The Tamil University was established at Thanjavur, by the Government of Tamil Nadu on 15th September 1981 under the provision of the Tamil University Act No.9 of 1982, for furthering the advancement of learning and research in Tamil language, literature and culture. The University Grants Commission, New Delhi recognized the University on 11th June 1985.
The idea of creating a separate University for Tamil language was mooted as early as 1925 by the learned scholars of Tamil society. This idea took a concrete shape only in 1981 under the leadership of the Hon’b1e Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Dr.M.G.Ramachandran. He announced at the Fifth World Tamil Conference held at Madurai, that a University, exclusively to promote the high level research in Tamilology would be set up at Thanjavur, as Thanjavur has been the epitome of art and culture for centuries together.
The university is enshrined with the motto “Ulluvathellam Uyarvullal,” which means “WHAT ALL YOU THINK,THINK HIGHLY OF….”
It is a unitary type of university meant for higher research, with no affiliated colleges. Initially, the university focused only on research. Later this University started spreading its wings for the cause of academic training of the youth. In 1992, the University started conducting academic research by offering M.Phil. and Ph.D. programmes in various disciplines.
After a decade, the scope was further broadened. In 2002, Post Graduate courses in humanities were introduced, and subsequently in 2005, PG Courses in Sciences were included to meet the aspirations of Tamil society. Certificate and Diploma courses are also offered. Later through the Directorate of Distance Education, various certificates, diploma and degree courses were started. By this way, research and teaching have become the integral part of the University’s academic programmes.