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  • Date :
  • 1/3/2004



Founded by His Highness the Aga Khan and chartered in 1983 as Pakistan’s first private university, AKU’s objective is to promote human welfare in general, and the welfare of the people of Pakistan in particular, by disseminating knowledge and providing instruction, training, research and service in the health sciences, education and such other branches of learning as the University may determine.
AKU brings international expertise to bear upon the establishment and enhancement of its current and future programmes and services through ongoing partnerships with prestigious overseas institutions. Additionally, in line with its commitment to the advancement of the status and professional opportunities for women, the University seeks similar collaborations to strengthen women-oriented professions such as nursing and teaching.
Through itsMedical College,School of Nursing and teachingHospital, itsInstitute for Educational Development and itsInstitute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations, the University educates while contributing to the development of the areas in which it operates.
AKU is a non-denominational institution open to all, irrespective of religion, ethnicity, gender or national origin. Forty-four percent of the University’s students are women, many in senior posts. Fifty percent of students in the Medical College are also women. The University’s admissions policy is needs-blind and based on merit. Over 33 percent of the students receive financial aid.
While the University sets its sights on the latest breakthroughs in health sciences and technology, as well as the application of well-proven and appropriate technologies that have been insufficiently applied in Pakistan, it also seeks to integrate systems of values, ethics and principles. In doing so, AKU is an important force for pluralism, teaching the skills of critical thinking, analysis and problem-solving, while inculcating moral reasoning, ethics and respect for others.
In its first two decades, AKU’s major force was in the fields of health and education. In the decade ahead, the University plans to step beyond professional education towards becoming a comprehensive university.
Following the liberal arts model, a Faculty of Arts and Sciences will be established on a new campus in Karachi. It will develop skills in critical thinking and analysis, raise proficiency in verbal and written communication, enhance human resource development in the region, and advance understanding in particular academic disciplines.
Another programme under consideration is an Institute of Human Development, which will be dedicated to advancing the understanding of the effects and conditions of early childhood on subsequent well-being and performance, and the application of this understanding to the development of interventions and evaluation to assess their potential efficacy and applicability.
Aga Khan University is an academic centre ofAga Khan Development Network (AKDN), a group of development agencies, institutions, and programmes that work primarily in the developing parts of Asia and Africa. The common goal of the programmes is to create real and lasting improvement in the lives of the poor in ways that lead to self-reliance rather than dependence.  To this end, the agencies encourage the communities themselves to identify and plan for their needs, whether it is a community health centre or a national programme for teacher training. AKDN agencies conduct their programmes irrespective of caste, creed or gender.
When appropriate, the agencies take an integrated approach, simultaneous addressing a broad spectrum of development issues in the social, economic and cultural contexts.


The Research Office is the central support office for research conducted at the University. The Office was established by the Board of Trustees in 1999 with the primary function of supporting the University Research Council (URC) and its standing committees, i.e.Ethical Review Committee (ERC), Grants Review Committee (GRC), Ethical Committee for Research on Animals (ECRA) and the International Advisory Committee for Research (IACR).
The University Research Council in turn has charged the Research Office with the task of:

Co-ordination and oversight of research;

To be a repository of research information;

To act like a liaison office between the Principal Investigator and the external granting agency and;

To ensure that research at AKU is controlled both qualitatively and objectively as a University function.

The Research Office is a facilitating office. It enhances the research ambience, for example by organizing research meetings and presentations. It disseminates information on grant funding in various areas of specialisation, aids researchers with preparation of grant applications including editorial activities relating to writing of grants and reports. It assists the researchers to seek required internal approvals where an agreement is to be drawn up between a funding agency and the University.
The Office maintains a comprehensive database of funded projects and follows-up with Principal Investigators when progress reports are due. It maintains inventories of space and equipment, administering space for research, including research laboratories and animal house.

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