COMSATS Institute of Information Technology (CIIT) started its journey in 1998, and established its first campus at Islamabad in April 1998. In August 2000, in recognition of CIIT's achievements, the Federal Government granted it the status of a Degree Awarding Institute (DAI) through promulgation of its charter. The CIIT, besides its principal campus at Islamabad, has six other fully functional campuses at Lahore, Abbottabad, Wah, Attock, Sahiwal and Vehari, while few more campuses are in different planning stages. On the advice of the Federal Government, efforts are also under way for opening an overseas campus in the Gulf region.
The CIIT is now slated for up gradation as a university by the name of ‘COMSATS University’ through an Act of the Parliament.
The CIIT is dedicated to the search for truth through advancement of learning and extending the frontiers of knowledge; to the sharing of this knowledge through education in academically diverse disciplines; and to the application of this knowledge to benefit the people of Pakistan, in particular, and the Muslim Ummah and the world, in general.
The Institute’s mission is threefold, i.e. Research and Discovery, Teaching and Learning, and Outreach and Public Service.
The CIIT at present comprises of five Faculties and 16 Departments. Presently, 23 under graduate degree programs and 32 graduate programs are on offer in which more than 18,000 students are enrolled. There are more than 1,745 faculty members working in CIIT. More than320 faculty members and academic managers holding PhD qualification are currently serving the CIIT. The remaining have MS / MPhil in relevant fields. CIIT has proudly produced more than 12,000 graduates since its inception in 2000. So far, 33 convocations have been organized in its campuses. More than 420 faculty members are under going advanced education leading to MS and PhD degrees and post doctoral research in USA, UK, China, France, etc. The funding for advanced education has come from CIIT Scholarships, HEC Scholarships and Ministry of Science and Technology Scholarships.
During the Ten years since its inception, independent entities have evaluated CIIT and the quality of programs it offers, such as the Higher Education Commission (HEC), Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC) and the Institute of Scientific Information (ISI) Web of Knowledge. Undergraduate engineering degree programs of the CIIT have been accredited by the Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC), the accrediting body for engineering education in the country. The Higher Education Commission (HEC) in an exercise for the ranking of institutions of higher education in Pakistan has ranked CIIT at number 8 among the engineering institutions of higher education during 2006. In terms of research citations, the research produced at CIIT has been ranked at number two as notified by HEC in 2008.
In terms of research output, CIIT has been consistently ranked at number seven among all the institutions of higher education numbering more than 134 in the country since 2006 until 2009, as notified by HEC, based on Research output in peer-reviewed journals indexed by Thomson-Reuters, the Institute of Scientific Information (ISI), Web of Knowledge, USA CIIT. It further improved its position and rose to number six during 2010.
To reward the most productive faculty members, the CIIT management has instituted ‘Cash Awards’ in 2005 for publication of research Articles by CIIT employees, in national & international journals, while COMSATS Institute Medals for Innovation (CIMI) medals were instituted in 2006. These awards include cash plus appreciation of their work. Under Cash Awards series, the total number of research articles published by faculty members in international and local journals is close to 1000.
Since its inception, the CIIT has been focusing its efforts in establishing professional linkages with prestigious international universities and research & development institutions. Pursuant to such efforts, CIIT has already signed almost four dozen Memoranda of Understandings (MoUs) with reputed institutions throughout the globe. The hallmark of these linkages has been the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), USA & with Lancaster University, UK to launch a Dual Degree program for its students.