Aga Khan University

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Aga Khan University
آغا خان یونیورسٹی
AKU Seal
Type Private
Established 1983 (1983)
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; known as AKU) is an independent non-denominational research university located in Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan, with a satellite campus in London.[1] Founded in 1983, the university is named after its benefactor Aga Khan IV.[2] It is one of the first independent 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 Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations in London, United Kingdom. The university offers various academic programmes for undergraduate and post-graduate studies in biological and medical sciences.[3] It is organised into five undergraduate and four post-graduate programmes in Karachi and Dar es Salaam.[3] Its range of teaching hospitals includes the 542-bed Aga Khan Hospital, Karachi and the 254-bed Aga Khan Hospital, Nairobi.[4]

The university is a member of the Association of Commonwealth Universities of the United Kingdom.[5] Aga Khan has maintained its position as the top university in medical sciences in Pakistan since 2005.[6] In addition, the university is ranked among the top 200 universities in Asia and fifth in Pakistan by the QS University Ranking.[7][8][9] Aga Khan pioneers the concept of modern medical science research in Pakistan and overall ranked its research in the top on the global impact of its research.[10] AKU is one of the most selective universities in Pakistan with a primary focus on medical sciences.[11]

Scientific research and clinical trials[edit]

The Aga Khan University accounts for 75% of all biomedical research in Pakistan while the remaining 25 percent is shared by all the other institutions.[12] AKU publishes more research articles in peer-reviewed, indexed internationally recognised journals than any other university in Pakistan.[12] Faculty promotions are dependent on publications in indexed journals while most medical students have published by the time they graduate.[citation needed] Undergraduate medical students have published up to 50 research papers in indexed health journals.[citation needed]

It is the only university of Pakistan which provides research facilities to students at the undergraduate level.

The university maintains a research office to guide and support research conducted at the university.[13] A University Research Council also funds grants after a competitive review process facilitated by a Grants Review Committee.[14] 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.[15]

The university is the site for NIH clinical trials.[16]

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.

In Pakistan, the university is an 84-acre campus including a hospital with two on-campus male and female hostels with a capacity of 300 each. It has a sports and rehabilitation center which is one of the best in Pakistan, with an Olympic-standard swimming pool, cricket practice nets, tennis courts, indoor gymnasium with wooden flooring, squash courts and gyms. It has cricket and football grounds with jogging tracks.

Free WiFi is available all over the campus. Hostels are three storey buildings and two blocks. There are common rooms on each floor along with Kitchens, and laundry rooms facilitated with washing machines and dryers. Students have air conditioners in their rooms. Meals are served at the main cafeteria which is open 24/7 with discounts for students and staff. Saturdays and Sundays are off for year 1 and 2 students while seniors have different schedules.

Existing campuses and international programmes include:

  • Faculty of Health Sciences located on an 84-acre (340,000 m2) campus in the heart of Karachi, Pakistan, built in the 1980s[17]
  • Aga Khan University Health Sciences campus in Nairobi, Kenya[18]
  • 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[19] 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[20]
  • 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

Aga Khan University Examination Board (AKU-EB)[edit]

Established in 2003. AKU-EB is a federal Board of Intermediate and Secondary education in Pakistan. AKU-EB examines students at SSC and HSSC level.

AKU - Institute for Educational Development (AKU-IED)[edit]

AKU-IED is a center for developing teachers, educators, education managers, researchers and policy makers. Apart from teacher training, AKU-IED offers M.Ed (Masters of Education) and PhD. in Education as well.

Impact of AKU on society[edit]

AKU played a major role in the relief efforts after the 2005 Pakistan earthquake.[21]

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.[22] 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]


  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. ^ "Aga Khan University". Retrieved 2016-06-15. 
  5. ^ Association of Commonwealth Universities. "Members of Association of Commonwealth Universities". Association of Commonwealth Universities. Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  6. ^ Higher Education Commission. "HEC ranking". Govt. of Pakistan. HEC press ranking. Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  7. ^ Staff (30 May 2013). "Six Pakistani universities among top Asian universities and was at 117th spot : QS Ranking-2012". Pakistan Today. Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  8. ^ Imam, Myra (June 17, 2013). "Three Pakistani universities among top 200 in the world". The News Internationale, Islamabad Bureau. Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  9. ^ "QS university rankings: No Pakistani university in Asia's top 100 – The Express Tribune". The Express Tribune. 2016-06-14. Retrieved 2016-06-15. 
  10. ^ Khalid Khattak (April 8, 2007). "AKU researches have most impact". Daily Times. Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  11. ^ "HEC ranking 2016". Retrieved 2016-02-24. 
  12. ^ a b "Need stressed to promote research". Retrieved 2007-03-29. 
  13. ^ "AKU Research Office". Retrieved 2007-04-08. 
  14. ^ "AKU Grants Review Committee". Retrieved 2007-04-08. 
  15. ^ "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. 
  16. ^ "NIH trials at the Aga Khan University". Retrieved 2006-12-21. 
  18. ^ "Aga Khan University Announces the Faculty of Health Sciences in East Africa". Retrieved 2007-03-19. 
  19. ^ Payette Associates
  20. ^ "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. 
  21. ^ "News on AKU Efforts for the Earthquake Relief Operations". Retrieved 2006-12-02. 
  22. ^ "The Seal – AKU Convocation 2006". Archived from the original on 2007-02-06. Retrieved 2006-12-02. 
  23. ^ Aga Khan University Profile Archived 21 September 2013 at the Wayback Machine.
  24. ^ CSPH Names Adil Haider, MD, MPH as New Director. Retrieved on 2016-07-03.
  25. ^ "Liberty Dialysis Physicians Fahim Rahim and Naeem Rahim to Receive Ellis Island National Medals of Honor for Their Contribution to Achievements in Dialysis and Kidney Care". Business Wire. Retrieved 19 April 2015. 
  26. ^ "Dr. Naeem Rahim, MD". Health Grades. Retrieved 19 April 2015. 
  27. ^ "Rahim Farhim and JRM Foundation reach out". Idaho State Journal. Retrieved 19 April 2015. 
  28. ^ "AKU leading the Y2K campaign". BBC News. 1999-08-24. 
  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