Multan has always remained a centre of excellence in education. Hazrat Bahauddin Zakariya (1172 – 1262 A.D.), a Muslim religious scholar and saint, established a school of higher learning in theology in Multan; where scholars from all over the world came for studies and research. Multan has maintained its central position and centuries old cultural heritage and therefore suited ideally to become a center of learning. Thus the University of Multan was established in 1975 by an Act of the Punjab Legislative Assembly. To pay homage to the Great Saint, the name was changed from University of Multan to Bahauddin Zakariya University in 1979.
The University is located at a distance of 10 km from the city center. The main Campus is spread over 960 acres of land. The University has a fleet of 28 buses and 3 coaches which provides transport facilities to students and staff. The University started functioning in 1975 in rented buildings with 8 departments. Presently, it has more than 51 departments/institutes/colleges. Out of its 619 faculty members, 389 hold doctoral degrees and among its around 26659 students, half are female.
The University offers a wide range of programs: M.A., M.Sc., MBA, M.Com., MCS, M.Phil, and Ph.D. Additionlly, in recent years, the University has taken a lead in introducing 4-Year Undergraduate programs in Science, Commerce, Business, Pharmacy, Engineering, and English Literature and Linguistics. Various short-time courses and diplomas have become popular with the general public and are offered from time to time. The University is widely known as an institution of strong performance and high ambition because it has continued to make excellent progress toward its goals. It plays a significant role in developing indigenous human resources through its highly productive achievements, both in sciences and humanities.
The University through different phases has made tremendous progress, but some recent developments are remarkable. To promote the activities of art and culture, Multan College of Arts was established in 2003. In order to cater to the needs of textile industry, which is a major industry of the area, the University College of Textile Engineering was established in 2004. The University has also established three sub-campuses at Sahiwal, Layyah and D.G. Khan to provide education facility at the doorsteps of the people as part of the policy of the Government. Steps have been taken to establish the University’s linkages with the community and Industry. There has been significant enhancement in students’ enrollment. To ensure quality in academics and research, Quality Enhancement Cell has been established. A large number of buildings are under construction. These buildings will provide better facilities to the students. The University has implemented semester system in almost all the departments and organizing international conferences and seminars has been a routine academic activity. A significant number of faculty members have been awarded post-doc research fellowships. The establishment of the Saraiki Area Study Centre, Institute of Biotechnology and Faculty of Veterinary Sciences are some recent developments.
The Bahauddin Zakariya University is the fastest growing public university in Pakistan, and it will continue to play a vital role in the development of the country.