff College and others. Besides these, the Bharathidasan Institute of Management popularly known as BIM (adjudged as one of the top business schools in the country) is located within the BHEL premises, a public sector undertaking at Tiruverumbur.
The University has totally 4 Faculties, 16 Schools, 34 Departments and 11 Specialized Research Centres. There are 195 faculty members catering to 2372 students and scholars in the University. The University Departments/Schools are offering 177 programmes including 40 PG programmes in M.A., M.Sc. and M.Tech. The above programmes are conducted under the Choice Based Credit System (CBCS) in Semesters: 31 M.Phil., 33 Ph.D., 19 P.G. Diploma, 11 Diploma and 10 Certificates. The University's supporting staff strength is 521. In addition to the regular teaching programmes in the Departments and Schools, the University under its Distance Education mode is conducting 15 UG and 26 PG programmes. All the UG programmes are conducted under non-semester system and all the PG programmes are conducted under semester system along with the regular programmes. The MCA and MBA programmes conducted under this mode are very popular. Totally 15 UG Programmes and 26 PG Programmes are conducted under this mode.
The research work going on in some of the departments and research centres Physics, Chemistry, Life Sciences, Centre for Nonlinear Dynamics) are internationally recognized because of their high quality. Some of the research centres of the university are strongly supported by scientific agencies in India. The Centre for Nonlinear Dynamics is supported by DST and DAE and the National Facility for Marine Cyanobacteria is supported by DBT. The number of ongoing research projects at the moment in various Departments and Research Centres are 119 with a total outlay of Rs.3,200.29 lakhs. The faculty members have made substantial contribution in their fields of research in terms of quality publication in reputed international journals with high impact factor. During the last 5 years, the faculty members have published 1014 papers in international journals, 476 papers in national journals and have published 46 books. Also, during the above period, the Departments have organized 10 international conferences and 76 conferences at the national level. The faculty members also regularly participate in national and international conferences. Six of the University Departments are generously supported by DST under its FIST programme and seven Departments are supported by UGC under its Special Assistance Programme (SAP). Bharathidasan University is also selected by DST for a generous support of Rs.9.0 crores under its PURSE programme in recognition of the high quality publications by some of the Science Departments.
The University is an affiliating one with the jurisdiction over the eight districts of Tiruchirappalli, Pudukkottai, Karur, Perambalur, Ariyalur Thanjavur, Tiruvarur and Nagapattinam. The University area lies in the strategic central part of Tamil Nadu, covering the cauvery delta, traditionally known as intellectual capital of the state. There are 123 colleges affiliated to the University including 120 Arts and Science Colleges and 3 Colleges of Fine Arts. Among them 8 government and 11 government aided colleges have autonomous status. Very recently, the university has started four constituent colleges in Perambalur, Orathanadu, Lalgudi and Aranthangi. There are totally 55 UG programmes and 62 PG programmes conducted in the affiliated colleges and the total strength of the students studying in the affiliated colleges is 1,14,276. The extension services rendered by the Institute of Entrepreneurship and Career Development (IECD) and the Department of Women Studies to community, especially to the under-privileged are commendable.
The affiliating jurisdiction is over 7 Districts with 104 Arts & Science and Fine Arts Colleges and 13 Approved Institutions. Eighteen of the affiliated colleges are autonomous. Among the affiliated colleges, more than 50% are offering PG programmes and 25% are offering M.Phil./Ph.D. programmes. A good number of them are nationally recognized for quality education. The programmes offered through affiliated colleges are so diversified that they number more than 250. The student strength in the affiliated colleges is over 1.50 lakhs.