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.
The main objective of the University is to provide facilities of higher education and research to the population of the Southern region of the Punjab. The University fulfils three functions: teaching, affiliation and examination. The University has 135 affiliated colleges, which include old and prestigious institutions such as the Government Emerson College Multan, the Government College, Sahiwal and the NFC Institute of Engineering & Technology, Multan.
The University Senate is the Supreme governing/legislative Body of the University. The Syndicate is the Executive Body of the University and the Academic Council is the main academic body of the University. The Governor of the Punjab is the Chancello of the University, whereas the Minister for Education, Government of the Punjab is the Pro-Chancellor of the University. The Principal Executive and Academic Officer of the University is the Vice-Chancellor, who is assisted by the Deans of the Faculties, Chairmen/Chairpersons of the Departments, Directors of the Institutes/ Centre, Principals of the Constituent Colleges Project Directors of the sub campuses (Sahiwa Layyah & D. G. Khan) and the four Principal Officers of the University - the Registrar, the Treasurer, the Controller of Examinations and the Project Director (civil works).H