Allama Iqbal Open University

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At a Glance
Short Name : AIOU
Motto : {{{Please give motto, if any}}}
Established: 1974
Chancellor : Mr. Mamnoon Hussain, President of Pakistan
Vice-Chancellor/CEO: Prof. Dr. Ali Asghar Chishti, Vice Chancellor
Staff strength :
{{{Please indicate}}}
Other Staff:
{{{Please indicate}}}
Students Strength: {{{Enrolment with year}}}
Location : Islamabad, Pakistan
Campus : Sector, H-8,Islamabad
Website :


1-Mr.Iqbal Hussain
Incharge, Research & Evaluation Centre (REC)
Allama Iqbal Open University
2-Muhammad Naseem
Junior Research Officer
Allama Iqbal Open University

About the University

Allama Iqbal Open University – A Brief

Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) was established under an act of Parliament in 1974 being the pioneer in non-formal and distance education in Pakistan because of its approach, philosophy, system, functions and overall structure. It was then the second Open University of the world, the first such University was established in UK in 1969. Now AIOU is among the list of 17-Mega Universities of the world and provides an opportunity to working people to enhance their qualification without giving up their jobs or place of living. In Pakistan distance education is particularly suited to the female population as it offers them an opportunity to study at homes. Similarly, people living in the tribal and far-flung areas where the formal education system has not reached as yet, also get an opportunity to be educated. In this University, the period for completing their certificates and degrees is linked with students’ own pace and convenience. The AIOU has been utilizing all possible media for instruction including; correspondence materials, Radio and TV, Satellite Transmission, Online Teaching, Non-broadcast media, Tutorial instruction and Group training workshops etc.

The AIOU started functioning with 5 courses and less than one thousand enrolment in 1975-76, which has over the past years expanded in all directions. At present the total numbers of programmes produced are 116, and courses are 1377. In the year 2007-08, Student Enrolment reached to 10,31951 and Course enrolment to 29,82420, out of which the females’ participation rate has been 51%. Presently four faculties with 36 academic departments and Institute of Mass Education are offering a wide range of courses from Functional Non-Credit to M.Phil/Ph.D level. At present the university offers 19 Ph.D Courses, 192 M.Phil/MS, 516 Masters level, 67 Teachers Education, 282 Bachelor/Diploma, 80 Higher Secondary School, 30 Secondary School, 12 Women Middle Education, and 114 Functional Non-Credit/Women Basic Education courses.

The University sent on air 264 radio and 382 T.V programmes in 2005-06. Recently the Univerdity has started to broadcast educational programmes on FM Radio at 91.6 MHz. Now the University has established a Video Conferrencing Network in seven selective regions to conduct classes online for Computer Science courses. Regional network, at present consists of 36 Regional Campuses /Centres with 82 part-time Regional Coordinating Offices throughout the country. The University has by now established 1274 Study Centres yearly in coordination with formal educational institutions and the Study Centres with latest computer/practical/lab facilities for the students studying in the fields of Sciences, Technology and Computer Sciences in collaboration with private institutions of high repute in all major cities of the country as well. The University has more than 65000 registered tutors from which about 58452 part-time tutors have been appointed yearly to guide the students in tutorials and evaluate home assignments. Approximately 950 examination centers are established yearly at Tehsil and District level with coordination of Regional Network to facilitate the students. Up to 2007, 1121382 degrees, diplomas and certificates have been awarded. Presently the sanctioned posts of the University are 1899 including academicians, administrative and servicing/supporting staff. About 1.6 million books besides other allied materials are printed and supplied to the students yearly.. The Central Library of the University is equipped with a collection of over 114000 books. The Annual Recurring budget of the University for the Year 2007-08 is Rs.1921.848 million, of which the University generates 87% from its own resources. At present the Endowment Fund of the University is estimated at Rs.2.4000 billion.

