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IQRA UNIVERSITY: COMMITMENT TO QUALITY

Excerpts from an exclusive interview with Dr. Akif Hasan, Head, Department of Business Administration

By SHABBIR H. KAZMI
Aug 25 - 31, 2003

In 1998, Shemen Education society laid the foundation of Iqra University to offer academic programmes that are comparable in context and quality to those being offered by leading universities in America and Europe. This has enabled our students to obtain quality education in Pakistan at one-tenth the cost. The university aims to foster the creation of a multi-cultural, co-educational international academic community.

Iqra University has qualified and dedicated faculty that uses modern teaching methodologies. The faculty is a blend of both permanent and visiting faculty. Permanent faculty comprises of 20 PhDs and foreign and local qualified people. Iqra takes pride in their continuous training and development through acquiring higher education and regular interaction with the business community. The visiting faculty is elected according to the specific requirements of the courses. They represent the CEOs, Directors, and Heads of different national and multinational organizations.

Iqra has a number of campuses in Karachi as well as in other cities. The main campus is located in Defence View spread over an area of five acres. Other campuses in Karachi are located in Clifton and Gulshen-e-Iqbal. Outside Karachi campuses are in Quetta, Peshawar, Islamabad and Lahore. All the campuses are custom-built to address the needs of a modern and diverse students. Campuses consist of well furnished classrooms, fully equipped computer labs, computerized libraries with the latest and relevant reading materials. Iqra has a spacious sports complex and recreational facilities.

Two initiatives of Iqra needs specific mention. These are Institute of Fashion Designing and Institute of Advertising. The Institute of Fashion Designing offers courses in Fashion Design and Textile Design. The Institute of Advertising has been established to bridge the gap between academic theory and the practitioners in the field. The Institute offers Bachelor as well as Master programme.

The curriculum being followed at Iqra is in complete alignment with the curriculum followed at top American and British universities. By virtue of this similarity our students are receiving up to 100% credit transfers to foreign universities. The curriculum has been designed in such a manner that it focuses on developing students not only in core areas of their programmes of studies but harnessing their overall personality. Our teaching methodologies utilize latest videos, audios, software, field projects, case studies, simulated workshops and presentations.

The Information Resource Centre (Library) of the university offers a lot more than a traditional library. Information resources accessible through the Centre include books, journals, magazines, newspapers, audio and video titles, and software digital libraries on local CD severs. The Centre has more than 10,000 books covering a wide variety of subjects. Other features of the Centre include article indexing, newspaper clippings, text database for selected newspaper articles and latest retrieval techniques to search for a particular book/subject or article from the database. Internet and web facilities to search for any required material from other national and international data warehouses are also available. The university also publishes a quarterly scholarly journal, Pakistan Journal of Economics and Management.

Admission to Iqra is purely merit based. The university selects without regard to financial need. Applicants should apply for financial assistance at the same time as they apply for admission. While paying for a graduate programme is always a challenge, students at Iqra find creative solutions through a variety of sources. Iqra also offers freeship to all position holders of national boards and universities in the programmes of their choice in the first term. Merit scholarships are awarded each term to position holders on the basis of GPA earned with full term load.

Iqra encourages students to participate in organizing and managing co-curricular activities. A Students Council has been established. Apart from studies, members of the Council organize seminars with the sponsorship of local business community. This provides the students to have interaction with the future employers.

In keeping with our commitment to quality, Iqra has arranged collaborations with several American and European universities. These include University of Incarmate World, Texas; Glasgow College; American International University; Richmond College, etc. These collaborations make provision for student and faculty exchange programmes, as well as exchange of research materials.