Karachi University: By Zahabia Khozema
Karachi, being a truly metropolitan city, projects diversity and University of Karachi, an important feature of the city is a mini-Karachi in itself. KU, the shortened version of Karachi University, is deemed as the biggest university of the province of Sindh with an area of 18,000 acres, 54 departments and 20 world class research centers and institutes under 9 faculties of Social Sciences, Science, Islamic Studies, Pharmacy, Engineering, Management and Administrative Sciences, Law, Education and Medicine established. The enrolment of regular students at the Campus is slightly over 27,000. KU produces the highest number of graduates in the whole of Sindh. There are over 800 teachers and more than 2500 supporting staff. Interestingly, in a city of 10 million, Karachi University has a population over 30,000.
Mehmood Hussain library, the central library has a collection of over 350,000 books, including the personal collection of Quaid e Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah. Moreover, this library has separate archives of The Freedom Movement where more than 35,000 documents related to All India Muslim League and Pakistan Muslim League are preserved perfectly. Other than this, different departments have seminar libraries too which provide the students with immense knowledge on their specialized fields. While taking forth the process of learning, there are a number of museums on campus at different departments including Zoology, Geology, History, Sociology where rare artifacts and cultural items are on display.
If we talk about the premises and the infrastructure, it keeps on adding new buildings for different departments, relaxing the congestion and fulfilling the growing need of more admissions. Within its premises, KU also has staff colonies for its employees –teachers, senior staff, junior staff, it caters for the needs of its all employees. It looks after the housing needs of the students as well. The university has hostels for both, female and male students. There are branches of three banks (HBL, UBL, NBP), tending to the banking needs of its inhabitants. And yes, the main campus of IBA (Institute of Business Administration) is built inside the walls of KU.
The students enrolled in the university come from various cultural and national backgrounds which promotes learning in a friendly and diverse atmosphere. KU attracts students from different regions and foreign students too. There are Koreans, Chinese, Filipinos, Turks, Somalians, Nigerians, Singaporeans and students belonging to other nationalities.
This epitome of education provides its students with surplus opportunities for growth and advancement. Different seminars, conferences, MUN and workshops are frequently conducted for the sole purpose of learning. The arts auditorium in the arts lobby is always occupied with events like these. The renowned research centers here, along with having the cream of Pakistan has international affiliation too. The university offers scholarships to those who do not have the means to pay for their educational needs. There is a book fair organized every year which attracts a large audience. In addition to this, job fairs are also organized by different departments for its students.
When you enter Karachi University through any of its four gates, there are two things which your eyes are bound to notice i) greenery and ii) lots of space. This greenery makes the environment of the university fresh and fit for learning and these spaces provide the students with a good healthy walk. KU has a hockey ground, cricket ground, basketball court and a gymnasium for fitness purposes. There are different sports teams of KU which compete on domestic and national levels.
KU does not only have a diverse education system but diverse cuisines as well. Almost every department has a separate canteen but the canteens of PG (prem Gali) and Visual studies department are most famous. When you pass by PG, the aroma of different food is so alluring that it compels you to definitely end up buying something. The tiny samosas and Lala’s Quetta wali chai are the charm of PG. There are two separate cafes for girls and boys each as well. From packet food to freshly cooked, all is available at KU. There is this dhaba by the name of Sufi which is well popular for its desi food.
Jamia Karachi ( in Urdu) gives you real world experiences and brings you closer to reality. Being at KU gives you the feeling of being at home. There are many negative elements about KU which circulate in the city and the country, many of them might be true, but c’mon, who doesn’t have flaws. From 1953 till date, the university has been continuously expanding and developing. For this reason only, it comes in the national, Asian and international rankings. Hence, the association of KUrians with their university is a source of great pride for them.