Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) (Hindi: अलीगढ़ मुस्लिम विश्वविद्यालय, Urdu: علی گڑھ مسلم یونیورسٹی) is a public university, funded by the central government of India is among the oldest central universities in India. It was established by Syed Ahmad Khan as Mohammedan Anglo-Oriental College. The Mohammedan Anglo-Oriental College became Aligarh Muslim University in 1920. The main campus of AMU is located in the city of Aligarh. Spread over 467.6 hectares in the city of Aligarh, AMU offers more than 300 courses in the traditional and modern branches of education. The University has consistently ranked among the best educational institutions in India. According to Times Higher Education, Asia Ranking 2014, AMU ranks 3rd among Universities in India. The university is open to all irrespective of caste, creed, religion or gender.
It was established as Madrasatul Uloom Musalmanan-e-Hind in 1875–78, The Anglo–Indian statesman Syed Ahmad Khan founded the predecessor of AMU, Muhammadan Anglo Oriental College, in 1877 having already established two schools. He considered competence in English and "Western sciences" necessary skills for maintaining Muslims' political influence, especially in Northern India. Khan's image for the college was based on his visit to Oxford and Cambridge and he wanted to establish an education system similar to the British model.Aga Khan III also played a major role in realizing the idea of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan by collecting funds for building the Aligarh Muslim University In the beginning the college was affiliated with the University of Calcutta but became an affiliate of Allahabad University in 1885. Around 1900 efforts began to make the college its own university. Its range of courses was expanded and a girls school was added in 1907 before it became the Aligarh Muslim University in 1920. The university was designed to train Muslims for government service in India and prepare them for advanced training in British universities.
The first chancellor of the university was Sultan Shah Jahan Begum. In 1927, a school for the blind was established and, the following year, a medical school was attached to the university. By the end of the 1930s, the university had developed an Engineering faculty. Syed Zafarul Hasan, joined the Aligarh Muslim University in early 1900s as head of Philosophy Department, dean Faculty of Arts. He was a pro-vice chancellor before his retirement.
Before 1939, faculty and students supported an all-India nationalist movement. After 1939, political sentiment shifted toward support for a Muslim separatist movement. University Students and faculty mobilised behind Muhammad Ali Jinnah and the University hence became an epicenter of Pakistan Movement.