The Vision of Bharat Ratna Maharshi Dr. Dhondo Keshav Karve To Build A Citadel Of Learning For Women Is Encapsulated In The Motto Of The University -
'Sanskrita Stree Parashakti' (An Enlightened Women Is A Source Of Infinite Strength) Strength).
Bharat Ratna Maharshi Dhondo Keshav Karve founded the SNDT Women’s University. Undeterred by hostile attitudes, stiff opposition and meager resources, he dedicated his life to the advancement of Indian women by promoting their education and making them self-reliant and independent.
In 1916, The Maharshi’s school, which was set up in 1896 as an Ashram at Hingne near Pune, was established as a University. The turning point of the University came when Sir Vithaldas Thackersey, an eminent industrialist of Mumbai, deeply committed to the cause of Women’s Education, stepped forward with a donation of Rs. 15 lakhs. The university was named Shrimati Nathibai Damodar Thackersey (SNDT) Women’s University in the memory of his mother. The University Headquarters is in Churchgate Campus, Mumbai and the other two campuses of this University are at Juhu, Mumbai and Karve Road, Pune.
In a century old existence, the university has grown into a multidisciplinary institution hosting diverse professional, technical and liberal arts programmes from K12 to PhD. SNDTWU is probably one such university where there is Nursery school as laboratory for Human Development Department, Centres for Women's Studies, Inclusion and Exclusion, Distance Education, andhas affiliated institutions for doctoral programmes. Unlike most university's in the country which have to have state jurisdiction, SNDTWU is unique in terms of jurisdiction. SNDTWU can affiliate colleges/institutions anywhere in India with prior consent from the State Government.
NDT Women's University is committed to the cause of women's empowerment through access to education, particularly higher education, through relevant courses in the formal and non-formal streams. The university is committed to meet the changing socio-economic needs, with human values and purposeful social responsibility and to achieve excellence with “Quality in every Activity” through vocational and professional courses for women. The motto of the university is “An enlightened woman is a source of infinite strength”. There are six institutions recognized by SNDTWU for Ph. D. Research. SNDTWU is a home to 1100 teaching and non-teaching staff members and 50,000 students spread across seven states and a union territory.
SNDT Women's University stands 32nd amongst multi-disciplinary universities of India and ranked fourth in Western India according to the Week-Hansa Research ranking of 2020.