University of Mumbai is one of the first three state universities in India, located in the city of Mumbai in the state of Maharashtra. It is abbreviated "MU" (for Mumbai University).
The University of Mumbai offers Bachelors, Masters and Doctoral degrees apart from diplomas and certificates in many disciplines. The language of instruction for most courses is English. A majority of private colleges are also affiliated to MU. One of its two campuses in Mumbai is located in Kalina, Santacruz. The campus houses academic and administrative departments. Another campus located in Fort carries out administrative work only. Several world-renowned institutes in Mumbai were affiliated to the university. Most of them are now autonomous institutes or deemed universities. The University of Mumbai is one of the largest universities in the world in terms of the number of students. In 2011 the total number of enrolled students was 549,432. It has 711 affiliated colleges.
The University of Mumbai was established in 1857 after a petition from the Bombay Association to the then British government of India according to "Wood's despatch", drafted by Sir Charles Wood in 1854. It was modelled on the universities in Great Britain, specifically University of London. The founding faculties were the faculty of arts at Elphinstone College (founded in 1835) and faculty of medicine at Grant Medical College (founded in 1845), as these colleges pre-dated the university and surrendered their degree granting privileges to the new university. The first degrees awarded in 1862 were the bachelor of arts and the licentiate in medicine. Initially, the Town Hall building was used for the Mumbai University offices. Until 1904 the university was purely an exam conducting and affiliating body which developed and dictated curricula to the colleges. Teaching departments, research disciplines and post-graduate courses were added later. Several university departments were established, starting with the School of Sociology and Civics and Politics. After India achieved independence in 1947, the functions and powers of the university were sought to be reorganised, for which The Bombay University Act of 1953 was passed. The name of the University has been changed from "University of Bombay " to "University of Mumbai" as per a gazette of the Government of Maharashtra dated September 4, 1996.
In 1949, student enrolment was 42,272 with 80 affiliated colleges. By 1975, these numbers had grown to 156,190 and 114 respectively.