AKU President Dr Sulaiman Shahabuddin, together with a delegation of University leadership recently visited friends and alumni in six U.S states: Florida, Massachusetts, California, Illinois, Washington and Michigan. He was accompanied by Regional CEO for Aga Khan Health Services in East Africa Dr Zeenat Sulaiman; Vice Provost Research Dr Salim Virani; and Chief University Advancement Officer Ms Zahra Somani.
The visit was multifaceted including engagements with the Ismaili community, donors, alumni and visits to partner universities. During the tour, President Shahabuddin shared AKU's remarkable 40-year journey and its global impact through world-class teaching, research, and healthcare delivery.
AKU has grown from a single campus in Pakistan to multiple campuses operating in six countries, including Afghanistan, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and the United Kingdom. We have graduated more than 19,000 doctors, nurses, teachers, journalists, and scholars of Muslim civilisations. Two-thirds of our alumni are women. Every year, AKU's health system treats more than 2 million patients and works together in partnership with leading universities and institutions in 20 countries.
Zahra Somani reflected on AKU's journey, and the University's aspirations, “We are grateful to our partners and for the generous contributions and support we have received. We are especially inspired by the impact our alumni are making through research and leadership in their areas of specialization both in the United States and globally."
At the request of University of Washington (UW) President Dr Ana Mari Cauce, President Shahabuddin also paid a visit to UW to discuss prospects for partnership. Climate change and the environment, data science and artificial intelligence, research administration workforce development, and innovative healthcare delivery methods are all central to this relationship. The AKU visit was significant for UW since it represented the two universities' growing collaboration.
On October 30, Princess Zahra Aga Khan, President Shahabuddin and the AKU leadership visited the University of Michigan (UM) on the invitation of President Santa Ono to commemorate AKU's 40th anniversary and AKU's growing partnership with UM. The visit provided an opportunity to recognize the enormous impact of this relationship and to discuss the enormous potential for growth and development.
The AKU-UM collaboration has entered Phase II, dubbed the Aga Khan University-University of Michigan (AKUM) Collaborative Platform for Improving Health. Under this platform, both institutions will collaborate to address human health concerns, strengthen academic, research and administrative capacities, and gain access to complex global health contexts and communities in Asia and Africa.