Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan (BZU) is among the largest universities in Punjab, Pakistan. It began operating in 1975, with eight departments based in rented buildings. The university now has more than 50 departments, institutes and colleges and a large student population.
Originally called the University of Multan, its name was changed in 1979 in order to honour the thirteenth century Islamic saint, Hazrat Bahauddin Zakariya, who established a centre of theological scholarship in the city of Multan. Multan has retained a strong culture of scholarship ever since.
BZU awards degrees in more than 60 subjects, offers short courses, and has introduced four-year undergraduate programmes in a number of subjects. Based in a region which depends largely on farming, the university has a strong agricultural tradition, and it has a well-reputed Faculty of Agricultural Science and Technology, which has eight research laboratories.
The University has established three sub-campuses at Sahiwal, Layyah and D.G. Khan. Its researchers work closely with the community and with businesses, for instance, establishing the University College of Textile Engineering in 2004 to support the local industry. Recent expansions to the university include the Faculty of Veterinary Sciences, the Saraiki Area Study Centre, and the Institute of Biotechnology. BZU is Pakistan’s fastest growing public university.
BZU describes itself as "A Progressive University of Pakistan", and has achieved gender parity among students. Student societies include a Ladies Club, Cultural and Dramatic Society and Environmental Protection Club, which campaigns to raise awareness of local environmental issues.