Founded in 1864 as an affiliate of the University of Calcutta, Government College University is a public university located in central Lahore.
Its gothic central building, built in 1877, still testifies to those Raj-era origins. In 1882 affiliation was transferred to the University of the Punjab. Independent degree-awarding powers were attained in 1997 and full separate university status in 2002.
Known until 2002 simply as Government College, it remains "GC" in local vernacular. Alumni, known as Ravians, permeate Pakistan’s elite. Among them are four former Prime Ministers of Pakistan including the longest-serving, Nawaz Sharif, two test cricketers including the leg-spinner Abdul Qadir and two Nobel Prize winners. Hassan Amir Shah, the 30th vice-chancellor, has called it the ‘leading educational institution in the Indo-Pak sub-continent’.
GC offers degree courses, which last four years, in 26 disciplines and advanced qualifications in 24. It has 29 academic departments, divided into faculties of Science and Technology, Engineering, Arts and Social sciences and Languages, Islamic and Oriental Learning. There are five research centres for Chinese Studies, Industrial Biotechnology, Sustainable Development, Advanced Physics and Mathematical Sciences.
The School of Mathematical Studies (ASSMS) is named for Abdus Salam, one of GC’s two Nobel laureates. Salam graduated in Maths in 1946 then returned from 1951 to 1954 as Professor of Maths. His award of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1979 made him the first Pakistani, and the first Moslem, to win a science prize. The other GC laureate was Har Gobind Khorana, winner of the 1968 prize for chemistry.