North Orissa University was established in July 1998. The University is included in the list of Universities maintained by the University Grants Commission Act, to impart higher education in the tribal base area of Northern Orissa. The jurisdiction of the University extends over two districts, Mayurbhanj and Keonjhar. There are 80 affiliated colleges, both general and professional, catering to the demand of higher education.
The University offers undergraduate and postgraduate courses in the fields of Bioinformatics, Biotechnology, Botany, Business Administration, Chemistry, Computer Science, Economics, Law, Mathematics, Physics, Tribal Studies, Wildlife, and Zoology. Selection of candidates for admission is made on the basis of their performance in the entrance examination and assessment of their academic career.
Recently, the University has introduced various professional courses in distance learning mode to generate additional resources, keeping in view the recent trends in the Indian industry. All the courses are conducted under Off-Campus-Distance Learning (OCDL mode). Under such learning mode, the student is given education through Study Centers. However, the students may join the Study Center for acquiring necessary skills for practical subjects. Assignments are submitted by the students to the Counselors, for evaluation of their performances. Personal Contact Program sessions are organized to provide a platform to the students to clarify their doubts.
The University runs three hostels (two for ladies and one for men) for the accommodation of outstation students. The Central Library caters to the needs of students, teachers, researchers associated with the University. The library has books on subjects such as Tribal Studies, Wild-life & Conservation Biology, and remote sensing.