In his capacity as Chancellor of the Aga Khan University, Mawlana Hazar Imam will deliver an address at the University’s first ever global convocation on 22 May 2021. The special virtual ceremony will bring together AKU’s graduating classes in Kenya, Pakistan, Tanzania, Uganda, and the UK, for a unique celebration of knowledge and learning.

Chief Guest Melinda French Gates will also deliver remarks at the event. Melinda is a philanthropist, businesswoman, and global advocate for women and girls. As co-chair and trustee of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, her work has led her to increasingly focus on gender equity as a path to meaningful change.

The virtual ceremony will feature a multi-campus cohort of 667 AKU graduands who will be recognised for their academic achievements and for continuing a long-standing tradition of pursuing educational excellence, and joining a growing community of alumni in the process. 

AKU alumni — two-thirds of whom are women — make up a respected community of leaders in the fields of healthcare and education, whose accomplishments are having an increasingly positive impact across the world.

The Aga Khan University was founded by Mawlana Hazar Imam in 1983 as Pakistan’s first private university, initially taking the form of a nursing school. Since then, it has expanded to six campuses across three continents, facilitating learning in a wide variety of disciplines. 

For more than three decades, the University has aimed to improve quality of life in the developing world and beyond through world-class teaching, research and healthcare delivery. It also empowers women and the disadvantaged, builds support for pluralism, and collaborates with local partners and world-renowned organisations to achieve shared goals. 

In an address at the 2003 Convocation, Hazar Imam laid out his aspiration that AKU should “be on the frontiers of scientific and humanistic knowledge, radiating intelligence and confidence, research and graduates, into flourishing economies and progressive legal and political systems.”

Today, the University educates students for local and global leadership, generates new knowledge to solve problems that affect millions of people, and raises standards and aspirations in the countries in which it works. Learn more about the Aga Khan University’s work to empower people in the developing world.


Watch the convocation live at or on 22 May at 8:30 am (Toronto), 1:30 pm (London), 4:30 pm (Dubai).