A History of Excellence

We are confident we will succeed in making our vision for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences a reality. Our certainty stems from the fact that the Aga Khan University has repeatedly demonstrated it can turn bold plans into remarkable achievements.  

AKU is known as a pioneer and a quality leader. Founded in 1983 by His Highness the Aga Khan, AKU was Pakistan’s first private university. Our Medical College has repeatedly been ranked the country’s best, our School of Nursing and Midwifery is Pakistan’s most influential, and our Examination Board and Institute for Educational Development were the first such private institutions in the country. Six out of Pakistan’s 10 most productive health researchers are AKU faculty members, and their work – much of which focuses on improving the health of the poor – has had a significant impact locally and globally. Our graduates go on to study and work at internationally renowned institutions, and to make a difference in Pakistan and around the world as leading researchers, teachers, clinicians, entrepreneurs, advocates and policymakers.  

The Aga Khan University Hospital was the first in Pakistan to meet the rigorous accreditation standards of the U.S.-based Joint Commission International and the College of American Pathologists. The University’s annual economic impact in Pakistan is more than US$ 1 billion, according to a study by U.S.-based Centennial Group International. 

AKU’s global reputation is reflected in its leadership and the many organisations with which it has collaborated. Our Board of Trustees includes current and former leaders of such institutions as the University of California, San Francisco; the American University in Cairo; the Universidade NOVA de Lisboa; and the University of Toronto. Our partners and supporters include the development agencies of Canada, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States, as well as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Johnson & Johnson Corporate Citizenship Trust, the Harvard Kennedy School, the University of Alberta, the University of Calgary, the University of Washington and the University of California, San Francisco.  

AKU is an agency of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), one of the world’s largest private development organis​ations. In Pakistan, AKDN has positively impacted millions of lives through its renowned rural support programme, 160 schools, historic preservation work and private-sector investments. AKU’s ability to collaborate with its fellow AKDN agencies is a major advantage for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.