A business school of choice

SHABBIR H. KAZMI, Special Correspondent
Sep 25 - Oct 01, 2006

Many schools, institutes, colleges, degree-awarding-institutions and universities mushroomed in every nook and corner of the country during the last two decades. Most of which were set up as business ventures by entrepreneurs who jumped into the business of education, which has been booming unchecked. In this backdrop, few purpose-driven educational institutions were also established by the concerned individuals or groups committed to serve society beyond any consideration for material gain.

Pakistan Defence Officers Housing Authority is one such organization that is not only renowned for its unmatched residential facilities but it has also earned reputation for its fine educational institutions. Under a dedicated directorate of education, lead by Brig. (R.) Muzaffar-ul-Hasan SI (M), a network of 20 strong educational institutions, employing about 2,000 faculty and support staff is delivering quality education and related services to more than 17,000 students from pre-school to post-graduate level.

Defence School of Business Education (DSBE) is the youngest member of this family, established only a few years ago to provide market-driven, highly recognized management education to its residents of DHA and citizens of Karachi. DSBE is the first and the largest institution affiliated for management programs with University of Karachi, which is one of the oldest, largest and best public universities with strong national and international recognition.

DSBE currently offers BBA and MBA morning programs. The bright young students admitted to these programs are mostly residents of DHA and adjoining areas. A careful selection process, an average class size of 20, an attractive student-PC ratio of 2:1, a good student-book ratio of 1:18 and an ideal student-faculty ratio of 8:1 not only reflect some of the best practices in management education but more importantly ensure focused development of every student.

Fine quality of education characterized by an effective teaching-learning process, state-of-the-art teaching and learning resources, open yet professional learning environment, security and proximity encourage students and their parents prefer DSBE over other institutions located amid stressful life of the city. Purpose-built campus of DSBE is conveniently located in peaceful, safe, secure and serene environment of DHA, Karachi. DHA has provided excellent resources and facilities to its students, faculty and staff so as to create an enabling environment conducive for management education.

DSBE retains a qualified and experienced full-time faculty. Its visiting faculty includes senior business executives having strong academic background and rich corporate experience. Faculty enjoys self-respect and applies versatile techniques and methods to optimize learning of its students.

The developmental process focuses on holistic development of potential managers, transforming them into effective leaders, thorough professionals and socially responsible members of society. DSBE emphasizes discipline, moral and ethical grooming and development of an effective managerial personality. The learning process, besides conventional lecturing, consists of modern approaches including but not limited to case method, team work, class presentations, interaction with senior business executives, frequent guest-faculty sessions, seminars, field work, study tours, projects, research, active participation in co-curricular activities, community work etc. A qualified psychologist provides counseling and guidance to students on academic, behavior, performance and career related issues, resulting in remarkable gains for them.

In a very short span, DSBE has emerged as a business school of choice for students and their employers' alike. Graduates of DSBE are gaining encouraging recognition in the job market where they favorably compete with graduates of other leading institutions. Employers say they are knowledgeable, skilled, sensitive to Pakistan's business environment, proficient in written and spoken communication, disciplined, loyal and confident, all exhibiting an effective managerial personality. They enjoy full absorption in the job market. They are also well accepted by the leading institutions of higher education in Pakistan and abroad.

Meeting another unfulfilled need of DHA residents, DSBE is starting executive education from January 2007. The first program to be offered under this initiative is MPA (Master in Public Administration) degree program of the University of Karachi. It is a market-driven and pragmatic program of study. A survey of the jobs advertised in print media reveals that many leading employers seek both MPA and MBA candidates for various managerial positions, and holders of MPA degree from University of Karachi are preferred in the job market as the program and courses are consistent with employers' needs. In order to facilitate the working men and women aspiring for a higher and better managerial position or profession, DHA has kept fee of this program lower than other programs.

The Principal, Tariq Kaleem, is associated with this institution since 2004. He envisions DSBE as a leading management institution in making. The upcoming institution he is heading may be small but certainly focused, with needed resources, capabilities and more importantly an urge among students, staff, faculty and DHA to keep on moving forward. It is not just an affiliated institution of the University of Karachi. Its presence is now being felt among other independent institutions of higher education recognized for management education in both academia and industry.

Allocation of funds to Education in Budget

*Budget 2006-2007 education will get 187 billion rupees.
*Allocation to education including HEC has been increased to Rs.22.9 billion up by 52.7 percent.
*Setting-up or up-gradation of projects of educational nature recognized by the HEC.
Allocation to the Science & Technology is up by 95.3 percent (Rs.4.4 billion vs.Rs.2.3 billion).
*Free text book for students upto class VIII from September 1, 2006. Education upto Metric class is already free.
*Promotion education sector through special incentive package for setting-up of Universities and technical training and research institutes on import of machinery,Instruments, equipments, spares and parts and other related items, required for