The University of Madras informally known as Madras University is a public state university in Chennai (formerly Madras), Tamil Nadu. Established in 1857, it is one of the oldest and premier universities in India. The university was incorporated by an act of the Legislative Council of India. Madras University is the mother of almost all the old Universities of southern India. The University area of jurisdiction has been confined to, however, 3 districts of Tamil Nadu in recent years. This is consequent to establishment of various universities in the State and demarcation of the University territories.
It is a collegiate research university and has six campuses in the city viz., Chepauk, Marina, Guindy, Taramani, Maduravoyal and Chetpet. At present, there are 73 academic departments grouped under 18 schools, covering diverse areas such as sciences, social sciences, humanities, management and medicine along with 109 affiliated colleges and 52 approved research institutions.
The National Assessment and Accreditation Council has conferred ‘five star’ accreditation to the university and it has been given the status of ‘University with Potential for Excellence’ by the University Grants Commission.The first ever demand for higher education in Madras Presidency was given in a public address to Lord John Elphinstone, Governor of Madras, signed by 70,000 residents when the Governor in Council was contemplating “some effective and liberal measures for the establishment of an improved system of national education”.