The Aga Khan University: “A National Innovator and a Powerhouse for Quality”

Firoz Rasul Aga Khan Visit CIME EVENT AKU Karachi

President Firoz Rasul delivering his address in the presence of His Highness the Aga Khan during the inauguration ceremony in Karachi, Pakistan, on December 15, 2017 of a new AKU Centre for Innovation in Medical Education (CIME), a state-of-the-art facility for technology-based learning for health professionals. Photo: The Ismaili/Rahil Imtiaz Ali.

Message from President Firoz Rasul of the Aga Khan University

January 11, 2018

Dear Friends, Alumni and Supporters,

2018 marks the 35th year since the founding of the Aga Khan University and we begin the year with the unveiling of a study completed last year on the economic impact of AKU in Pakistan.

The landmark study by Centennial Group International, a leading international strategy and policy consulting firm based in Washington DC and comprising former World Bank economists and executives, refers to AKU as “a national innovator and a powerhouse for quality; a nationwide role model for high-quality tertiary education and medical care,” and lauds the University for its role as the premier higher education institution in Pakistan. The study quantified AKU’s contribution as an educator, a pioneering healthcare provider, an employer, a research hub, an international gateway, and a compassionate supporter to those in need.

The report shows that in 2015 (the latest year data was available when Centennial began its work in 2016), the Aga Khan University generated more than US$1 billion or PKRs 103 billion in economic value for Pakistan. It notes that the University generates its economic impact in a variety of ways. By providing high-quality education, it increases the earning power of its alumni. By providing outstanding healthcare to 1.3 million individuals annually, it keeps people healthy and productive. And as a major purchaser of goods and services, it generates revenues for businesses and jobs for people across the country. AKU supports 42,000 jobs – both directly and indirectly – and its spending also has a multiplier effect: for every rupee of its direct value added, it generates 7.3 rupees in economic benefits.

The report clearly demonstrates that beyond the highly qualified graduates, the generation of new knowledge and the delivery of quality healthcare, AKU makes an enormous impact on the economic well-being of Pakistan. This contribution of AKU would not have been possible without the vision and guidance of our Founder and Chancellor, His Highness the Aga Khan, and the generosity of donors, partners, alumni, supporters and volunteers.

We express our deep gratitude to each of you for your commitment and unwavering support. I am sure you will read the report (available here) with great pride as you see evidence of how your University can not only address the the most vexing problems in our communities, but also add value to the economy.

With my best wishes for the new year,

Firoz Rasul
President.

Date posted: January 15, 2017.

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The Centenial Group’s report on the Aga Khan University can be downloaded by clicking on AKU’s Economic Impacts in Pakistan.

Firoz Rasul PortraitMr. Firoz Rasul has served as President of the Aga Khan University (AKU) since May 1, 2006. Prior to his engagement with AKU, President Rasul was involved in building several business enterprises and the development of social and community institutions. He served as Chief Executive Officer and then Chairman of Ballard Power Systems, a world leader in fuel cell technology from December 1988 until May 2004.

Between 2000 and 2006, he was President of the Aga Khan Council for Canada, where he led the development of several large-scale projects for the Aga Khan Development Network, including The Global Centre of Pluralism in Ottawa and the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto.

As a business leader, he was named the 2001 National Transportation Person of the Year by the Government of Canada, and Wilfred Laurier University’s School of Business and Economics recognized him with its Outstanding Business Leader award.

Mr Rasul received a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Hertfordshire in the United Kingdom and an MBA from McGill University in Montreal. Mr Rasul was conferred with the Degree of Doctors of Laws, honoris causa, by Simon Fraser University in 2001. 

In 11 years as AKU’s president, Mr Rasul has been instrumental in developing a rich partnership with the University of Alberta that has created opportunities for exchange and collaboration for students, professors and researchers at both universities. On June 8, 2017, the University conferred on him an honorary Doctorate of Science. 

