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Cover Story

"To remain at the top is not easy" Fazle Hassan

  1. The leading business schools of Pakistan
  2. Punjab Group of Colleges
  3. "Efforts to establish our own identity" Dr. Qadeer Ahmed
  4. "Supplementing textbooks with local research vital " Dr. Javed A. Ansari
  5. "Trying to achieve new heights in excellence" Wali Durrani
  6. "To remain at the top is not easy" Fazle Hassan
  7. "Need to control mushroom growth of business schools" Luhrani
  8. "Always room for improvement" Dr Anwar Ali Shah
  9. "Aiming to be the best in Pakistan" Dr. Javaid Leghari
  10. "Need for an atmosphere based on mutual collaboration" Adnan-ul-Arabi
  11. "The oldest and the largest private university" Dr. Abdul Basit

There is a need to introduce new courses to meet the challenges of next millennium

By SHABBIR H. KAZMI
Oct 25 - 31, 1999

"Institute of Business Administration (IBA) is the oldest centre for business education in the country. It has a history of over 45 years. It was established with the help of US-AID and the syllabi was prepared by University of Southern California. All the good local, multinational and transnational companies operating in Pakistan looks towards IBA for their need for professional managers. Therefore, IBA has to constantly review its curricula and introduce new disciplines to meet the increasing demand. However, IBA has never compromised on quality. With the emergence of more and more business education centres, it has become increasingly difficult to maintain our top position." These were the expressions of Professor Fazle Hassan, Dean and Director of IBA in an exclusive interview with PAGE.

A glorious past may be a selling point but the real strength is our faculty, specialized programmes, stringent admission procedure and efforts to groom students while they are in the process of learning. Fazle Hassan realizes that IBA faculty, at present, is not all that strong as it should have been. However, efforts are being made to compensate for that through induction of adjunct faculty and visiting professors. But that cannot be a substitute for permanent and full time faculty. Since he has resumed the charge of Dean and Director, he has been making efforts to increase the number of permanent faculty members.

IBA has been a pioneer in introducing new and specialized courses. These include specialization in finance, banking and management information systems (MIS). Many institutions like Citibank and ANZ Grindlays Bank etc. not only provide financial support but help in the development of course outline and arrangements for teachers. Most of the graduates are also employed by the sponsoring institutions even before they graduate and are also offered relatively higher remuneration as compared to graduates from other business schools.

Explaining the objective behind introducing these specialized programmes, Fazle Hassan said, "We never wished to produce graduates in isolation. The aim has always been to impart that education which can enable the future managers to be a source of positive contribution from the day they join a corporation. Therefore, the each course outline is prepared in such a way that it provides the basic knowledge and students are also exposed to real life situation. They are required to submit research based term papers also before they get the degree."

Talking about the recently organized National Conference on Restructuring IBA Curriculum, Fazle Hassan said, "The success was much beyond our expectations. Approximately 300 people spent the whole day (nearly 9 hours) in evaluating the outlines of courses currently being offered. They also suggested a large number of new courses, short courses and topics. All these people enjoy top positions in corporations and/or run their own business houses. A large number of these participants were IBA graduates and their presence showed the love for the alma mater."

Though, IBA has been making concerted efforts to keep its curriculum most updated, this time an effort is being made to interact with the trade and industry to find out their real need. Since the graduates ultimately work for the trade and industry it is also required that they meet their expectations through learning those courses which broaden their knowledge about existing practices and also to meet the future demand.

Dilating this point Fazle Hassan said, "Our programme on Entreprenureship Development is based on a theme that professional managers should consider the corporations, where they work, as their own enterprises and should realize that if the business incurs loss it is their personal loss. Unless this attitude is inculcated it will be difficult to develop a sense of belonging in the corporate culture. At the same time, this programme encourages use of modern business tools at micro-enterprise level. Micro-enterprise is the foundation of corporations. As the business grows more and more people are inducted and management hierarchy develops. But the spirit remains the same — to be a responsible corporate citizen.