It is the oldest public university in Pakistan. With multiple campuses in Gujranwala, Jhelum, and Khanspur, the university was formally established by the British Government after convening the first meeting for establishing higher education institutions in October 1882 at Simla. The Punjab University was the fourth university to be established by the British colonial authorities in the indian subcontinent; the first three universities were established in other parts of British India.
Approximately 30,000 enrolled students are currently attending the university, the PU has a total of 13 faculties within which there are 63 academic departments, research centers, and institutes. The Punjab University has ranked first among large-sized multiple faculty universities by the HEC in 2012. There are also two Nobel Laureates among the university's alumni and former staff. Additionally, the university is also a member of Association of Commonwealth Universities of the United Kingdom.
The University of the Punjab was given its initial impetus by Wood's despatch in 1854. Gottlieb Wilhelm Leitner was the founder of the university. Contrary to the three previously established universities, which were only examining institutions, the University of the Punjab was both a teaching as well as an examining body right from the beginning.
From its formation in 1882 until 1947, the University of the Punjab served the educational needs of the entire region of pre-independence Punjab and northern India. Mohindra College, Patiala was the first college of higher learning to affiliate with University of Punjab in 1882; followed by St. Stephen's College, Delhi. The independence of Pakistan in 1947 reduced the geographical jurisdiction of the university, as it was split into two separate universities in the respective countries. The Indian portion of the university is referred to as Panjab University, Chandigarh, India. The current Institute of Administrative Sciences was created in 1962.
Many major institutions that were previously affiliated to Punjab University have now become independent universities on their own, such as Government College University, Lahore and Medical and Engineering Colleges.