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Founded by His Highness the Aga Khan and chartered in 1983 as Pakistan’s first private university, Aga Khan University’s (AKU) objective is to promote human welfare in general, and the welfare of the people of Pakistan in particular, by disseminating knowledge and providing instruction, training, research and service in the health sciences, education and such other branches of learning as the University may determine. AKU is an international University with 11 teaching sites spread over 8 countries – Afghanistan, Kenya, Pakistan, Tanzania, Uganda, Syria, Egypt and the United Kingdom. Aga Khan University’s website>>
A major program at Aga Khan University involves community mobilization in the form of model clinics in poor communities which provide locations to train medical and nursing students. Around these clinics, AKU hosts a variety of development projects including schools for girls, adult literacy programs, female empowerment projects, leadership training, and microfinance projects. In addition, the clinics host research from different departments.
The Department of Community Health Science in particular has worked to improve literacy levels among girls in rural areas. In a recently completed mega-pilot that included over 4000 primary girls’ schools, work done by the department increased enrollment by over 40% through a community-based school lunch program.Over a four-year period, the project targeted 500,000 girls of primary school age (5-12 years old) in 28 districts in the four provinces of the country. It engendered numerous positive outcomes beyond increased school attendance including better health indicators and increased community interaction to promote the needs of the children and the mobilization of women, who proved to be active and vocal stakeholders.
“The university’s mission statement makes it clear that the institution is not only committed to the development of human capacity through the discovery and dissemination of knowledge, but also to the application of knowledge through service. It works mainly at two levels: preparing individuals for constructive and exemplary leadership roles, and shaping public and private policy through strong research and excellence in education.” Read more of AKU’s Institutional Profile>>