Aga Khan University

The Aga Khan University will be an autonomous, international institution of distinction, primarily serving the developing world and Muslim societies in innovative and enduring ways


AKU Overview

AKU was founded in 1983 as Pakistan’s first private, not-for-profit university. In 2000, it expanded to East Africa – where Aga Khan educational institutions have been present for more than a century – followed by the United Kingdom and Afghanistan. Today, the University has more than 2,300 students across campuses in six countries, including Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda. Yet its growth over the last 15 years will pale beside that to come in the decade ahead, as AKU transforms itself into a comprehensive university offering liberal arts and graduate professional degrees that prepare students from the developing world to lead their societies toward a better future.


Future Programmes and Facilities

Graduate Professional Schools
In Pakistan and East Africa, Schools of Hospitality, Leisure and Tourism; Leadership and Management; Architecture and Human Settlements; Law; Government, Public Policy and Civil Society; and Economic Growth and Development will create competent professionals and leaders in a variety of fields critical for social and economic development and cultural vitality. The Graduate School of Media and Communications launched in 2014 in Nairobi with the mission of contributing to the development of a thriving civil society by educating innovative and ethical journalists and media leaders.

Institute for Educational Development
The Institute’s new campus in Dar es Salaam will feature cutting-edge research and learning facilities and on-site housing for faculty and students. Its location next to a new Aga Khan Academy will create exceptional opportunities to link theory and practice.

New Hospitals and Clinics
New University Hospitals will be established in Arusha and Kampala, and health centres will be added in Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Burundi and Rwanda to meet the vast demand for quality health care.

Faculties of Arts and Sciences
Undergraduate liberal arts degree programmes on residential campuses in Arusha, Tanzania, and Karachi will offer an educational experience unlike any other in their regions, preparing students to succeed in the 21st century knowledge economy, to lead improvement in the quality of life in their societies and to increase understanding in a pluralistic world.

Undergraduate Medical and Nursing Education
In East Africa, plans are underway to offer a four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, a six-year medical degree and training in allied health sciences to develop health professionals capable not only of providing outstanding care but of transforming health institutions and systems. These programmes will join the University’s existing nursing and postgraduate medical education programmes in East Africa.

Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations, New Campus
Construction is expected to start in 2016 on a Maki and Associates-designed building that the Institute will share with the Institute of Ismaili Studies and the Aga Khan Foundation at the King’s Cross Central development in London. Construction of a new student residence building will finish in early 2016.


Existing Programmes and Facilities

Faculties of Health Sciences
We educate midwives, nurses, doctors and specialists who deliver world-class, life-saving care to the people and places that need it most. And our researchers create the knowledge required to overcome the developing world’s most pressing health challenges. 

Aga Khan University Hospitals
The only hospitals in Pakistan and East Africa accredited by the US-based Joint Commission International, AKUH in Karachi and AKUH in Nairobi set the standard of excellence in their regions. Together with their extensive networks of secondary hospitals, clinics and laboratories, our hospitals treat people at all income levels and receive 1.75 million patient visits annually.

East African Institute
Newly launched, EAI looks beyond geographic and disciplinary boundaries in addressing issues such as regional integration, biodiversity and the creative economy, aiming to generate novel insights and shape decision-making through research, evidence-based dialogue, public engagement and partnerships.

Institute for Human Development
Children’s earliest years shape their life chances to a remarkable extent. The newly launched IHD is developing the evidence needed to inform policymaking and create large-scale, cost-effective early childhood interventions tailored to developing-world contexts, so that all children have the opportunity to fulfil their potential.

Institutes for Educational Development
Our Institutes develop agents of change who improve school performance in challenging environments by introducing context-sensitive teaching and leadership practices, inspiring their colleagues and partnering with parents, communities and government.

Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations
ISMC seeks to illuminate the historical and contemporary aspects of Muslim societies and to create a platform for fresh thinking about their futures through research, publications, public events and an interdisciplinary master’s degree that attracts students from around the world to its London campus.

Examination Board
Unique in Pakistan, the Board’s innovative mix of standardized testing, teacher training and syllabi is transforming teaching and learning at  middle and secondary schools, producing graduates with the knowledge, critical-thinking and problem-solving skills to enter and succeed in the best universities.

French Medical Institute for Children 
One of the few children’s hospitals in Afghanistan, FMIC is an 85-bed teaching hospital managed by AKU in partnership with the governments of Afghanistan and France and the French NGO La Chaîne de l’Espoir. With the addition of a 66-bed Women’s Wing, it will be a complete maternal and child health resource, offering a range of essential services unavailable anywhere else in the country.

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Key staff:

HRH Prince Karim Aga Khan

Mr Firoz Rasul

Provost and Vice President (Academic): 
Dr Carl Amrhein

Vice President (Human Resources): 
Ms Carol Ariano

Vice President (Finance & Chief Financial Officer): 
Mr Al-Karim Haji


Best Place to Work Award 2019

Key facts:

Alumni: 15,000+
Current Students: 2700+
Faculty and Staff: 15,000+

Campuses and teaching site​s in​ three​ continents

Association of Commonwealth Universities membership