Aga Khan University

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Aga Khan University
Urdu: آغا خان یونیورسٹی
Swahili: Chuo Kikuu cha Aga Khan
Aga Khan University logo.png
AKU seal
Established 1983 (1983)
Type Private
Endowment >USD $1 billion
Chancellor Aga Khan IV
President Firoz Rasul
Students ~2,313
Location Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan
Campus Urban
Karachi (main campus)
African Great Lakes (KEN, TZA, UGA)
United Kingdom
Colours White, Green, White            
Nickname AKU
Affiliations HEC, UGC, ACU

The Aga Khan University (Urdu: جامىهء ﺁغا خان; popular as "AKU"), is a private research university located in Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan.[1] Founded in 1983, the university was named for its famed benefactor and philanthropist, Aga Khan IV.[2] The university holds the unique distinction of being one of the first private-sector universities in Pakistan.[2]

The Aga Khan University maintains its central campus in Pakistan; teaching hospitals in countries in the African Great Lakes; and the United Kingdom. The university offers various academic programmes for undergraduate, post-graduate studies in biological and medical sciences.[3] It is organized into five undergraduate and four post-graduate programmes on two main campuses— Pakistan and Tanzania.[3] The University is a member of the Association of Commonwealth Universities of the United Kingdom.[4]

It consistently maintained its high ranking position and currently ranked as one of the top institutions in "medical school" category by the HEC as of 2013.[5] In addition, the university secured its ranking among the 250 Asian universities ranking by the British Quacquarelli Symonds.[6][7] Agha Khan pioneers the concept of modern medical science research in Pakistan and overall ranked its research in top on the global impact of its research.[8]

Scientific research and clinical trials[edit]

The Aga Khan University accounts for 70% of all biomedical research in Pakistan while the remaining 30 per cent is shared by all the other institutions.[9] AKU publishes more research articles in peer-reviewed, indexed internationally recognised journals than any other university in Pakistan.[9] Faculty promotions are dependent on publications in indexed journals while most medical students have published by the time they graduate.

The university maintains a Research Office to guide and support research conducted at the University.[10] A University Research Council also funds grants after a competitive review process facilitated by a Grants Review Committee.[11] Particular emphasis is also placed on community related health sciences research. AKU organizes international and national research workshops and seminars. A Health Sciences Research Assembly is held annually in which faculty and students present their research.[12]

The university is the site for NIH clinical trials.[13]

Campuses and facilities[edit]

The Aga Khan University is an international university, operating on campuses in Central and South Asia, the African Great Lakes, Europe and the Middle East.

Existing campuses and international programmes include:

  • Faculty of Health Sciences located on a 84-acre (340,000 m2) campus in the heart of Karachi, Pakistan, built in the 1980s[14]
  • Aga Khan University Health Sciences campus in Nairobi, Kenya[15]
  • A USD 500 million campus for the university's Faculty of Arts and Sciences is under development in Karachi Pakistan. An area of 1,100 acres (4.5 km2) has been acquired just outside Karachi, and Payette Associates are the project architects.
  • Institute for Educational Development in the Karimabad area of Karachi, Pakistan and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
  • Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations in London, United Kingdom;
  • A USD 450 million campus planned for Arusha, in north-eastern Tanzania to be built in the next 15 years.[16]
  • Advanced Nursing Studies (ANS) Programmes at campuses in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda;
  • Programmes for capacity development for teachers and nurses in Afghanistan, Egypt and Syria;

Impact of AKU on society[edit]

Role of religion in the University[edit]


The seal (logo) of the Aga Khan University is a visual representation of the principles which underlie the founding of the university.[18] The circular form of the seal has its roots in the rosettes of early Islamic periods. It also symbolizes the world and reflects the internationality of the Aga Khan University. At the centre of the Seal is a star or sun representing light – a universal symbol of the enlightenment that education provides. The light is also symbolic of Nur (Divine light). The star incorporates 49 points to commemorate the university's founding by Prince Karim Aga Khan, the Forty-Ninth Imam of the Ismaili Muslims.

