Established in 1882 at Lahore, the University of the Punjab is now one of the largest and the oldest seat of higher learning in Pakistan, offering a very broad programme of studies at the Degree, Diploma, Postgraduate, M.Phil, and Ph.D. levels. It set a record in the country by producing over 200 PhDs last year.
Being the most prestigious, largest and highest seat of learning in Pakistan, the University of Punjab has more than 730 faculty members, over 30,000 on-campus students and above 500 affiliated colleges and 10 constituent colleges.
Located in the historical and culturally alive city of Lahore, the University of Punjab is playing a leading role in higher education in the country. The University strives to provide a conducive environment for the pursuit of the academic activities. On account of its quality degrees, pleasant environment and low tuition fees, the University remains the institution of first choice for admission seeking students.
Allama Iqbal Campus, named after the great South Asian thinker and mystic poet, with Islamic architectural design is in the middle of the bustling city of Lahore. Quaid-i-Azam Campus, after the name of the Father of the Nation, is located 12 kilometers to the South of Allama Iqbal Campus. The University has also a summer campus at Khanaspur, located at a height of about 7,000 ft. in the Himalayan range near Ayubia. This Campus, in addition to providing research facilities, is also used as a recreational centre for the faculty and the students.
The University comprises of four campuses, 13 faculties, 10 constituent colleges, over 63 departments, centres, institutes, and 500 plus affiliated colleges. It’s 730 permanent faculty members involved in teaching/research and over 30,000 on campus students. Annually there are about 350 exams for over 450,000 students.
The University has a highly qualified teaching faculty that provides instruction to students in the fields of arts, science and technology and provides guidance to undertake research in agriculture, industry and allied subjects for developing new products.
“We are forever reassessing ourselves and our programmes in order to develop and improve courses for meeting the ever-changing demands of the world and for preparing students for high professional standards while at the same time promoting personal growth. We are also reorganising curricula to foster greater creativity in research and exploration into new areas that require integrating finely specialised research fields,” said a spokesperson of the university.
According to him, the commitment of the University of Punjab is not only to provide higher education, but also to carry out research and to deliver academic services for the benefits of the country and society. Twenty (20) new departments/centers/ institutes including a School of Biological Sciences and Hailey College of Banking & Finance were established. Besides this 20 new programmes were launched.
He said, “we believe that every student has the requisite potential and our aim is to see that this potential is realised and fulfilled. Such a committed, learner-centered approach to education means that we have a happy and purposeful community that strives for excellence in all academic activities. We are all proud of our achievements.”
According to Punjab University (PU) Vice-Chancellor, Dr Mujahid Kamran, the PU had set another record in academic history of Pakistan by producing over 200 PhDs in a year 2012.
Probably, no university in Pakistan had produced even 150 PhDs in a year but PU was performing far better than all others and that the difference would widen in coming years.
Dr Mujahid Kamran said that knowledge was the source of power and respect but no nation could become knowledgeable without strength of character. He said that the average educational spending of the world was around 4-5 percent of GDP but we were reducing our spending on education. He said that our population was increasing but unfortunately, our rulers had cut educational budget from 2 percent to around 1.5 percent of GDP.
PHDs in rare areas
Because of special focus of the current administration on promotion of research culture, Punjab University has produced PhDs in the subjects where research work was ignored in the past. Dr Nadeem Shafique did his PhD in Statistics, Dr Hafiz Rizwana did her PhD in Mathematics and Dr Farhat Zafar did her PhD in Law. They were the only PhDs in their subjects this year. Dr Akmal Rahim did his PhD in Botany while his wife Dr Farkhunda Jameel did her PhD in Molecular Biology and Molecular Genetics. Dr Saadat Ali and his wife Dr Ishrat Aziz did their PhDs in biological sciences. Dr Ans Nazar did his PhD in Islamic Studies. They are ten brothers and sisters and all are Hafiz-e-Quran. Six out of the ten are PhDs. Dr Amir Hanif, a blind, did his PhD in History while Dr Taimur Hasan, a blind, did his PhD in Urdu language this year.