UNIVERSITY OF KARACHI

S.M.ABBAS ZAIDI,
Research Analyst
, PAGE
July 27 - Aug 02, 2009

Spread over 1200 acre of land, the University of Karachi was established through the parliament as a Federal University in 1951. In 1953, it started its teaching and research activities at two Faculties of Arts and Science. Opened with an initial intake of 50 students, the university is now a sprawling structure of 53 Departments and 20 world class and highly reputable Research Centers and Institutes, under faculties of Arts, Science, Islamic Studies, Pharmacy, Commerce, Business Administration, Law, Education, and Medicine. At present, the enrolment of a regular student at the Campus is slightly over 24,000. There are about 700 teachers and more than 2500 supporting staff. M.Phil and PhD are offered under all the faculties.

The University of Karachi is also an affiliating and examining body and at present, 145 colleges and institutions are affiliated to the University. The University approves the courses of studies for these institutions and examinations are also conducted under its auspices. The University conducts examinations of about 150,000 students studying in these colleges/institutes, prepare their results, and award degrees.

DEVELOPMENT AND NON-DEVELOPMENT EXPENDITURE ON HIGHER EDUCATION (MILLION RS.)

. 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09
Released Recurring 3,443.393 5,304.647 6,995.608 10,493.412 14,332.521 12,536.498 10,248.176
Released Development 4280.009 4968.450 8940.076 10890.877 14409.156 15390.455 8167.760
Released Total 7723.402 10273.097 15935.684 21384.289 28741.677 27926.953 18415.936
Source: HEC

SCIENCE FACULTY

The Science Faculty, which consists of 23 departments and five research Institutes can be said to be the biggest scientific centre in the country. The Research Institutes include the HEJ Research Institute of Chemistry, which is world-renowned and has also been designated by World Academy of Science. It is the prime research institutes of the country and has high-level research faculties for chemical science particularly Natural Product Chemistry.

Other Institutes are Dr. Punjwani Centre for Molecular Medicines and Drug Research, Khan Institutes of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering, Dr Afzal Hussain Qadri Biological Research Centre, which is a common research facility for all the biological science departments, the Marine Resources Collection and Research Centre, which is the biggest repository of marine life from the Arabian Sea, National Nematological Research Centre, which undertakes research in plant pest control, Centre of Excellence in Marine Biology, a federally founded centre for the study of marine fauna of the Arabian Sea, the Institute of Environmental Studies, Institute of Molecular Genetics and Umair Basha Institute of Information Technology which is going to become operational after up gradation of the present department of Computer Science.

It is noteworthy that the number of M.Phil/Ph.D in science produced by the Karachi University far exceeds the number produced in any other university of the country. So far, about 600 M.Phil, 300 Ph.D, 7 D.Sc and 7 D.Litt. degrees in Science have been awarded by the university. The University teachers are also involved in various research projects and contribute regularly to publications of home and abroad.

LIBRARY

The library of the university is one of the largest libraries in the country. Housed in spacious building, it has a collection of 360,000 books, and 110,000 copies of national and foreign journals and periodicals.

EVENING PROGRAM

The University of Karachi introduced the Evening program in 1995 to provide an opportunity to professionals to pursue higher education in the evening initially at a few departments. Gradually the number of departments offering degree courses in the evening has increased.

NEW DEVELOPMENTS

The university has now embraced upon a gigantic process of multifaceted progress with emphasis on capacity building and quality enchantment.

Regular holding of Selection Boards has enabled the University to add more than two hundred new teachers to various faculties and departments in 2006-07. Many departments in faculties of science and Arts were strengthened by modernizing facilities recently to enhance their quality and productivity. These include Departments of Physics, Chemistry, Statistics Food Science and Technology, Biotechnology, Computer Science and Mass Communications.

For common facilities for science in various scientific disciplines, a centralized science lab has been established. It has further enhanced the capabilities for scientific research. Some noteworthy developments, which serve as landmarks in the university include a highly sophisticated and well equipped Herbarium for research in plant science.

Already completed Botanical Garden is first of its kind in the country. The Garden adds plenty of beauty to the campus on the one hand while on the other it serves as an open lab for the Plant scientists.

Construction of hostels for the visiting faculty and research scholars and additional facilities for M.Phil/Ph.D scholars, have further enhanced chances for quality and speedy research. The perennial residential problem at the campus is also expected to solve partially with the completion of new blocks of the staff apartments.

CONCLUSION

The Higher Education system and institutions must accord high priority to ensuring the quality of services and quality of outcomes. Internal quality assurance processes of higher education institutions must be strengthened to conform to international standards of quality assurance.

University of Karachi has the services of most number of PHD teachers, the most provided by any other business institute in Pakistan. The experienced faculty is giving quality education and producing knowledgeable graduates.