With its system of reaching the students at their homes or works places and the concept of openness, implying lifelong education, the Allama Iqbal Open University is filling the gaps left by the conventional system and taking education to the area and groups unable to benefit from the formal system of education. As an institution of distance and open learning, AIOU makes a commitment to provide high quality educational programmes to its students. In addition the AIOU endeavors to create an environment suitable for learning.

In recent years, the University programmes have expanded in all directions and still several others are in the process of development to be launched in the forthcoming semesters. The challenge at present for the future of the University is to maintain excellent standard of education by providing high quality tutorial and regional support to the students.

Historical Development

Country/National Policy for Founding of the University: The continuing inability of the nation to make financial investments on a scale commensurate with the educational imperatives of modern statehood compelled the country’s education planners to explore the possibilities of un-conventional methods, which could transcend the limitations of the formal system. The idea of an open university was floated in the late sixties and came to fruition with the enunciation of broad principles in the National Education policy of 1972-80: “Open universities are being used in several countries to provide education and training to people who cannot leave their homes and jobs for full time studies. A people’s Open University will, therefore, be established to provide part-time educational facilities through correspondence courses, tutorials, seminars, workshops, laboratories, television and radio broadcasts and other mass communication media…” (Section 7-10)

The University commenced working as a recognizable entity in June, 1974 in consequence of Act NO.XXXIX passed by the National Assembly in May the same year. The main objectives of the University are as follows. A to provide facilities to people who cannot leave their homes and jobs in such manner as it may determine; B to provide such facilities to the masses for their educational uplift as it may determine; C to provide facilities for the training to teachers in such manner as it may determine; D to provide for instruction in such branches of learning, technology or vocations as it may deem fit and to make provision for research and for the advancement and dissemination of knowledge in such manner as it may determine; E to hold examinations and to award and confer degrees, diplomas, certificates and other academic distinctions to and on persons who have been admitted to and have passed its examinations under the prescribed conditions.

Vision and Mission of Organization: The over-riding purpose of the University was to provide education of whatever kind needed to whomsoever desired it. For this it was to use whatever methods it thought necessary. The idea that education can be learner rather than teacher centered is not new, although the shift in the nineteenth-century authoritarian attitudes has come about gradually and even now there are many people in the country, in fact all around the world, who have now been able to reconcile themselves with this concept. The University had to face its gigantic task with few traditional academic norms to comfort and support it. Some foreign distance-learning models did exist, but it was very rapidly discovered that the hypotheses which hold true in other societies, especially primarily with an openness and adaptiveness of mind. It had to evolve a system, which was at once economical, capable of administration within the properly balanced against the needs and expectations of our people and sufficiently flexible to accommodate changing circumstances. And it had to do this in the face of considerable skepticism and opposition from people who had themselves been educated in a certain way and who could see no merit beyond that way.

The average Pakistani student is so used to sitting in a classroom with a teacher dictating terms that he never stop to think that it is perhaps not only the teacher who teaches but he who learns. He would certainly be surprised to discover from comparative studies that factors like student-teacher contact time, classroom lectures, attendance, etc. have little demonstrable bearing on student performance. Moreover, for many of the students of the kind it was eventually hoped to provide for, the very idea of any instruction except of the most elementary nature was so novel as to be rather suspicious. Tradition is the main barrier to innovation. It takes time to establish the workability of a new idea or system.

The main thrust of the University has been towards developing a distance-learning mechanism, using written material as the nucleus around which additional learning support, in the form of radio or television broadcasts and study centre tutorials, is built up. However, the educational concerns of this institution go well beyond the evolution and administration of a system, complex as this might be. It is occupied with the development of learning materials, which are at once modern, academically and technically sound and suited to the needs of the citizens of Pakistan. As such it has had to make a cautions, reasoned approach to the kind of education it offers and yet at the same time to be enterprising and innovative in order to meet the increasingly varied needs of new groups of students and a rapidly developing system.

