Chartered in 1983, Aga Khan University is a private, autonomous university that promotes human welfare through research, teaching and community service. Based on the principles of quality, access, impact and relevance, the University has campuses and programmes in Afghanistan, East Africa, Egypt, Pakistan, Syria and the United Kingdom. Its facilities include teaching hospitals, Nursing Schools and a Medical College, Institutes for Educational Development, an Examination Board and an Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations. It occupies a pivotal place within Aga Khan Development Network.

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.

AKU is a non-denominational institution open to all, irrespective of religion, ethnicity, gender or national origin. Forty-four per cent of the University’s faculty are women, many in senior posts. Fifty per cent of students in the Medical College are also women. The University’s admission policy is needs-blind and based on merit.

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 focus 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 and East Africa. 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.

AKU President’s Message


A Role Model for Health and Education in the Developing World

From the mandate of its Charter, to the reality of its people, programmes and sites, Aga Khan University is an international university. With campuses and programmes on three continents, AKU is a role model for academic, research and service programmes in health and education in the developing world.

AKU provides students access to international standard higher education based solely on merit, and their potential for leadership and motivation to excel. Its programmes and services are open to all, regardless of faith, creed, origin or gender. AKU conducts research of universal importance in health and education, and produces graduates who are uniquely prepared for the challenges that confront the 21st century. Of great importance is its focus on issues of and opportunities for women.

A part of the Aga Khan Development Network, AKU is a private, self-governing university, guided by an international Board of Trustees. Chartered in Pakistan in 1983, it now has 11 teaching sites spread over 8 countries – Afghanistan, Kenya, Pakistan, Tanzania, Uganda, Syria, Egypt and the United Kingdom. In its short history, it has become a valued and trusted partner of governments, universities and international agencies who share the University’s strong belief in the potential of human capital, ingenuity and enterprise to build communities and improve lives. It is establishing a growing reputation for the quality and innovation of its programmes, in its ability to undertake problem-based research, and in its role as an agent of change in the developing world.

The aim of the University is to develop the leaders of tomorrow. It draws upon the great traditions of Islam and other religions and cultures to teach critical thinking, problem solving and decision making, while inculcating moral reasoning, ethics and respect for others. It is a powerful force for pluralism that promotes intellectual openness, tolerance and increased understanding between people of different societies.

While proud of its achievements in fields of professional education, AKU realises there is much work to do, and has set a course for the future. At the beginning of the next decade, AKU will open a new Faculty of Arts and Sciences that will follow a liberal arts model at both undergraduate and graduate levels. It will encourage a new breed of leaders in government and business, equipped with 21st century skills and a global outlook to become strong and valued voices in modern society.

Welcome to Aga Khan University. A University dedicated to empowering people of the developing world to guide their own destinies, and to make their rightful contributions as members of a global community.

Vision and Mission


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


AKU is committed to the development of human capacities through the discovery and dissemination of knowledge, and application through service.

It seeks to prepare individuals for constructive and exemplary leadership roles, and shaping public and private policies, through strength in research and excellence in education, all dedicated to providing meaningful contributions to society.

To advance this mission, AKU will:

  • Offer programmes of international quality;
  • Respond to identified needs in the countries and regions which it serves;
  • Prioritise teaching and research which will inform and underpin intellectual innovation and change;
  • Provide service to advance its educational and research mandate;
  • Foster and develop leadership capacity through its education and research programmes;
  • Assess its impact and effectiveness;
  • Promote access and equity by taking positive measures to make the University inclusive of all socio-economic groups, addressing the particular needs and circumstances of the disadvantaged; promoting the welfare and advancement of women;
  • Engage in knowledge networking and emerging technologies;
  • Add value by promoting partnership and networking across the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) and with other national and international institutions.


As an international institution, in achieving its mission, AKU operates on the core principles of quality, relevance, impact and access.

Inspired by Islamic ethics, humanistic ideals and the philosophy of AKDN, the University is committed to building an environment that fosters intellectual freedom, distinction in scholarship, pluralism, compassion, and humanity’s collective responsibility for a sustainable physical, social and cultural environment.

Academic Programmes and Departments

  • Aga Khan University School of Nursing
  • Aga Khan University Medical College
  • Aga Khan University Institute for Educational Development
  • Aga Khan University Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations
  • Aga Khan University Examination Board
  • Aga Khan University Human Development Programme
  • Aga Khan University Faculty of Arts and Sciences
  • Bioethics Initiatives
  • Department for Educational Development
  • Department of Continuing Professional Education

Board of Trustees

University Governance


Board of Trustees

  • Ambassador Saidullah Khan Dehlavi, Chairman
  • Princess Zahra Aga Khan
  • Dr J. Robert Buchanan
  • Dr Haile T. Debas
  • Mr Robert H. Edwards
  • Dr Roderick D. Fraser
  • Mr Munnawar Hamid, OBE
  • Dr Syed Sibit–ul–Hasnain
  • Mr Yusuf Habib Keshavjee
  • Dr Tom Kessinger
  • Mr Naguib Kheraj
  • His Excellency Benjamin William Mkapa
  • Dr J. Fraser Mustard
  • Dr Anna Kajumulo Tibaijuka
  • Mr Firoz Rasul, President

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