UNIVERSITY OF PUNJAB

S.KAMAL HAYDER KAZMI,
(feedback@pgeconomist.com)
Research Analyst
, PAGE
Dec 5 - 11, 2011

The University of Punjab provides learning for life. Through the achievement of its students, faculty and staff, the university stands out as a provider of high quality of education. The university is the largest and the oldest seat of higher learning in Pakistan. It was the first to be established in the sub-continent in Muslim majority area. The fact that two Nobel laureates are from this University speaks volumes for its academic and research excellence.

The university also strives to provide a conducive environment to students in 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.

The university has also started campus at Gujranwala, with four disciplines i.e. business administration, commerce, law and information technology. Few more disciplines will be added in near future.

Punjab University comprises of 13 faculties, nine constituent colleges, over 63 departments, centers, institutes, and 500 plus affiliated colleges. It has over 620 permanent faculty members involved in teaching/research and over 30,000 on campus students. Annually there are about 350 exams held for 450,000 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. Spread over an area of 1800 acres of lush green landscape, this campus is the centre of academic and administrative activities of the university. A canal dividing the academic blocks from the student lodgings adds to the beauty of the 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.

Its hostels have capacity to accommodate 3281 male and 792 female students. Most of these students are accommodated in the hostels at the Quaid-e-Azam campus.

Each hostel is looked after by a warden and a superintendent, who are generally members of the academic faculty. Management of the hostels is coordinated by the chairman hall council, who is a senior faculty member. On-campus housing facilities include 89 houses for teachers and the university officers and 249 houses for junior staff of the university.

About 40 houses and eight single accommodations are available in the various student hostels that are occupied by wardens, superintendents and assistant superintendents. A bachelor teacher's hostel provides accommodation to the younger members of the academic staff. A guesthouse within the residential colony and the guestrooms in the student-teacher center provide accommodation to the academics visiting the university.

At present, the library remained in its old building up to 1988 and in the same year it was shifted to its present two storied building. The total area of library is 1,02,000 sq. feet with a basement of 10,000 sq. feet. It started functioning with the purchased collection of Sir Donald Macleod's 2000 volumes, and up to September 2002, it boasted of a book collection of 402634, which included 22574 manuscripts and 65200 bound volumes of national and international research journals covering various disciplines.

This prestigious library has more than 50,000 volumes of old documents published during the later half of 19th and first two decades of 21st century. The library has 1750 microfilms of rare materials. It is a depositary library for the UNO publications. It has 13940 members comprising of faculty members, students and other researchers of the Punjab University and its affiliated colleges.

In addition, each teaching department/ institute/constitute college has its own library where books and research journals, mainly in the respective specialized areas are available.

Some of the biggest libraries are those of oriental college, law college, Hailey college of commerce and department of Islamic studies, department of English and institute of chemistry where 57,335, 48, 725, 36,845, 20,149, 15,738 and 13,130 books, respectively are available. In addition, the total number of books in all the libraries is over 720,000.

The library has developed a database under the CDS/ISIS designed by the Unesco to cater the needs of its patrons. Online public access catalogue (OPACs) terminals are available for searching. A PC cluster giving access to software packages and an internet lab. There are about 2327 registered members of the lab. The number is increasing. Approximately, 100-150 students, faculty members and research scholars use the internet service daily.

The university is the first public university in the field of IT to lay down 35 km long fiber optic cable network: having 74 optical fiber nodes serving all departments, hostels and administrative blocks through local area network.

There are over 6500 state of the art computers now in the university. Computer culture has been created. To manage all the activities of the overall IT infrastructure i.e. network development, expansion and maintenance, providing maintenance/ troubleshooting services to all departments, software development, database management and website development, online announcement of examination results, 24-hour internet facility, the university has full-fledged service department in its campus namely the information technology centre.