There are many advantages in the distance-learning system. The most obvious is that one relatively small institution can serve tens of thousand of students all round the country; there is no need to set up separate establishments. Another is that students are not obliged to give up other activities while engaged in a course of studies, so no disruption of the nation’s normal work pattern is caused. A third advantage is the gains made through economies of scale. It is not only a question of so much cost divided by so many students; there are invisible gains as well and it must be remembered that the University’s students continue to contribute to the GNP while they study. A fourth is that the system enables a lot of people to derive benefit from the best teachers in the country. In the conventional system they would meet perhaps thirty or forty students at a time. But by collaborating in the production of the Open University’s courses their expertise is injected into a nation-wide network. The University also encourages the greater use of the nation’s existing educational resources both in physical faculties and manpower. Most schools and colleges function for only five or six hours a day; by opening its study centres in many schools and colleges all over the country the University has extended the services of their buildings to the cause of education in a second, evening shift, for which, also, many of the nation’s teachers are working in a part-time capacity. Yet a fifth is the possibility of doing a lot quickly. If a real impact is to be made, then the saturation approach is always more effective than the trickle approach, and Pakistan is already behind time, especially in its educational needs.

Adaptability is a sine qua non in another essential sense. The University strives to be innovative and up to date in both the content and methods of its courses. This is not novelty and experiment for its own sake, nor is it a thoughtless rejection of previous knowledge and values. It stems, rather, from an awareness of the rapid often breath-taking – advance in knowledge and technology. In developing and applying that awareness, the University has the benefit not only of the experience and standing of its own staff, but of the staff of other institutions of advanced learning and research in the country.

This leads also to an important and wider role of the University. Its individual members are often concerned with the scholarly development of their own subject areas. As an institution, however, the University has a central interest not only in new subject content and methods, but an interest in the dissemination of such new ideas beyond its own system. The University is progressively (in both senses of the word) moving towards a partial role as resource centre for other institutions and agencies in regard to course materials. In other words, in addition to itself providing courses direct to students, it can make its materials available to other institutions, which will adapt and add to them to meet the needs of specific students or other groups.

Finally, it might be stressed that although the innovatory and unique nature of the University has so far been underlined, it is in no sense separate from or in competition with the conventional education system (at any level) or with other training and development agencies. It is in fact a complementary institution. It fills gaps, it meets needs that other institutions are enable to meet; it provides new ways of tackling old problems. Some of those gaps are yawning ones, some of the needs are vast and urgent. The University does not, however, see itself as the sole answer, the only provider, the only solution. It sees itself as part of a national strategy, a national campaign of action and ideas to combat those difficulties and in doing so to convert them from negative liabilities to positive assets for the nation. (First Five Year Report of AIOU: 1975-1980)

Organizational Structure


Instructional System

Distance Education System

The Allama Iqbal Open University, being a distance education institution, relies heavily on all varieties of available media to reach its students in an effective manner. The main components of its multi media package are the following:

  • Correspondence materials including self-learning study package and supplementary study materials (Readers, textbooks and study guides).
  • Radio and televisionbroadcasts generally relate to the study materials of the package.
  • Satellite transmission: AIOU is putting on air its educational media material on PTV-2 which is beaming out its transmission through satellite to more than 45 countries.
  • Online Teaching: Various regions have already been linked for online education and online classes through teleconferencing have been started for Computer Science programmes.
  • Video Conferencing: Computer Science department has also successfully conducting a series of video conferencing lectures with US and other scholars in past semesters.
  • Non-broadcast media including slides, audio cassettes, fillip charts, and leaflets (generally for basic functional and literacy level courses) and also audio/video cassettes is an integral part of learning material.
  • Tutorial instruction through contact sessions and academic guidance facilities at study centres (mostly in the afternoons).
  • Face-to-face teaching has recently been started for those courses, which require intensively practical/lab work or skill development.
  • Group training workshops for post graduate programmes, generally at M.A/M.Sc/M.Phil and Diploma levels.
  • Internship of short term and long term duration in industrial or business concerns for B.B.A. and M.B.A programmes.
  • Course assignments as an instrument of instruction, continuous assessment and general academic guidance of students. These assignments are evaluated by the respective tutors.
  • Final examination is held for each course, at the end of the semester.

