Interview with Dr. Izhar Hussain, Director for IBA-CEE
Following are excerpts from an exclusive interview with Dr. Izhar Hussain.
PAGE: Institute of Business Administration (IBA) is one of the oldest business schools, why the need was felt for establishing Centre of Executive Education (CEE)?
Izhar Hussain: Interesting question! Almost all the leading business schools have very vibrant and reputable integrated executive education centers. An Executive Education Center of any business school provides excellent opportunities for academic-business partnership, which is very important for making research and teaching relevant, applicable, and employable. Not only employees of the businesses learn soft and hard skills but also academicians find options to share their research and collect examples of applications of theories. This relationship helps in improving quality of education and facilitates the commercialization of research. All these points would also assist in synchronization of national education standards with globally accepted guidelines such as accreditation AACSB International – the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Moreover, for the institutional image, it produces the strongest and most impactful touch point for the key stakeholders in the society that creates better employment and entrepreneurial opportunities for their students. In short, close liaison with academia and industry provides win-win situations to both.
PAGE: Do attending different certificate/post graduate diploma courses help in attaining MBA degree?
Izhar Hussain: Typical degree-oriented question! Before answering your questions, I would like to draw your attention to the degree of readiness for self-enrichment in the most individuals through non-degree learning and development programs. Globally, most the professions require a specified number of hours of continuing education annually. The commitment of life-long learning could be realized through the executive education. You may agree with the premise that the culture of lifelong learning has yet to find roots in our society.
Most of the people go after a degree – sometimes multiple degrees – without acquiring requisite depth of knowledge and skills. While sets of skills are changing rapidly due to the swift disruptions through innovative business models and digitalization, the executive education through short courses becomes mandatory. Please note that the courses approved by the IBA’s Academic Board could be taken by the students of MBA and MBA Executive. These courses meet the Quality Assurance Criteria set by the HEC.
PAGE: Are the courses offered by CEE of full semester length or of few days/weeks?
Izhar Hussain: Depending on the learning outcomes the duration of the courses varies. Some courses are offered eight hours per day for two to five days, while others are spread over one or few weeks or months.
PAGE: Does CEE offer courses in hospital and healthcare management?
Izhar Hussain: Yes, we offer a Postgraduate Diploma in Healthcare Management, which is designed to prepare managers to run hospitals and healthcare delivery system efficiently. Most of the students have medical, pharmacy and biological science degrees. The point to note is these students could get direct admission in the MSc programs of the University of Huddersfield in UK with more than 40% fee discount and a conditional opportunity for tuition-free Ph.D. program.
PAGE: Do the Centres like IBA-CEIF, CEJ etc. compete with CEE or complement activities of CEE?
Izhar Hussain: These centers work in harmony and complement each other.
PAGE: Does CEE offer specialized courses about capital market?
Izhar Hussain: A 4-Month Diploma Program in Capital Market is initiated in collaboration with the Institute of Financial Market Pakistan.
PAGE: What has been the response of courses like Family Managed Business?
Izhar Hussain: Most of the businesses in Pakistan are family owned or initiated by a business family. These businesses are formidable pillars of the national economy and major employment providers. Since 2010, a 10-module program has been offered for the decision makers of family businesses. Initially this program was offered in Karachi but later on, it is being offered in Karachi and Lahore. The program runs in collaboration with the S.P. JAIN Institute of Management and Research — an institution working with family businesses for almost half a century. Recently, a 4-month diploma is offered for the youth belongs to family managed businesses. This diploma focuses on their special needs. The Faculty members engaged are not only well qualified but also belong to and engaged in family businesses. Such courses require concept establishment. Response has started coming but at a slower pace.