The idea of a high grade academic and research centre around BIRDEM was conceived with the formation of a research group (the Biomedical Research Group) in early 1990’s and it was practically initiated in mid-1990’s with the proposal of the Bangladesh Institute of Health Sciences (BIHS) as a Degree giving Institute (Deemed University). The idea was patronized by the Government with the allocation of about 6 acres of land in Darus Salam, Mirpur and it got further momentum through the implementation (since 2003) of the Health Care Development Project (HCDP) – a large scale Project of the Diabetic Association of Bangladesh supported by a Grant from the Dutch Government and a loan from a Consortium of 12 banks. BIHS (formally starting academic courses in public health and technology disciplines under Dhaka University since 2007) became the Apex Hospital of the 20 hospitals/health centres under the HCDP Network in around Dhaka and in North-Western Bangladesh and, within few years, it could create substantial reputation in academic and research areas. As a result, BIHS started to attract Grants from Organizations like University of Oslo (Norway), Rockefeller Foundation (USA) and World Diabetes Foundation (Denmark) to sponsor various academic and development Projects. In addition to local students BIHS was able to attract foreign postgraduate students from Nepal, Pakistan and India.
Since the Laws regarding Higher Education in Bangladesh did not permit for a Deemed University, success could not be achieved to convert BIHS as a Degree Giving Institute. Since, this system was not catered even in the latest Ordinance (Private University Ordinance, 2010), a decision was taken to apply for BUHS rather than continuing the effort for BIHS as a Deemed University. The Application, submitted in late 2011, was processed through the Ministry of Education and the University Grant Commission and, after the approval by the Honorable Prime Minister, permission has recently been granted to operate the University.