School of Studies/Faculties


Faculty of Arabic & Islamic Studies The Institute of Arabic & Islamic Studies was established in 1974. It has been divided into distinct disciplines to provide in-depth study and research and was upgraded as Faculty of Arabic & Islamic Studies in 1998 with the following departments: 1. Arabic Language and Literature 2. Hadith & Seerah 3. Islamic Law (Fiqh) 4. Islamic Thought, History & Culture 5. Quran & Tafseer

Faculty of Education The Faculty of Education was established in 1984, but its origin actually predates the University itself. A National Institute of Education was established in 1973 as an integral part of the Federal Ministry of Education, with the objective of improving education at school level through in-service training of Master Trainers. This Institute later became a part of the University in June 1975. The Faculty of Education has following departments: 1. Secondary Teacher Education 2. Early Chieldhood & Elementary Teacher Education 3. Educational Planning Policy Studies and Leadership 4. Science Education 5. Special Education 6. Distance Non-fromal & Continuing Education 7. Institute of Literacy and Mass Education

Faculty of Sciences The Faculty of Basic and Applied Sciences established in 1982, was lately renamed as Faculty of Sciences. It comprises the following nine departments: 1. Agricultural Sciences 2. Biology 3. Chemistry 4. Computer Sciences 5. Engineering and Technology 6. Environmental Sciences 7. Home and Health Sciences 8. Mathematics and Statistics 9. Physics

Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities The Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities was established in 1982, initially with only a few departments. Later, a whole spectrum of new courses and programmes was developed that necessitated the establishment of new departments. At present, there are thirteen departments working in this Faculty:

1. Business Administration 2. Commerce 3. Economics 4. English Language & Applied Linguistics 5. History 6. Iqbal Studies 7. Library & Information Sciences 8. Mass Communication 9. Pakistan Studies 10. Pakistani Languages 11. Sociology, Social Work & Population Studies 12. Urdu 13. Gender and Women Studies

(For details please visit )

Learning Support Network

Learning Support Network (Regional System)

The outreach system of the University in the form of its Regional Campuses/Centres is the backbone of its methodology. The University has established 36 Regional Campuses/ Centres in the Country for tutorial support and students support services. Besides this there are 101 part-time Regional Coordinating Offices in different parts of the country for providing assistance to the Regional Campuses/Centres. There are more than 60000 part-time registered tutours with the university for tutorial support and guidance. Regions.jpg

Academic Programmes

Level-wise list of Academic Programmes is given below.

List of Academic Programmes on offer

Academic Programmes The university has introduced a wide range of undergraduate, graduate, Master’s, M.Phil, and Doctoral Programmes. These programmes have given distinction to the University in relation to other educational institutions of Pakistan as it caters to the need of all age groups and levels of education. These programmes are enlisted below.

Ph.D Programmes Based on M.Phil Degree 1. Iqbal Studies 2. Urdu 3. Islamic Studies 4. Distance and Non-FormalEducation (DNFE) 5. Teacher Education (Secondary) 6. Educational Planning and Management (EPM) 7. Special Education 8. Agricultural Extension 9. Statistics* 10. Mathematics*

MS/M.Phil Leading to Ph.D 1. Food and Nutrition 2. Distance and Non-Formal Education (DNFE) 3. Teacher Education (Secondary) 4. Educational Planning and Management (EPM) 5. Special Education 6. Statistics 7. Chemistry 8. Islamic Studies 9. Pakistani Languages & Literature

MS/M. Phil Programmes 1. Islamic Studies 2. Iqbal Studies 3. Urdu 4. Teacher Education (Secondary) 5. Educational Planning and Management 6. Distance and Non-formal Education 7. Special Education 8. Mass Communication 9. Statistics 10. Economics 11. Chemistry 12. Food and Nutrition 13. Pakistani Languages and Literature

