Wilson College, Bombay

From PhalkeFactory

Founded in 1832 as part of Dr. John Wilson’s institute also known as the Ambroli English School, Wilson College precedes the Bombay University (1857) and forms part of its constituent colleges.

Having seen the turn of two centuries, we have learned to keep up with the changing times and trends in the world of education. Today, the life of a student has become fiercely competitive and we recognise the need to help and encourage our students. We therefore make every endeavor to ensure our students realise their full potential and bring out the best in them.

The college offers a wide range of Arts and Science and Professional courses along with many interesting and worthwhile co-curricular activities.

As a temple of learning, we believe in fostering within our students a social consciousness for the society we live in, hence the college advocates and spearheads nature conservation activities and involvement in flood, riot and quake relief work.

To produce intellectually well-trained, morally upright, socially conscious and spiritually oriented men and women, this is our vision.


Dating way back to the 19th Century, the history of Wilson College is intertwined with the History of Education in Mumbai.

Rev Dr. John Wilson, the founder, established the Ambroli English School in 1832 and subsequently added to it the college division in 1836. Dr. Wilson was a learned scholar and a pioneering educationalist, whose contributions to the intellectual and social life of 19th century India were historically and socially significant of Scottish descent. He had made it his life’s ambition and vocation to spread the light of education to the people of India. In the year 2000, Dr. John Wilson was given his place as one of the seven ‘Founding Fathers of modern Bombay (Mumbai)’, by the Department of Archives, Government of Maharashtra.

So deep was Dr. Wilson’s involvement with education, that the then Governor Mountstuart Elphinstone, invited him to be a member of the senate of the newly established Bombay University. He became one of the Fellows named in the Act of Incorporation of the University of Bombay.

Dr. Dugald Mackichan succeeded Rev. Richard Stothert (1876-1884), and it was primarily through his negotiations with the government and efforts at fund raising that the present day ‘Wilson College’ building came into being.

The building was designed by John Adams in the Domestic Gothic style. On 10th March 1885, Dr. James Ferguson, Governor of Bombay laid the foundation stone. The new building was inaugurated by Lord Reay on 14th March 1889.

By 1909, the college conducted courses under the auspices of the University of Bombay leading to the B.A., B.Sc. and the M.A. degrees. By 1911, the strength of the college had risen to 599, with 78 residents in the hostel. By then the college had sent 1200 graduates in the world.

The college students had a great role to play in the freedom struggle. The college authorities were very supportive to students, especially those who were jailed. The college continued to nurture quality education in the post independence period, continuously innovating to meet changing needs of students in a rapidly changing world.