The year 1896 marks the beginning of a new era in the history of women’s education in India when Dr. Dhondo Keshav Karve established an ashram for widows and helpless women at Hingne near Pune. He realized that to make these women self-sufficient, self- reliant and self- confident, schooling was essential at the ashram.Karve launched a programme of schooling at ashram, which latter became regular school for girls and women. In a society governed by age old customs and conservative attitudes towards women, an institution of this type was bound to face social and economic difficulties. He had a dream of establishing women’s university and his friends sent him a booklet on the Japanese women’s university at Tokyo. In December 1915 Karve in his presidential address to the National Social reform Congress at Bombay announced his decision to shape his dream into reality. and in 1916 the first college started with the enrollment of five students which gradually took shape as women’s university. Karve did not wait for the Government permission for funds.The vision of Maharashi Karve and the foresight of Sir Vithaldas Thackersey led to the establishment of the first Women’s University in India. Recognizing the pioneering work of Dr. Karve . Sir Vithaldas Thackersey made a generous contribution of Rs. 15 lacs to commemorate the memory of his mother, Nathibai. In 1920 after the great benefactor’s mother Nathibai, the University was named as Shreemati Nathibai Damodar Thackersey Women’s University. In 1936, the headquarters of the University was shifted to Bombay. The University continued to grow, providing higher education to more and more women. In 1951, the University was granted statutory recognition and was renamed as Shrimati Nathibai Thackersey Women’s University now popularly known as SNDT Women’s University. The recognition came along with rare privilege of having a jurisdiction across the country.Today SNDT has become a symbol of excellence in higher educational opportunities for women. The journey has been a long one since 1916. There are three university campuses – two at Mumbai-Churchgate and Juhu and one at Karve Road, Pune
For over nine decades, the university has been striving for and growing to newer heights of performance and outreach.The vision of Bharat Ratna Dr. D.K.Karve to build a citadel of learning for women is encapsulated in the motto of the university.
Empowerment of women, through education, has been the single-minded mission of this University ever since its establishment. With socio-cultural changes and technological advances, the goals and objectives of the University are being continuously reinterpreted to make them relevant to the needs of women and in the context of prevailing needs of the society
SNDT Women's University (Shreemati Nathibai Damodar Thackersey Women's University) has 57 Departments listed that offer various academic courses.
Scholarships are grant-in-aid to a student who wants to pursue education at SNDT Women's University (Shreemati Nathibai Damodar Thackersey Women's University)