Manonmaniam Sundaranar University which is in short called 'MSU' was set up in the year 1990. The university was named after the famous poet, Prof. Sundaram Pillai. It has a strong network of about one hundred and two affiliated colleges. A number of these colleges have contributed considerably to the cause of higher education for many decades. There are five colleges in this district which are more than one hundred years old.
In the year 1878, the number of colleges in the district was two and they were the Madurai Diraviam Thayumanavar Hindu College and St. John's College. Both of these are the oldest colleges in Tirunelveli district. The first college for women and third college of the district, Sarah Tucker College came up in the year 1895. The fourth college in the district was the St. Xavier's college of Education and St. Ignatious college of Education (both are training colleges) were established in the year 1950 and 1957 respectively. In the year 1963-64, two more colleges, the Paramakalyani College and the Parasakthi College were formed. Except for Government Arts College for Women, all other colleges are aided private colleges run by different educational trusts. In the district of Tirunelveli, there are three self-financing colleges; they were Saratha College for Women, Sattanathakarayalar College and Jayaraj Annabakkiam College.
In the year 1986, the revenue district of Tirunelveli was bifurcated as Tirunelveli and Thoothukkudi districts and a new post of District Educational Officer at Tenkasi was formed and the name of posts of the District Educational Officer, Tirunelveli Central was changed as District Education Officer, Tirunelveli and the District Educational Officer, Tirunelveli South was redesigned as District Educational Officer, Cheranmahadevi. The three District Education Officers work under the overall control of the Chief Education Officer.
In Tirunelveli district, there is a Government Law College which was opened on the fourteenth of October 1996, with an intake of eighty students for three year Law course. For medical education there is the Tirunelveli Government Medical College and its teaching hospital located in an extensive area of about three hundred and fifty acres of land at High Grounds, Palayamcottai. This college was started in the year 1965. The Government Siddha Medical College was started at Palayamkottai on the 30th of November 1964 and it was an affiliated College of the University of Madras till the month of March 1966 and from then on till the year 1988 it was an affiliate of Madurai Kamaraj University and since the month of March 1989 to Dr. MGR Medical University.
History of technical education in the district of Tirunelveli can be traced back to the year 1844 when Mrs. Caldweel, wife of Bishop Caldwell, started a school which is meant for teaching girls in lace making at Idyangudi. The Government of Tamil Nadu set up a State Board of Technical Education and Training and a separate Directorate of Technical Education with effect from the 1st of October 1957. The Directorate of Technical Education has taken over the administration of both engineering colleges and polytechnics in this district since then.
(Last Updated on : 10-02-2014)
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