Serampore College: India’s First Institution To Receive A University Status

Al Arafat Sherfuddeen

June 23rd, 2016

India might not have the best rankings with respect to investment in education, yet, today India has more than 300 universities and many thousands of colleges in India. Every history had a beginning, in the beginning of this journey was an institution which stood the test of time and history and still remains a shining beacon in imparting education to many Indians. Serampore college, the second oldest college in India started by Danish colonialists.
Serampore College is located in Serampore Town, in Hooghly District, West Bengal was granted the status of University in 1829, making it India’s first institution to have the status of a university. It was started in 1818 by William Carey, Joshua Marshman and William Ward. Since Serampore was a Danish colony, King Frederick VI, the King of Denmark, issued Serampore College its Royal Charter of incorporation in February 1827 in Copenhagen. When the British occupied India, all Danish assets were sold to the British including this famous college.

Motto and purpose

The motto of the college is “wise shall possess glory”, which sets the tone of how Serampore college has prioritized wisdom over everything. The college in its inception also wanted to make sure there was no discrimination in admission to college and said in words that people from all caste and color will be admitted into the college.
Some of the notable alumni’s of the college include Lynn De Silva, who was the editor of one of the first theosophical journals which detailed on the encounter between Christians and Buddhists. Other alumni includes Hoshike Sema, a four-time chief minister of Nagaland.

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