The University of Calicut, the second university to be set up in Kerala, came into being in 1968 with the objective of developing human resources in the northern districts of Kerala by extending the reach of higher education and by promoting research in all areas of development with particular emphasis on technology and art and culture of Kerala.
The University made the beginning by taking into its fold the four postgraduate departments set up by the University of Kerala at Calicut and 54 constituent colleges spread across seven northern districts. With Nirmaya Karmana Sree as it motto, the University has surmounted challenges to emerge as the largest residential cum affiliating University in Kerala. Its 27 post graduate departments and 286 affiliated colleges have now become a veritable light house beckoning lakhs of young men and women to benefit from higher education.
The University campus, located at Tenhipalam in Malappuram district, 24 km south of Calicut city, is the main hub of academic activities. In addition to the office of the Vice-Chancellor, the University administration, Pareeksha Bhavan, School of Distance Education, Academic Staff College, Educational Multimedia Research Centre, Computer Centre, University Library and other central support and service units, housed on the campus are 21 post graduate departments of teaching and research. These are the Departments of Arabic, Botany, Biotechnology, Chemistry, Commerce & Management Studies, Education, English, Hindi, History, Mass Communication & Journalism, Life Science, Library and Information Science, Malayalam, Mathematics, Philosophy, Physics, Physical Education, Psychology, Russian, Sanskrit, Statistics, and Zoology.
The University has set up extension centres at Thrissur, Calicut and Vatakara. The centre at Thrissur is named after the renowned economist late Dr. John Mathai. Located here are the Department of Economics and the School of Drama & Fine Arts. Courses in Health Sciences and Costume and Fashion Design are conducted at Calicut Centre. The University Students’ Centre is also located in Calicut .
At the Vatakara Centre, the University has set up two post graduate departments of studies and research. These are: the Centre for Folk Lore Studies and the Kunjali Marakkar Centre for West Asian Studies.
To reach out to students closer to their homes, the University has set up Teacher Education Centres and Information Centres in all the five districts under its jurisdiction.
Besides restructuring the graduate and post-graduate courses, the University has introduced integrated M.Phil/Ph.D programme from 2004-05 academic year. To meet the demand for the trained in the emerging areas, the University has launched new programmes in computer application & information technology, health sciences, fashion design, social work, printing technology, computer hardware and automobile engineering. Yet another effort in this direction is the establishment of the University Institute of Engineering Technology close to the main campus. The Institute offers B.Tech courses in electronics and communication, printing technology, electrical and electronics and IT streams.
Frontier lectures by renowned scholars and scientists, modernization of laboratories, upgradation of internet facility in the University library and post-graduate departments and computerisation of University examination are the other recent initiatives.
As many as 288 colleges are affiliated to the University. Of these, 82 are located in Kozhikode district, 70 in Thrissur, 79 in Malappuram, 47 in Palakkad and 10 in Wayanad district.
The breakup in terms fo the subjects of study is: 119 Arts and Science Colleges, 60 Training Colleges, 18 Engineering/Technical Colleges, 7 Medical Colleges,1Para Medical college 6 Ayurveda Colleges, 2 Law Colleges, 23 Oriental Title Colleges, 11 I. H. R. D. centres,4 Management Studies Colleges,1Music College,1 Fine Arts College,20 Nursing colleges, 7 Dental Colleges, 9 Pharmacy colleges, 1Homoeopathy college and 3 colleges for Hotel Management.1 College of Physical Education.As many as 88 colleges, offer both graduate and post graduate courses in various subjects.
The impressive scenario of colleges owes much to the enthusiasm of private educational organizations, which own over 182 colleges. The remaining are run by the State Government. These 282 colleges have an annual sanctioned intake-capacity of nearly 60,000.