 

A Reflection on the Land Grant Ceremony of the New World Class Aga Khan University Hospital to be Built in Uganda

Partnership for Change

Aga Khan and Musoveni at the Land Grant CeremonyBY SHARIFFA KESHAVJEE

The sacred space is set
The energy is invoked
The earth’s ochre red
Makes a path through the green.
Reflected in the Ismaili and Uganda flag
The logo of the university
Radiating, rippling outwards

Our world of rapid change
Meets in Uganda to break the ground
Nakawa is chosen to propel
the University Hospital

To reach beyond its borders
The frontiers of Science
Radiation ever outwards

Decades of decay at Mulago
A new seed of hope is planted
Pioneering pluralism
In Uganda’s rich soil
Revitalizing the land
For life long learning
Radiating ever outwards

Coat of Arms Uganda, AKU Logo, Flags Uganada and Ismaili ImamatThe President and Imam’s vision
Bringing to the region
Appropriate advanced Health Care
The people can access
Here at home the very best
The youth empowered to remain
Here at home to give their best practices
Expanding ever outwards

The people rejoice with lush voices
Their partners join hands to celebrate
This great milestone laid by the red bricks
That fulfills the words of the anthem
That ever propel outwards

Aga Khan Musoveni Kampala

Salute to the President and Imam for
Their vision, their respect
For national progress
Global standards of excellence
To be in the frontier of scientific
and humanistic knowledge

The best in the world
Propelling expanding ever outward
An emblematic crown over Uganda

Date posted: December 18, 2015.

Copyright: Shariffa Keshavjee/Simerg

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Nakawa – an area in the city of Kampala.
Mulago – The hospital located on Mulago Hill in Kampala.

Links to stories and videos of the Land Grant Ceremony of the new Aga Khan University Teaching Hospital to be built in Uganada:

Please also visit:
http://www.theismaili.org
http://www.akdn.org
http://www.ismailimail.wordpress.com.

Also, http://www.nanowisdoms.org is an excellent resource for speeches of Mawlana Hazar Imam.

We welcome your feedback. Please click Leave a comment.

7 Key Themes from the Chancellor’s Speech, With Glimpses of the 2013 Aga Khan University Convocation

PLEASE CLICK: Glimpses from the 2013 Aga Khan University Convocation, with a Summary of Seven Key Themes in His Highness the Aga Khan’s Address

Please click for "Glimpses"

Please click for “Glimpses”

In Photos: The Magnificent Aga Khan University, its Symbolic Logo and the Elegant Jamiapoash Worn by His Highness the Aga Khan for the University’s Convocation

THE AGA KHAN UNIVERSITY

An aerial view of the Aga Khan University in Karachi, Pakistan. The University was chartered as Pakistan's first private international university in 1983 during the reign of President Zia ul-Haq. Photo: Aga Khan Development Network.

An aerial view of the Aga Khan University in Karachi, Pakistan. The University was chartered as Pakistan’s first private international university in 1983 during the reign of President Zia ul-Haq. Photo: Aga Khan Development Network.

When the Charter of the University was first granted in 1983, His Highness the Aga Khan concluded his speech on the occasion with the words, “In everything we do we must look to the future, seeking always to think creatively, to innovate and to improve.”

In 2003, on the 20th anniversary of the University’s founding His Highness the Aga Khan said in his convocation address, “My great hope and prayer is that, in time to come, Aga Khan University will be only one of hundreds of universities in the Muslim world that are on the frontiers of scientific and humanistic knowledge, radiating intelligence and confidence, research and graduates, into flourishing economies and progressive legal and political systems.”

The Aga Khan University World. Photo: Aga Khan Development Network.

The Aga Khan University World. Photo: Aga Khan Development Network.

During his 2006 convocation, the 49th Ismaili Imam, spoke about the Knowledge Society, and urged the Muslim Ummah to “become full and even leading participants in the Knowledge Society of the 21st century. That will mean embracing the values of collaboration and coordination, openness and partnership, choice and diversity – which will under-gird the Knowledge Society, learning constantly to review and revise and renew what we think we know, learning how to go on learning. The spirit of the Knowledge Society is the spirit of Pluralism – a readiness to accept the Other, indeed to learn from him, to see difference as an opportunity rather than a threat.

“Such a spirit must be rooted, I believe, in a sense of humility before the Divine, realising that none of us have all the answers, and respecting the broad variety of God’s creation and the diversity of the Human Family.”

