Founded by His Highness the Aga Khan in 1983, the University’s objective is “to be on the frontiers of scientific and humanistic knowledge” while inspiring students to be independent learners and researchers imbued with a spirit of service and respect for others. In the more than 25 years since it’s founding, Aga Khan University’s major focus has been in the fields of health and education. For the decades ahead the University plans to step beyond success in these areas and become a more diversified university, both geographically and scholastically.
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Currently, the University has programmes in eight countries spread over three continents. In East Africa, the University offers Advanced Nursing Studies programmes in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania; and Postgraduate Medical Education in Kenya and Tanzania. These programmes are supported by a 250-bed teaching hospital, the Aga Khan University Hospital in Nairobi. The Institute for Educational Development, East Africa offers degree and certificate courses out of Dar es Salaam. In Pakistan, there is a Medical College; a School of Nursing; and a 560-bed teaching hospital, Aga Khan University Hospital; an Institute for Educational Development that includes Professional Development Centres in Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral; and an Examination Board in Karachi. In London, UK, there is the Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations that offers a graduate degree in Muslim Cultures.
The University is also working with the governments of Syria, Egypt and Afghanistan to improve nursing and medical education curriculum, teaching standards and clinical practice. As part of the University’s plans to introduce new faculties and undergraduate, graduate and professional programmes, the Faculties of Health Sciences and of Arts and Sciences are to be set up in Nairobi and Arusha, respectively, and a Faculty of Arts and Sciences in Karachi.
The University is part of the Aga Khan Development Network, with links to institutions that can apply the University’s creative solutions in the field. The Network is a group of development agencies with mandates ranging from health and education to architecture, culture, microfinance, rural development, disaster reduction, the promotion of private-sector enterprise and the revitalisation of historic cities.
As the University expands into new geographical and academic spheres, the institution seeks to further its vision as an international university serving primarily the developing and Muslim worlds. Through its high academic standard and programmes relevant to the needs of developing societies, its work as a dialogue partner
with governments on issues of health and education policy, and its delivery of critical social services, the University is redefining education as it transcends national boundaries and strives to create a global learning community.