Within the umbrella of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), the South Asian University (SAU) will begin its first academic session from August 2010 with 50 students. Though the university has been allotted land in Delhi for its campus, classes for the first year will be held in the School of Physical Sciences building at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi.
The university is to offer a two-year programme of Masters in Development Economics and a three-year course of Masters in Computer Applications, each with 25 seats. Students from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Afghanistan, Maldives and Nepal are eligible to apply for admission. Students from outside the SAARC region will also be considered but for a limited number of seats. The focus of SAU will mainly be on research and postgraduate level programmes, and will ultimately have 12 postgraduate science and non-science faculties, as well as a small faculty of undergraduate studies.