Supply-demand factor

Oct 26 - Nov 01, 1998

In a recent interview, Javed A. Ansari, Dean College of Business Management shades light on various teaching methods of education in Pakistan, and its merits and demerits on supply-demand factor. The excerpts are presented below in the shape of questions and answers.

Question. Overview of the present business education system.

Answers. There is at present no system in business education field. Different institutions are operating significantly different regimes.

Q. With the constant increase in the number of these institutes, how do we justify the supply-demand factor?

Ans. Both supply and demand need to be managed to ensure that business education is not over priced, product quality is maintained and national priorities are taken account of in the education and training provided by business schools.

Q. What is the Government's policy on business education?

Ans. The national education policy for 1998-2010 does not have a separate section on business education. The chapter on technical and vocational education has no specific recommendation about the development of business education in the country.

Q. Problems facing the institutions as a result of Government's policy.

Ans. Government policy does not hamper the development of business education in Pakistan.

Q. Recognition/registration of the private institutes by the government, what difference does it make?

Q. What is supposed to be UGC's role and what is its present role in business education?

Ans. Without UGC accreditation there can be no guarantee that roughly equivalent professional standards are being maintained and students are getting value for money. UGC should play a strong co-ordination norm setting and monitoring role to ensure that quality education is being provided.

At the 34th meeting of the vice chancellors committee organized by the UGC in October, 1998 the CBM representative made the following recommendations to the Business Universities sub-committee.

(a) There should be a distinction between teaching and affiliating universities. All the universities, which conduct teaching and research, should withdraw from affiliation. New affiliating universities should be set up.

(b) Procedures should be set up to standardize curricula and provide for a system of external examinees to ensure product quality.

(c) Business and the defence sector should be involved in the organization and management of business universities.

(d) Business universities should support programs, which provide managerial and financial training to self employed people within the unorganized sector.

(e) Business universities should develop research programs to serve the needs of finance, industry and defence sectors.

Q. There have been no common platforms for the private institutions? Pls. Comment.

Ans. No such platform is needed. The public private divide is essentially artificial as for as education is concerned. Government must support private business schools, which must serve as non-profit organizations.

Q. Campus of foreign universities in Pakistan, are their standards upto that of their principals?

Ans. No comments.

Q. How to differentiate the genuine institutions from money making ones?

Ans. Three important criteria. (a) Does the business school undertake research to serve the need of the finance industry and defence sectors? (b) How are its authoritative bodies constituted, what steps are taken to ensure regular upgrading of curricula. (c) Who employs its graduates, who provides internships and the opinion of employers.

Q. How close are the curriculum of these institutes to our national needs?

Ans. Existing curricula cannot adequately fulfill national needs for two reasons.

(a) Textbooks reflecting the Pakistani business environment have not been written. There is a strong need for good Pakistani texts especially in the area of finance, marketing and human resource development.

(b) Business schools seek to serve only the top of the market programs are not developed to serve the needs of the small-scale sector. They are also not designed to encourage self-employment and the development of entrepreneurial talent.

Q . Outlook for business education in the country.

Outlook is bright for business schools which:-

Ans. (a) undertake research to serve the needs of finance, industry and defence.

(b) establish systems for ensuring constant upgrading of the quality of education and training they provide

(c) widen the scope of management education.

(d) provide courses geared to the need of small enterprise and the promotion of self-employment .