The outer ring circumscribes a Quranic Ayat (3:103) rendered in classic thuluth script and reads as follows:

وَاعْتَصِمُوا بِحَبْلِ اللَّهِ جَمِيعًا وَلَا تَفَرَّقُوا وَاذْكُرُوا نِعْمَتََ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ اِذْ كُنْتُمْ اعْدَاءً فَالَّفَ بَيْنَ قُلُوبِكُمْ فَاصْبَحْتُمْ بِنِعْمَتِهِ اِخْوَنًا وَكُنْتُمْ عَلَى شَفَا حُفْرَةٍ مِنْ النَّارِ فَانْقَذَكُمْ مِنْهَا كَذَلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ ءايَتِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَهْتَدُونَ

The English translation reads:

And hold fast,
All together, by the rope
Which God (stretches out for you),
And be not divided among yourselves,
And remember with gratitude
God's favour on you:
For ye were enemies
And He joined your hearts
In love, so that by His grace
Ye became brethren
And ye were on the brink of the pit of Fire,
And He saved you from it.
Thus doth God make His Signs clear to you
That ye may be guided.

Notable alumni, professors and staff[edit]

Professors and staff[edit]

Notable alumni[edit]

Aga Khan University in popular culture[edit]

In international news[edit]

See also[edit]

Aga Khan University Juma Building
Lakeside Aga Khan University
Private wing, Aga Khan University


  1. ^ "Address of AKU". AKU Press. Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  2. ^ a b AKU University Press. "University Charter". AKU University Press. AKU University Press. Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "Academics in AKU". Academics in AKU. Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  4. ^ Association of Commonwealth Universities. "Members of Association of Commonwealth Universities". Association of Commonwealth Universities. Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  5. ^ Higher Education Commission. "HEC ranking". Govt. of Pakistan. HEC press ranking. Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  6. ^ Staff (30 May 2013). "Six Pakistani universities among top Asian universities: QS Ranking-2012". Pakistan Today. Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  7. ^ Imam, Myra (June 17, 2013). "Three Pakistani universities among top 200 in the world". The News Internationale, Islamabad Bureau. Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  8. ^ Khalid Khattak (April 8, 2007). "AKU researches have most impact". Daily Times. Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  9. ^ a b "Need stressed to promote research". Retrieved 2007-03-29. 
  10. ^ "AKU Research Office". Retrieved 2007-04-08. 
  11. ^ "AKU Grants Review Committee". Retrieved 2007-04-08. 
  12. ^ "Health Sciences Research Assembly 2006". The Aga Khan University Newsletter 7 (2). September 2006. p. 4. Archived from the original on 1 April 2007. Retrieved 2007-04-08. 
  13. ^ "NIH trials at the Aga Khan University". Retrieved 2006-12-21. 
  14. ^ "HARVARD TO AID IN DEVELOPING PAKISTANI TEACHING HOSPITAL". The New York Times. 1981-12-21. Retrieved 1981-12-21. 
  15. ^ "Aga Khan University Announces the Faculty of Health Sciences in East Africa". Retrieved 2007-03-19. 
  16. ^ "Aga Khan Announces the East African Community's First Regional University to be based in Arusha". Archived from the original on 11 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-19. 
  17. ^ "News on AKU Efforts for the Earthquake Relief Operations". Retrieved 2006-12-02. 
  18. ^ "The Seal - AKU Convocation 2006". Archived from the original on 2007-02-06. Retrieved 2006-12-02. 
  19. ^ Aga Khan University Profile
  20. ^ 26 Civil Awards Conferred in Sindh
  21. ^ Nearly 72% of girls in Sindh get married before they turn 18 Retrieved The Experss Tribune, January 22, 2013
  22. ^ CSPH Names Adil Haider, MD, MPH as New Director
  23. ^ CSPH faculty profile
  24. ^ CSTOR faculty profile
  25. ^ Johns Hopkins faculty profile
  26. ^ Openforum Harvard Business School
  27. ^ Safety checklists – airline pilots use them, doctors and care teams use them, and now Doctella is making sure that patients and their families can use them too
  28. ^ "AKU leading the Y2K campaign". BBC News. 1999-08-24. Retrieved 1999-09-20. 
  29. ^ "The Mystery of the Persian Mummy". Retrieved 2001-09-20. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 24°53′34″N 67°04′29″E / 24.8928°N 67.0747°E / 24.8928; 67.0747