A depiction of the Aga Khan University's future campus in Tanzania. The Arusha campus will not only be comparable to Karachi’s campus in size and scope, but it will also be the University’s first permanent campus serving students from all across the East African community. Photo: Aga Khan Development Network.

A depiction of the Aga Khan University’s future campus in Tanzania. The Arusha campus will not only be comparable to Karachi’s campus in size and scope, but it will also be the University’s first permanent campus serving students from all across the East African community. Photo: Aga Khan Development Network.

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 THE SEAL OF THE AGA KHAN UNIVERSITY

The Seal of the Aga Khan University

The Seal of the Aga Khan University

The Seal of Aga Khan University is a visual representation of the principles which underlie the founding of the University. The circular form of the Seal, with its different levels of imagery contained in concentric circles, has its visual roots in the rosettes of early Islamic periods. The circle also symbolises the world and reflects the international presence of the University. 

At the centre of the Seal is a star, or sun. Light is a universal symbol for the enlightenment that education provides.The light emanating from the star is also symbolic of Nur (Divine light).

The Aga Khan University Seal on a banner flying to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the University in 2008. Photo: Aga Khan Development Network.

The Aga Khan University Seal on a banner flying on the occasion of the 25th Anniversary of the University in 2008. Photo: Aga Khan Development Network.

The star incorporates 49 points to commemorate the University’s founding by His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan, the forty-ninth Imam of the Ismaili Muslims.

The outer ring circumscribes a Quranic Ayat rendered in classic thuluth script and reads as follows: 

“And hold fast, All together, by the rope
Which God (stretches out for you),
And be not divided among yourselves,
And remember with gratitude
God’s favour on you:
For ye were enemies
And He joined your hearts
In love, so that by His grace
Ye became brethren” — Sura 3, Ayat 103

THE CHANCELLOR’S ELEGANT  JAMIAPOASH

His Highness the Aga Khan in the Jamiapoash which comprises comprises a Khila’at, or  “robe of honour” and a Sirpoash meaning  “headwear” in Persian. Photo: Aga Khan Development Network.

A close up of His Highness the Aga Khan in the Jamiapoash which comprises a Khila’at, or “robe of honour” and a Sirpoash meaning “headwear”. Photo: Aga Khan Development Network.

The academic regalia of the Aga Khan University (AKU) worn during convocation, such as the one that is expected to take place on Thursday, December 19, 2013, is called Jamiapoash.

Jamia is from the Arabic meaning ‘institution of higher learning’ and poash is from Persian meaning ‘apparel.’ The Jamiapoash comprises a Khila’at, meaning “robe of honour” in Arabic and a Sirpoash, meaning “headwear” in Persian, with a tassel on the right.

Aga Khan IV Portrait Chancellor Robe 1989

The Khila’at for the Chancellor, His Highness the Aga Khan, who built the University, is distinguished by its very elaborate and intricate gold embroidery on the upper part of the robe both back and front, but is also unique for its white colour.

White and gold were the colours of the coat of arms of the Fatimids of Egypt, who founded al-Azhar University in Cairo, one of the oldest institutions of higher learning. The foundation ceremony of the Aga Khan University was performed one thousand years after the founding of the al-Azhar University in 970 by His Highness the Aga Khan’s ancestor, Caliph-Imam Mawlana al-Muizz, during Fatimid rule.

Another magical photo of the 49th Ismaili Imam, the direct descendant of the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.s) in the Aga Khan University regalia during a convocation ceremony. Photo: The Aga Khan Development Network.

Another magical photo of the 49th Ismaili Imam, the direct descendant of the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.s) in the Aga Khan University regalia during a convocation ceremony. Photo: The Aga Khan Development Network.

The Sirpoash for the Chancellor is white in colour and richly gold-embroidered with a 5.5 cm band and a 2 cm secondary green band with a green and white tassel.

Date posted: Wednesday, December 18, 2013.

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IMPORTANT NOTE TO OUR READERS: We urge ALL our readers to view and download the excellent Aga Khan Development  Network publications by clicking on AKDN Publications.  The publications are outstanding, and will illustrate the vastness of the work of the Ismaili Imamat in all areas of human endeavour. They are also very well explained and illustrated, and will prove useful for educational projects and presentations.