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