Overcrowding Crisis at Dhaka University: One Room for Five Departments

The Faculty of Arts building at Dhaka University (DU) is facing a severe classroom shortage, leading to a situation where students from five different departments are forced to share a single room. The extreme heat and overcrowded conditions have left students struggling, often waiting hours for a chance to attend classes. The administration appears indifferent to resolving this issue.

Unmanageable Overcrowding

The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences conducts its academic classes in the Arts Building. With 17 departments and a total student body of 8,896, the building is severely overcrowded. Each academic year sees 2,929 students attending classes here. However, 85% of the departments have only two classrooms each.

Despite having over 40 classrooms in the Faculty of Arts, four departments from the Faculty of Social Sciences occupy many of these rooms. This means no classroom in the Arts Building remains unused, exacerbating the shortage. According to Professor Dr. Abdul Bashir, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, “I do not want any department to have personal rooms. I want everyone to share classrooms.”

Classroom Allocation Inequity

Out of 57 rooms in the Arts Building, 40 are designated as classrooms, while the remaining 17 are under the dean’s control, allocated based on departmental needs. The Urdu and Pali & Buddhist Studies departments each have only one classroom, despite having 344 and 323 students, respectively, spread across five years.

For instance, the Pali & Buddhist Studies department’s sole permanent classroom (6018) often has 60-65 students cramped into it. Due to the severe shortage, students from this department are sometimes forced to share rooms with other departments, further disrupting class schedules.

The Burden of Overcrowding

The notorious Room 6071, shared by five departments—History, Islamic History and Culture, English, Islamic Studies, and Pali & Buddhist Studies—lacks adequate ventilation and air conditioning. Students report that even microphones often fail, making it hard to hear the teachers. The lack of proper facilities adds to the already overwhelming stress of cramped classrooms.

Student Voices

A third-year student from Rokeya Hall, who wished to remain anonymous, stated, “The classroom crisis is like a severe disease. We have twice as many students as the rooms can hold, yet the administration seems blind to this. Allocating a single room for all students in a department makes no sense.”

Farzana, a fourth-year student, added, “Having classes in the morning, afternoon, and evening is sheer torture. Some students have to manage their studies alongside family responsibilities, making it incredibly difficult.”

Sajid from the Islamic Studies department shared, “We have 100 students but only enough space for 70. Many have to bring their own chairs or sit near the teacher’s desk. The administration has taken no action.”

Administrative Response

Professor Dr. Abdul Bashir, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, explained that there are more than 40 classrooms available and any department requesting a room is accommodated. However, some departments spread misinformation, and four departments from the Faculty of Social Sciences occupy Arts Faculty rooms. “No classroom in the Arts Building is left unused,” he emphasized.

Regarding the Pali & Buddhist Studies department, the dean acknowledged their specific needs due to digital device requirements, limiting their flexibility in using other rooms. He suggested that they could utilize the available rooms at 8 AM when they are empty and invited the department to submit a formal request for additional space.


The classroom shortage in the Faculty of Arts at Dhaka University is a critical issue affecting thousands of students daily. While the administration claims to be accommodating, the reality on the ground suggests otherwise. A more structured and equitable approach is needed to ensure that every student has access to a conducive learning environment.

JR Nayan

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