A landmark study of Aga Khan University launched shows that university has an annual economic impact of Rs 103 billion, or US$ 1 billion, and supports 42,000 jobs, including 33,000 in Sindh in Pakistan.
The study showed the remarkable economic impact of AKU that is spending of AKU is multiplying, with every rupee direct gross value added generating Rs 7.3 in economic benefits said Chief Minister of Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah.
The study report was compiled by a team economist that includes Centennial Group International, a US-based consulting firm, many of them former senior officials at the World Bank. This study report is believed to be first comprehensive economic impact study of a Pakistani university.
The report highlighted the economic impacts generated by AKU; providing high-quality education, increasing the earning power of its alumni, outstanding health care, keeping people healthy and productive and as a major purchaser of goods and services, thereby generating revenues for businesses and jobs for people.
The authors have given the names of “a national innovator and a powerhouse for quality,” and “a nationwide role model for high-quality tertiary education and medical care” to AKU.
Dr. Sikandar Mandhro Health Minister said that AKU has brought the culture of high quality that strengthens the students to achieve their goals not only for themselves but for the society.
Firoz Rasul AKU President and CEO said that “there are two campuses of AKU in Sindh, five hospitals, and 128 outreaches medical centers that treat annually 1.3 million people. Across the province, they have conducted health research on diseases of poverty. Middle and secondary schools affiliated with the AKU Examination Board are more than 100 in Sindh”.
More than five years, university has been working in Sindh to improve health of 3.6 million women and children in a project named Umeed-e-Nau (New Hope) in collaboration with government of Sindh. The projected is also funded by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. This project will also be launched in Punjab and Balochistan targeting 11.5 million beneficiaries.
Dr. Ishrat Husain, an adviser to the report’s authors said that study is the analysis of the difference that AKU has made in Pakistan. Dr. Ishrat Husain was former Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan, former AKU Trustee and former Dean and Director of the Institute of Business Administration.
According to the Pakistan Council for Science and Technology, Seven of Pakistan’s top 10 health researchers of Pakistan are AKU faculty. Also, the health research of University is saving the lives of women and children living in poverty.