M. Sc. (Hon.) 17 – Year Education 1. Agriculture Extension (Regular classes at main campus, 2. Live Stock Management AIOU, Islamabad) 3. Rural Development (For continuing students only)

MA/MSc 16-Year Education Master of Science (M.Sc.) 1. Pakistan Studies 2. Mass Communication 3. Economics 4. Community Health and Nutrition 5. Physics 6. Forestry Extension 7. Environmental Design 8. Sociology 9. Mathematics 10. Chemistry 11. Statistics 12. Gender and Women Studies Master of Arts (M.A.) 1. Teaching of English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) 2. History 3. Islamic Studies 4. Arabic 5. Urdu 6. Teacher Education 7. Educational Planning and Management (EPM) 8. Distance and Non-Formal Education 9. Special Education 10. Business Administration (MBA) 11. MBA (Banking & Finance) 12. MBA (Information Technology) 13. Commonwealth MBA (for Executives) 14. Commonwealth MPA (for Executives) 15. Library and Information Sciences (MLIS)

Other Programmes offered by the University

M.Ed Programme 1. Teacher Education (Secondary) 2. Distance and Non-formal Education 3. Special Education 4. Science Education

Postgraduate Diplomas (PGD) 1. Teaching of English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) 2. Dietetics (For Dieticians) 3. Nutrition (For Physicians) 4. Women Studies* 5. Mass Communication 6. Educational Planning and Management (EPM) 7. Computer Science (Online) 8. Commonwealth Executive Business Administration 9. Commonwealth Executive Public Administration 10. Environmental Design 11. Youth in Development Work (only at Rawalpindi/Islamabad)

Teacher Education Programmes 1. Bachelor of Education (B.Ed General) 2. Bachelor of Education (B.Ed Arabic) 3. Certificate of Teaching (CT) 4. Diploma in Education (10+3 Model) 5. Primary Teaching Certificate (PTC) 6. Arabic Teachers Training Course (ATTC)

Bachelor Degree Programmes 1. B.A. (General) 2. B.Com. (Commerce) 3. B.B.A. (Business Administration) (Regular classes) 4. B.M.C. (Bachelor of Mass Communication) 5. B.L.S. (Bachelor of Library & Information Sciences) 6. B.A. (Dars-e-Nizami) 7. Bachelor of Engineering (Telecommunication) 8. Bachelor of Technology (Automobile)* 9. Foundation Semester (BS-CS) (For below 45% marks at intermediate level) 10. Bachelor of Science (Computer Science) BS (CS) 11. B.Sc. in Vision Sciences

Diplomas (Undergraduate) 1. Vision Sciences leading to B.Sc. 2. Computer Graphics

Secondary School Certificate (SSC) 1. H.S.S.C (General) 2. H.S.S.C. (I.Com) 3. H.S.S.C. Dars-i-Nizami. 4. F.Sc. Family and Community Health 5. Home Economics 6. F.Sc. Pre-Medical 7. F.Sc. Pre-Engineering

SSC (Matric) 1. S.S.C (General) 2. S.S.C (Dars-e-Nizami) 3. S.S.C (Health) 4. S.S.C (Home Economics)

Middle Education This programme is under Pilot launching at two different provinces

Certificate Level Courses 1. Certificate in Librarianship 2. French Online 3. Selling of Home Made Products 4. Arabic Bol Chaal 5. Al-Lisan-ul-Arabi 6. Computer Graphics

Another feature of the University’s programmes is the provision of non-credit courses of six-month duration, which mainly of three type’s i.e. 1. Functional Non-credit Courses 2. Technical Course 3. Agricultural Course

Open Tech. Courses (Non-credit) The University has been offering over 43 courses in this programme. (For students of Rawalpindi & Islamabad only)

