The University was established in 2002 in Gilgit by a charter from the Federal Government on the orders of General Pervez Musharraf, the then President of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, and in July 2011, its Skardu campus was inaugurated by the then Chief Minister Gilgit Baltistan Syed Mehdi Shah, this campus was later upgraded to the independent University of Baltistan in 2017. In 2014, during the visit of the Chancellor of KIU and The President of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, His Excellency Mr. Mamnoon Hussain, announced the establishment of KIU Hunza and Women Campus. Consequently, KIU Hunza Campus started its academic programs in 2016. In addition, KIU’s Ghizer and Diamer Campuses were established in 2018 under the HEC’s vision2025 to provide access to higher education at the district level.
The main campus is situated against a dramatic backdrop of steep mountains at the confluence of the Gilgit and Hunza rivers. Before the establishment of the university, the students of Gilgit-Baltistan had to go down-country or abroad for seeking their undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate studies, as a result, they had to suffer a lot, but now, they can access university at their doorsteps.
At present, the university has three faculties: Faculty of Life Sciences, Faculty of Natural Sciences & Engineering, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. Under these faculties, various undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate degree programs are offered, and talented graduates are produced, who after completion of their education, serve in Gilgit-Baltistan in particular and across the country at large.
Being the only leading public university in the region, KIU provides quality education, conducive, challenging, innovative and competitive learning environment, as a result, the youth of GB feels the pride to get admission in it. The university gives them equal opportunities in curricular and co-curricular activities, as a result, the hidden talents and skills of the students are explored and polished.
KIU is committed to providing local and indigenous related studies and training workshops, for instance, gem-stones cutting, jewelry designing, wood-cutting, wood-crafting, and mining techniques and safeguards which will surely help the natives of this area to smartly market and groom their existing potential in a more professional and sophisticated manner, keeping the needs and demands of the modem times. For example, forestry, pasture-management, grassland- management, mining-engineering, geological engineering, and other related areas to be focused now onwards through technical and professional education and for this purpose a new hallmark- Faculty of Mining Engineering and Faculty of Glaciology Engineering will be being introduced. Thus, time to time, keeping the needs and relevancy, KIU offers various programs in different subjects from undergraduate to post-graduate to attract the youth of GB to get admission, as a result of which every year the number of students increases as they prefer getting admission at KIU than opting for other universities.
Choosing a seat of higher learning, amongst a dazzling array of universities, is a tall order these days. The deciding factors could be many, starting with student performance, reputation, glamour, location, history and, of course, the quality of teaching and learning at the university. There are several reasons why one would choose KIU as one’s Alma Mater.
First, it is a unique university, situated in the mountainous areas of Pakistan. Its training and education focus is primarily on mountain environment and resource development with contextual relevance and field-based experience. Second, the educational strategy followed by KIU is progressive, visionary and application oriented.
It moves away from the conventional and rigid compartmentalization of departments and facilitates a multidisciplinary integration in formulating courses, projects, and programs that are most suited to the diverse needs of the mountain areas. In terms of quality, it ensures that graduates are on a level playing field with others when it comes to competition for jobs and further study.