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Hamdard was established on 9 October 1991 by a provisional act of the Sindh Assembly. The founding chancellor, Hakim Said, had been long advocating for the establishment of private-sector higher education learning institutions. He received the university's charter from President Ghulam Ishaq Khan in a solemn ceremony. The university is named after Said's philanthropy and education lobby organisation, the Hamdard Foundation.
Stretching over an area of 350 acres, Madinat al-Hikmah includes, in addition to the establishments of the university, Hamdard Garden, sports stadium, Hamdard Public School and college, operating as its earliest institutions, imparting education from primary to higher secondary level and Bait al-Hikmah library. Institute of Education & Social Sciences (H.I.E.S.S.) and College of Eastern Medicine (H.A.C.E.M.) were among the earliest institutions, established after its inception. The other institutions that appeared in the later stages of its development include Hamdard College of Medicine & Dentistry (H.C.M. & D.), Hamdard Institute of Management Sciences (H.I.M.S.), Hamdard Institute of Information Technology (H.I.I.T.), Faclty of Engineering Sciences and Technology (F.E.S.T.), Usman Institute of Technology (U.I.T.), Hafiz Mohammad Ilyas Institute of Pharmacology & Herbal Sciences, Hamdard School of Law (H.S.L.), Hamdard Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (H.I.P.S.), Bait al-Hikmah Institute of Research and Regional CISCO Networking Academy.
In addition to this process of institutional multiplication, the growth of the university, in terms of the extension of its services to an increased public, has been regular. In 1996 the first city campus of the university was established at Adamjee Nagar. Later on, another city campus operating both weekend and evening programs was started in P.E.C.H.S., Karachi. The number of campuses increased with the establishment of Islamabad and Faisalabad campuses in 1998 and 2000 respectively. During the period, five Lahore-, Islamabad- and Karachi-based organisations, imparting professional education in different disciplines, also became affiliated with the university.
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