Punjab University, Lahore.
Punjab University is the oldest university of Pakistan and was established in 1882. It is also the largest University of Pakistan (excluding AIOU) with 30,000 full time students and 4,50,000 students in 586 colleges affiliated with the University all over Punjab. Full time faculty at PU is around 700, and there are an additional 300 part time faculty members as well. The only Nobel Laureate from Pakistan Dr. Abdus Salam was a graduate of Punjab University and also taught here in the 60’s in the department of Physics.
The university has 05 campuses. Two main campuses are in Lahore, which are known as New campus (Quaid-e-Azam Campus) and old campus (Allama Iqbal campus). The new campus is spread over 1200 acres. The campus is located on both sides of the famous Lahore canal. The old campus is close to old Anarkali Bazar. In addition to the two large campuses in Lahore where most of the programs are offered, there are three smaller campuses in Gujranwala, Jehlum and Khanspur. The campus in Khanspur is specially attractive as its close to Ayubia, with excellent whether during hot summer months.
Punjab University was ranked No.2 in the top large universities of Pakistan in the latest ranking by HEC for the year 2013. Compared to any other university of Pakistan, Punjab University has a huge infrastructure, resources, area and facilities.
There are 26 hostels at PU, out of which 16 are for boys and 10 are for girls. Around 6500 students live in these hostels and enjoy a pure university life experience. Even single rooms are also available both for boys and girls with allied mess and other facilities. However from what I have heard from actual residents, food quality and other facilities are much better in the boys hostels compared to the girls hostels. Girls are allowed to leave the hostel without permission before evening, and need permission from the warden if they want to leave after evening timings. Hostels are generally safe for girls.
Admissions in Punjab University are offered only during the Fall semester. Admission process starts around June of each year and is completed by September. Classes start in September. Most departments follow the semester system now. Each department or Institute or college of Punjab University has its own admission criteria. For some programs the merit is based on previous marks (intermediate, Bsc etc) and an entry test, and for some its based on intermediate marks only. There are special marks for Hafiz-e-Quran in all departments.
There are two kinds of seats in Punjab University. The first one being open merit, and the other are self finance basis. Usually for self finance students, classes are held in the evening timings only. The merit is lower for self finance students compared to open merit. The total seats in any program range from a minimum of 50 to a maximum of 300.
Each department has a different fee structure. However a rough range of fee at Punjab University is around Rs 12,000 per semester for open merit students and around Rs 35,000 per semester for self finance students. Hostel charges are in addition to this but are quite nominal. There are two semesters in a year. In my opinion even self finance charges are much lower compared to lower ranked private universities.
Punjab university offers degree programs in almost all areas of studies including basic sciences like Physics, Chemistry, Biology etc, in applied sciences like engineering, material sciences, in fine arts and design, architecture, languages like English, French, Persian etc, Education, business management degrees like BBA, BCOM, MBA, MCOM. The university has a really good Law college which offers LLB, and LLM. The university has a faculty of medicine but does not directly teach medicine, but many medical colleges are affiliated with it all over Punjab. It also offers Pharmacy, Psychology, Islamic studies, humanities and social sciences.
The overall environment of the university is really good. Most of the students are serious in studies and have high academic caliber and merit. The faculty of the university are very seasoned and experienced and have been around for many years. Studying at Punjab university provides a unique academic experience as it’s a very large and old university and is unmatched compared to the new private universities opened in small buildings offering a few degrees with part time faculty and they exist only to make money.
The worth of Punjab University degrees is still a lot in the eyes of the employers. PU graduates in computer sciences, law, art and design, and commerce find jobs readily.