The University of Sindh informally known as Sindh University), is a public research university located in the residential area of Jamshoro, Sindh, Pakistan. It is one of the oldest universities in Pakistan, and as of 2013 was ranked in eighth in terms of “general category” by the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan.
Founded in 1948 in Karachi, the university was relocated to Hyderabad where the university began functioning as a full-fledged teaching university. There are four law colleges and various other colleges affiliated with the Sindh University. The university is noted for research in literature, natural sciences, philosophy, and Sindhology. The university is also a member of the Association of Commonwealth Universities of the United Kingdom.
After the independence in 1947, the only functioning university in the newly founded nation of Pakistan was the University of Punjab providing services to the developed parts of the Punjab province. The area constituted as the Sindh province came under the academic coverage of University of Bombay which had now become a part of India.
A formal academic centre was therefore needed for Sindh and under the constitutional act no. XVII titled ‘University of Sindh’, a resolution was passed by the Legislative Assembly of Sindh thus giving birth to this new university in the nation’s capital of Karachi. The act was subsequently revised and modified in 1961 and years to come. However, it was the act of 1972 that provided for greater autonomy and representation of teachers, under which the university currently functions.
In the years after the independence from 1947 to 1955, Hyderabad was declared as the capital of Sindh and the university operations were relocated from Karachi to Hyderabad in 1951 where it formally started functioning as a teaching institution in pursuit of fulfilment of its charter and mission to disseminate knowledge.
The first department established was the Department of Education, later raised to the status of Faculty of Education. The departments of basic science disciplines as well as other departments targeted towards Humanities and Social Sciences were added in the mid-50s. With the sudden departmentalised growth of the university’s organisational structure, a better equipped campus was desired and a new campus was established in Jamshoro town, 15-kilometres from the city of Hyderabad on the right bank of the Indus river in 1955 and was named after Allama Imdad Ali Imam Ali Kazi, former vice-chancellor of the university as a tribute to the great scholar and visionary. Before Jamshoro was selected for the establishment of Sindh University, is was desolate hilly track but was selected to be a university township away from the humdrum of the city of Hyderabad which lacked room to meet the ambitious expansion programs. Most of the teaching departments under the ‘faculty of science’ were then shifted to this new campus in 1961. Later in 1970, the departments for arts and humanities followed suit and were transferred to the new campus.
Interestingly, Jamshoro proved a good choice as it is virtually the gate-way to the Indus Valley, world famous for its civilization and rich cultural heritage. The Arnica Fort is located 40 km. to the north of the campus, in the northward continuation of the same hilly track which become Laki Ranges, merging with the Khirthars northwards. Amri, an important archaeological site, lies about 15 km further north. Sehwan, a well known township lies 25 km to the north of Amri. Manchar Lake, the largest fresh water lake in the region, is situated to the west north west of Sehwan. Travelling about 150 km north through the Indus plains brings one to the site of Mohenjodaro, the most important archaeological discovery of the Indus Valley.
The academic march forward continued with the gradual addition of other teaching departments and at present there are 43 full-fledged teaching institutes, centres and departments functioning under various academic faculties. The latest editions were that of the Institute of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering and the Centre for Environmental Sciences, which heralded a new era in scientific research in the country.
The Sindh University currently functions from its central administrative campus at Jamshoro but serves purpose as a collegiate university whereby it encompasses four law colleges and 74 degree and post-graduate colleges around Hyderabad and all over Sindh. In close proximity with other universities like the Mehran University of Engineering and Technology,and Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences, the neighbourhood of Jamshoro University Township is now deemed as the largest university residential campus in the Pakistan.
The university has two main campuses (1 & 2) and 7 more new campuses has been established.
- Allama I.I. Kazi Campus, Jamshoro, which is named after the former Vice Chancellor of the University.
- Elsa Kazi Campus, Hyderabad, which is named after the late German wife of Allama I.I. Kazi, the former Vice Chancellor of the University.
- Sindh University Lar Campus at Badin.
