At the time of creation of Pakistan as a sovereign state in 1947, means for higher education and research were negligible. Responding to the impending requirement of higher learning, Pakistan started establishing relevant educational institutions of higher learning and research and thus underwent rapid modernization. The University of Karachi was established by an act of Pakistan parliament in June, 1951. The present campus, to which the University shifted in 1959, is spread over 1279 acres of land, situated 12 Km away from the city center.
Today the University is recognized as a premier center of learning and research in the Subcontinent and in the Third World. A number of scientists and scholars affiliated with the University are working in important positions both within and outside Pakistan and have won recognition and acclaim. One of the institutes of the University has got the distinction of being made the Centre of the Third World Academy of Sciences. Students from several foreign countries are also pursuing for the Masters and Doctorate degrees. Because of high academic and research standards of the University a large number of students from Karachi and other parts of the country apply for admission here. Keeping in view a very high number of applicants, the University has started evening classes in several departments at BS and Masters Levels and a Directorate of Evening Program was established to control and run Evening Program.
At present teaching at the University campus is conducted under six faculties: Faculty of Arts, Faculty of Science, Faculty of Islamic Studies, Faculty of Management & Administrative Sciences, Faculty of Engineering and Faculty of Pharmacy. There are over 52 departments and 19 research institutes/ centers, which are imparting education to more than 24,000 students including students from foreign countries. The faculty comprises of more than 700 highly qualified and experienced teachers; many of them have obtained higher degrees from abroad and enjoy a high repute internationally. The non-teaching staff comprises more than 1700 people to help with administrative and other matters.
The University of Karachi is also an affiliating and examining body and at present, 145 colleges and institutions are affiliated to the University. The courses of studies for these institutions are approved by the University and examinations are also conducted under its auspices. The University conducts examinations of about 150,000 students studying in these colleges/institutes, prepare their results and award degrees.