Aga Khan University (AKU), one of the best institutions of higher learning and healthcare in the nation and the world, is commemorating forty years of greatness. With only 250 students when it initially opened its doors in 1983, Pakistan’s first private university is today one of the nation’s most esteemed centres for learning, research, and healthcare, serving more than 2,500 students each year. With this achievement, the University honours the vision of His Highness the Aga Khan, its Chancellor, which has guided and directed AKU for its significant accomplishments in just four short decades.
The development initiatives of AKU in the fields of research, healthcare, and education are not solely focused on Pakistan. The University started to grow in the 2000s, and today, in addition to Pakistan, it has campuses and programmes dispersed throughout Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Afghanistan, and the United Kingdom. In order to encourage young researchers and professionals to become agents of positive change in their communities, the institution offers a variety of research-oriented programmes in educational development, medicine, nursing and midwifery, Muslim civilizations, journalism and communications, and the arts and sciences. Since its founding, AKU has graduated more than 18,000 students, many of whom have gone on to become leaders both domestically and abroad and are currently playing significant roles in global politics, academia, healthcare, and other fields.
For the past 40 years, AKU has remained dedicated to its purpose of enhancing the standard of living in underdeveloped regions and beyond by conducting top-notch teaching, research, and healthcare delivery. As a non-profit institution, the University offers scholarships and fellowships to assist students in gaining access to opportunities for world-class education and research.
The broad range of research conducted at Aga Khan University supports the university’s mission to improve public policy in response to the genuine needs of communities and individuals in the developing world. In comparison to other universities in Pakistan, AKU has one of the largest numbers of publications in peer-reviewed, top-tier journals, making a substantial contribution to Pakistan’s biomedical research.
Six of Pakistan’s top 10 health researchers, according to the Pakistan Council for Science and Technology, are faculty members of AKU. In order to contribute to one of the most fascinating areas of medical research and to provide access to the most recent tests and treatments, AKU founded the Centre for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research in 2016.
Leading national and international organisations, including the World Health Organization, Employees’ Federation of Pakistan, South Asia Development Marketplace, Association for Medical Education, Europe, and The International Society for Quality in Health Care, among others, have given AKU numerous honours in recognition of its excellence and service. In 2021,AKU was listed among the top 500 universities worldwide, the top 100 universities in Asia, and the top 30 universities worldwide for public, environmental, and occupational health by U.S. News & World Report in 2021.
The Aga Khan University Hospital makes a significant contribution to the healthcare systems of the nations it serves. The hospital runs a number of programmes to guarantee that people in need can access its healthcare services. Since 1986, patients who are unable to pay for their medical expenses have received assistance through the Patient Welfare Programme. The University Hospital provided more than $25 million in financial aid to several patients in need just last year.
AKU has consistently been at the forefront of activities for welfare and relief in the nations it serves. AKU has been there to provide medical assistance, relief, and training for aid workers and medical professionals in the wake of numerous devastating natural disasters, including the extremely destructive earthquake of 2005, the devastating floods of 2010, which affected one-fifth of Pakistan’s land area, the COVID-19 pandemic that shook the world, and the monsoon rains of 2022 in Sindh and Balochistan that left millions of people homeless and vulnerable.
AKU has just established its undergraduate Faculty of Arts and Sciences in Pakistan to continue its initiatives and goal outside of medicine and healthcare. This year, the university will launch undergraduate nursing and medical programmes in East Africa.
AKU has also started building a campus in Kampala, Uganda, which will include academic facilities and a university hospital.
In the past four decades, Aga Khan University has created a legacy by offering transformative education that equips its graduates for leadership roles on both the local and international levels, conducting ground-breaking research to find solutions to issues that affect millions of people, and inspiring people and organisations to uphold the highest standards.
His Highness the Aga Khan, the university’s Chancellor, had a vision for it, and it still remains as evidence today. The University is still committed to providing the most disadvantaged people in the areas where we operate with the best possible education, research, and medical treatment.