- Sindh University Mirpurkhas Campus.
- Sindh University Dadu Campus.
- Sindh University Larkana Campus.
- International University of Peace, Sofism and Modern Sciences Bhit Shah Campus.
The central administration lies at the heart of Jamshoro which is headed by a vice chancellor. The campus comprises seven different faculties namely those of arts, pharmacy, education, Islamic studies, social sciences, natural sciences, and commerce and business administration. Each faculty is run by a dean appointed by the vice chancellor. Each faculty is housed in its own separate building. Colleges affiliated with the university mainly oversee that the curriculum is met and host examinations for degree-awarding status.
Teaching and degrees
Academic faculties of the university impart teaching leading to undergraduate bachelor’s, bachelor’s honours (an extra year added to the bachelor’s course) and postgraduate master’s degrees and provides research guidance for the M.Phil and PhD programmes. The teaching and research under the faculties of natural sciences, social sciences, arts, education, Islamic studies, commerce and business administration is directly imparted by the university.
Each faculty is headed by a dean, appointed by the vice-chancellor for a term of three years. The university’s teaching departments, institutes and centres offer programmes leading to the award of a 3-year bachelor’s (honours) degree in various general and basic disciplines under arts and humanities studies, while a 4-year bachelor degree is offered under the faculty of natural sciences. The degrees have been designated accordingly indicating various disciplines, e.g., for Computer Science, BSc(CS) and Information Technology BSc(IT), etcetera.
The masters’ degree programmes are usually of a 1-year duration after bachelor’s (honours) and of a 2-year duration after bachelor’s (pass) degrees. The latter, that of the 2-year bachelor’s (pass) degree programmes are conducted through various affiliated degree(-awarding) colleges within the jurisdiction of the university. The teaching under the ‘faculty of law’ is conducted through the affiliated professional law colleges.
Degree programmes in the evening shifts were introduced in 2002 and include master’s degree courses in English and Information technology-related disciplines such as e-commerce and multimedia technology. Many teaching departments under various faculties of the university also offer a 1-year postgraduate diploma as well as short term certification programmes. Some of the degree colleges in the private sector that are affiliated to the university also offer a 3-year bachelor’s honours & master’s degree programmes.
Developments and facilities
The development programmes initiated in 1959 have gradually borne fruit. Though still in progress, over the years about 20 teaching blocks housing 39 institutes, departments and centres have been constructed. Five halls of students’ residence now provide accommodation for about 1800 students.
Sporting facilities include the Hyder Bux Jatoi Pavilion that has been constructed to provide indoor gaming facilities, a track ground for athletics and a sports grounds. The Fatima Jinah Gymnasium provides games and sporting facilities exclusively for girls. The Institute of Sindhology building, depicting the cultural heritage of Sindh, adores the entrance to the campus from the national highway leading to Karachi. The imposing central library building, named after Late Allama I.I. Kazi who conceptualized the Jamshoro campus, serves as a landmark.
The residential colony for the faculty and staff of the university provides on-campus residence to about one third of the employees. Plans are in hand to expand the colony and provide accommodation for 200 more employees. What once was a deserted parches of hilly tract has now been converted into tree lined roads and green pastures completely transforming the site. The location of the Mehran University, sharing the site with the Sindh University and the Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences college and hospital complex in the neighbourhood has gone a long way into the transformation of this barren field into a true University township.
The university is accessible via the national highway (N5) at the Hyderabad bypass, at about 150 km from Karachi and 15–18 km from Hyderabad and has been able to host a number of international conferences, symposia and seminars on Science and Education and on specialized scientific themes. Inter-university sports competitions and annual sports gatherings have become regular features. The museum and various art galleries of the Institute of Sindhology attract a large number of visitors from other parts of the country and rest of the world.
Research and collaboration
The university has established linkages with leading foreign universities of United Kingdom in order to promote research activities and faculty development. The linkages have been made with the following universities.
- University of Durham
- University of Manchester
- University of Sussex
- University of Essex
- University of Leicester
- University of Nottingham