Short Term Educational Programmes (STEPS) The University has developed and launched about 90 STEPS courses in the following areas of studies: 1. Management Sciences (22 courses) 2. Social Sciences (15 courses) 3. Hotel Services (05 courses) 4. Community Education (17 courses) 5. Agricultural Courses (06 courses)

Enrolment and Success

Course Enrolment Trend

Years Course Enrolment
2004-05 1803086
2005-06 1910491
2006-07 2417181
2007-08 2982420
2008-09 3294000
2009-10 3326504

Administration and Governance

Chancellor (President of Pakistan)
Pro-Chancellor (Federal Minister for Education, Ministry of Education)
Vice Chancellor (Chief Executive Officer/Head of the institution)
Executive Council (Governing Body)
(Please view Administrative/Organizational Structure for details)

Finance and Budget

Revenue and Expenses

Years Receipts ( Million) Expense ( Million)
2004-05 1088.387 805.467
2005-06 1384.336 1019.226
2006-07 1756.238 1161.808
2007-08 1921.848 1430.048
2008-09 2102.528 1565.783
2009-10 2516.461 1966.288

Source: Treasurer's Department (Budget Section)



Introduction The Research and Evaluation Centre (Previously known as Research and Statistical Services) was established at the end of 1983. Before this independent entity however it had been functioning as a "Research Cell" located in the Institute of Education.

The main objectives of the Centre are to:

a) Conduct institutional research on all aspects of the distance learning system of Allama Iqbal Open University;

b) Collect statistical data and prepare a statistical profile of AIOU;

c) Conduct academic research in collaboration with academic departments;

d) Work as Clearing House for the dissemination of research findings and statistical data.

Accordingly, the Research Centre had to reformulate its activities to provide a comprehensive action plan, first by concentrating on the distance learning system and secondly the extent to which it could contribute to the advancement of the educational field as a whole.

Long Term Plans: The Centre devises ways and means to study and research on the working of the open learning system of the AIOU, keeping itself abreast with the knowledge and researches done or being done in similar institutions around the world. The major emphasis is to keep the open learning system fully alive national and international demands.

Short Term Plans: The areas of activity on a short-term basis are:

1. Institutional Research

1.1. Primary focus: determination of effectiveness, quality assurance and evaluation of all aspects of the AIOU System (both formative and summative. 1.2. Secondary focus: need assessment / determination, evaluation and advice to other institutions.

2. Statistics and Surveys 3. Academic Research Advice 4. Institutional Problems and Coordination

Areas for Research:

1- Institutional Research

1.1 Courses and their effectiveness 1.2 Tutorial support system 1.3 Assessment system 1.4 Student problems 1.5 Methods of course production 1.6 Cost effectiveness of courses 1.7 Out-come of courses and programmes 1.8 Servicing/Operational Departments 1.9 Administration 2- Statistical Data Compilation and Survey: 2.1 Gathering and publication of statistics on the AIOU system e.g. admissions, drop out, pass rate, student characteristics. 2.2 Pre-course surveys; post-course surveys. 2.3 Statistical surveys for other institutions. 2.4 Statistical advice and technical assistance (inter/external).

3- Academic Research Advice: Collaboration, advice and technical assistance to academic departments or individuals on specific research projects.

Compilation of various Statistical Suplements/queries, preparation of Introductory Brochure and Mini Prospectus of Educational Programmes of AIOU and Vice Chancellors’ Annual Report etc. are the other regular/permanent activities of REC.

Extension Activities

Construction of Academic Complex Building at a cost of Rs.200 million. <More than a dozen other developmental projects are also under process>

International Reach

<A brief note on the International Reach of the university>

Acheivements and Highlights

A member of International Mega Universities Network


Allama Iqbal Open University latest study updates for educational year 2020. View aiou Results, Date Sheet, Roll No. Slips, Past Papers, Admission Details, ...


AIOU Achievements/Research Reports, Computer Centre Statistics and Treasurer Department/Budget Section