The University of the Punjab (informally Punjab University or PU) (Punjabi, Urdu: جامعہ پنجاب) is a public sector university primarily located in Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan. The university is the oldest and largest in Pakistan, having been formally established with the convening of the first meeting of its Senate in October 1882 at Simla. It was also the fourth university to be established by the British colonial authorities on the Indian subcontinent (the first three universities were established in Calcutta, Bombay, and Madras).
Punjab University comprises five campuses including the Quaid-i-Azam Campus and Allama Iqbal Campus, both of which are located in Lahore, with additional sites in Gujranwala, Jhelum and Khanspur. It is organised into 13 faculties within which there are 71 academic departments, research centres and institutes. The university has 30,608 full-time students and 1,006 academic and research staff.
Punjab University was ranked 1st amongst large-sized multi-faculty universities by the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan in 2012. There are also two Nobel Laureates amongst the university's alumni and former staff.
The University of the Punjab came into existence as a result of a long drawn struggle of the people of Punjab after the Indian Mutiny in 1857. Prof Dr GW 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 teaching as well as examining body right from beginning.
From its formation in 1882 until 1947, the University of the Punjab served the educational needs of the entire region of pre-partition 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 partition of India in 1947 reduced the geographical jurisdiction of the university. 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.