It all started in the late nineteen-eighties when the Pakistan Navy entered the field of education and established two Institutes, one at Karachi and the other at Islamabad, and called them Bahria Institutes (‘Bahria’ means ‘Marine’ in Urdu). The two Institutes were designed to provide uninterrupted education up to Intermediate level for the children of naval personnel when they were transferred from one city to the other.
Over the years the two Institutes grew in size and facilities, leading to the commencement of BBA and B.Sc (CS) classes in 1995. In 1997 these programmes were further upgraded to BBA (Hons), BSC (Hons) and MBA and MSC, as evening programmes. The Institutes were known as Bahria Institute of Management and Computer Science (BIM&CS), suffixed with the location Karachi or Islamabad.
The Institute was finally upgraded to a university, the present Bahria University, on 7 February 2000 through a Presidential Ordnance. It was given a vide vision: to operate an educational system capable of providing state of the art facilities for imparting education not only to the children of naval personnel, but to all the people of Pakistan.
Bahria is a Federally Chartered Public Sector multi-campus university, which has its headquarters and a campus at Islamabad, while another campus and constituent units are located in Karachi. Starting with just two departments in 1995, five more were added over the next ten years. Campus buildings were custom built with state of the art facilities, high tech computer and electronic laboratories, and well stocked libraries that have free internet accessibility. The university’s total student population, including those of its constituent units, has been growing steadily and now hovers around 9,500.
Bahria University has four constituent units in the southern city of Karachi: the Karachi Campus, Bahria University Medical and Dental College, Institute of Professional Psychology and National Centre for Maritime Policy Research.
Looking at the future, Bahria University aims to meet the higher educational needs of not only the northern part of the province of Punjab but also of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and the Gilgit Baltistan region. And with the expected opening of trade routes with the Central Asian states, the university hopes to attract students from this region as well.