The targets are ambitious and efforts have been recognized
By SHABBIR H. KAZMI
Oct 25 - 31, 1999
"In Pakistan many business schools may very
proudly claim to be among the best institutions, in the absence of any recognized criteria
for independent ranking, one may look towards such systematic ranking done outside
Pakistan. SZABIST has a very brief history of around 4 years and many Pakistanis know
relatively little about it, but the institute has been termed as number two in Pakistan
and number 28 in Asia on the basis of a survey conducted by Asiaweek for the year
1999", these were the jubilant expressions of Dr. Javaid R. Leghari, Project
Director, Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology (SZABIST) while
talking to PAGE.. Dr. Leghari was awarded Tamgha-e-Imitiaz in
1999 for his outstanding performance in the field of education.
There are four basic parameters to evaluate or rank a business school.
These are: Curricula offered, quality of faculty, financial resources and infrastructure
and students selectivity. While giving the details about the credentials of SZABIST Dr.
Leghari said, "Many business schools take pride in claiming that a large number of
students have been enrolled there in a very brief period. But we at SZABIST take pride in
saying that we admit only a small number of students only once a year that too after
strict screening. During last admission test about 700 candidates appeared in the test and
only 60 got the admission. The objective behind an elaborate test procedure is to admit
the best possible students and then produce highest quality graduates we just do
not compromise on quality".
Explaining the futuristic vision of SZABIST he said, "Before we
admitted the first batch, we prepared the detailed course outline after thorough study of
courses offered by leading business schools in Pakistan and foreign universities. I was
fortunate enough to be associated with an American university as Director of Graduate
Studies. The past experience helped me a lot in developing the curricula for SZABIST. We
were able to introduce some of the courses for the first time in Pakistan which included
e-commerce and website development. However, on a regular basis we still review the
courses annually. If one picks up the prospectus issued over the years it is evident that
new courses are added every year."
A point to be noted is that SZABIST is among the first few educational
institutes who developed their website to facilitate the students to know more about the
Institute and the courses offered. The other feature which distinguishes SZABIST from
other institutes is that at present nearly 40 students are busy in preparing their
doctorate theses at the Institute. The first group joined in August 1998 and the second
group joined in August this year. It is worth noting that the first group comprising of 15
research scholars was selected out of 33 people and the second group of 25 was admitted
from a long list of 52 applicants. Most of these researchers are faculty members at
various universities. Some of the applications were not even considered as they were
received after the expiry of deadline for submitting applications.
Another factor which is a source of great satisfaction for Dr. Leghari
is the outstanding performance of SZABIST students in the software competition organized
by Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan Laboratories, Kahuta. In 1998 SZABIST got the first prize and in
1999 it got first as well as the second prize. At an average nearly 100 entries are filed
every year in different categories by the professionals and students. "We encourage
our students to participate in such prestigious and tough competitions to make them face
challenges in the real life", said Dr. Leghari.
"It is too early to say for any institute, which has a very brief
history, that it has outperformed some other institutes with a long history. However, we
wish to make SZABIST a class of its own. The plan for construction of main campus is ready
and another campus will be opened shortly in Islamabad. We have been recognized but we
still set our own ambitious targets. The history tells us that only those people meet
success who set ambitious but realistic and achievable targets and work real hard to
achieve them", were the concluding words of Dr. Leghari.