Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) is a residential academic Central University in India founded in 1875 by social reformer, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan. He realised the acute need among Indian Muslims for modern education and, to achieve his goal, started a school named Mohammedan Anglo-Oriental College (MAO College) in 1875. It was designed to train Muslims for government service in India and prepare them for advanced training in British universities. The school later became the Mohammedan Anglo-oriental College and finally Aligarh Muslim University in 1920 . It is one of the first institutions established during the British Raj.
Spread over 467.6 hectares in the city of Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, Aligarh Muslim University offers more than 300 courses in the traditional and modern branches of education. It draws students from all corners of the world, especially Africa, West Asia and Southeast Asia. In some courses, places are reserved for students from SAARC and Commonwealth countries. The university is open to all irrespective of caste, creed, religion or gender. It ranks 8th among the top 20 research universities in India. Alumna of the university are popularly known as Aligarians. (The more generic Aligarhiya is used to refer to inhabitants of Aligarh who have not studied at AMU.) With more than 30000, students, about 1400 teachers and some 6000 non-teaching staff on its rolls, it has 12 faculties comprising a wide spectrum of academic disciplines (95 departments, 5 institution and 13 centres) and 18 halls of residence with 73 hostels. The University offers 325 courses.