Brings a wave of Change in Mohammad Ali Jinnah University

Sep 25 - Oct 01, 2006

Mohammad Ali Jinnah University (MAJU) was established in 1998. Today the numbers of students studying in it has reached to 2500. The person currently heading the institution needs no introduction; in fact he is known as a wind of change for whichever educational institution he supervised with his resolve, intelligence and conviction. Dr. Abdul Wahab has a long history in education and serving the country. There is a lot to share through his perception and deeds.

PAGE: Tell us that how long have you been associated with the teaching profession and what milestones have you achieved in that journey?

AW: I have been associated with the teaching profession for the last forty three years. Soon after my completion of MBA, I was offered a job in IBA, at that time most of the teachers were American because IBA was established by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). After teaching there for a year, I was sent to do another MBA, as there was a gap of two years between our system and the US system. They considered our master's degree equivalent to their bachelor's degree so I had to do my MBA again. I was offered a research position in Indiana University from where I did my MBA but I didn't accept that offer on the moral ground as I had a contract to return to the homeland after completion of my MBA. I got the scholarship from USAID for two years however I completed my MBA in one and a half year so I decided to take up more courses in psychology department about psychology of motivation and social psychology. For marketing specialization, understanding of human nature is very useful. Also during summer I was sent to Harvard school of business to take up courses so I took up courses in International marketing. The program also included a tour of the multinational corporations in the United States so I visited the head offices of multinational corporations through out United States with a group for one and a half month.

At the Harvard University I met some professors and they were very much impressed with my performance. Some how one of them was appointed as advisor to the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) so soon after coming here, he contacted me and asked me to start a training program for the EPB so I conducted an intensive program for the officers of EPB. The program was very successful therefore the Director General of EPB asked me to become a consultant to the EPB for training and research hence from 1967 till 1971, I organized all the training programs of EPB through out Pakistan and those programs were very popular and successful. I was also assigned to a number of commodity services which was very much appreciated by the EPB. At that time I realized that I should not remain in teaching profession without a doctorate degree as I was also told by the Chairman of marketing department at Indiana University that PhD is a union ticket. The problem at that time was that the scholarship program of USAID for Pakistan had stopped so I started applying for different universities but I preferred Canada because of the financial reason. I was accepted at the University of British Columbia which was considered as the second best in Canada. In order to finance my studies I thought of announcing my own programs rather than relying in the programs for EPB. I prepared two programs and the response was beyond my expectation, the gross revenue was 50,000 rupees, the net amount was 25,000 rupees which was enough for one year in Canada so I went to Canada and in three and a half year I completed my doctorate. At that time I had many offers because it was a period when there was an acute shortage of PhD's so there were offers from Canada, USA and Saudi Arabia but again I thought that I had a bond to serve IBA for four years so I returned to Pakistan. IBA at that time was in a very bad shape. The Americans had left and IBA was financially almost bankrupt, not even had enough to pay salaries to its staff. The grant from government remained at two lac fifty thousand for about ten years with no increase hence IBA was borrowing money from University of Karachi for the payment of salaries.

PAGE: Were you appointed as a Director of IBA?

AW: No, I was a lecturer then Assistant Professor, then Associate Professor thus I followed the natural process. I think that everyone in teaching profession should follow this natural progression as this brings stability in you. Afterward I was appointed as Assistant Director of IBA Evening Programs; evening programs were also in bad shape at city campus. I made few improvements that were very much appreciated and after a year I was appointed as Director of IBA. At that time IBA was not very well known, I introduced a much larger number of programs; most of these programs were on business administration which was very popular. At that time the only choices at inter level were of either medicine or engineering so keeping in mind I introduced the BBA program so to compete and give another option to the students. That came out very successful, that program I prepared on the pattern of the American education which is broad based so I identified the three issues that an executive deals with i.e. man, money and machine so there were courses on psychology, sociology, logic, engineering and finance etc which were not introduced before in any program.

PAGE: How long is your association with IBA?

AW: Through out my life. BBA program was introduced by me likewise MBA Banking, MBA MIS, MBA International Marketing etc. These are my brain child; all these are my own effort, thinking and contribution. Another contribution that I made was the introduction of the marketing aspect in the advertisement of the education institution. Before 1979, most of the advertisements were in the form of tender notice but now everyone is introducing the marketing element in their ads. The advertisement which I prepared for IBA highlighted all the good aspects of it, that pattern is now very popular. I also got the chance to popularize the pre-entry test. The problem was that if the same institution conducted the test they didn't have the reliability so all the tests even for medical admissions were assigned to me. I used to conduct the pre-entry test for medical colleges throughout Sindh. Later the government of Punjab also contacted me to conduct the pre-entry test of medicine and engineering. The reason of popularity was that the credibility which was at its highest. Nobody could claim that at any stage the papers were leaked out or there were any undue favors etc. After sometime the government of Balochistan also asked me to do the same, the only exception was Frontier as they had their own authority. I was also conducting for almost three to four years the admission test for Aga Khan Medical University and I was conducting the selection tests of about 20 large corporations like PIA, State Bank, Sui Southern Gas, NDFC etc.

PAGE: Having such a vast experience in various dimensions of teaching profession, what difference do you feel in education with respect to time?

AW: Unfortunately there is a national trend which is also affecting our education system and that is the search of short cuts for success. In the education system shortcuts means that the students do not want to work and teachers don't want to teach, and the administrators who are responsible for managing public funds don't have the courage to face the teachers and teacher's association. Cheating in examinations is also an example of short cut like wise coaching centers, leakage of papers, recommendations and pressures. All these are examples of one trend that is causing various shortcuts practices. I am an optimist, I always try to inspire others to standup even in the hostile environment and despite lack of resources however if one sees reality it appears that there is no hope. In education system, all that has been done could not bring about any real change. At the university level the students hardly read books, they are in the practice of learning through notes that have been provided to them by their teachers, In the old days, there were complains that the text books were not available, today you don't hear any such complains because now passing on of notes has made it very easier so these students don't go into the depth of the subject. Today's education is just based on superficial knowledge, definition, memorization, cheating, favoritism, and politics. Nobody has courage to stand up against this. Whatever have been done like the Higher Education Commission, I think they don't know what the real problems are. They have given more importance to the physical aspect of education like land and money as if you want to establish a university you should have seven acres of land and twenty crore rupees and things like that but they should know that physical thing is only one aspect. Education is something different. It is to bring an inner change in the minds of those who undergo and pass through the system. Hence change should be initiated from somewhere. Instead of education institutions reflecting the evils of the society, they should become agents of change. In terms of time, we are going from bad to worse. I don't see any serious effort being made through.

PAGE: This is a bleak situation when one who is associated with the education profession for four decades saying that our education system is going from bad to worse.

AW: I must say that educational institutions which I headed like IBA for example, there was an improvement in it at every point in time. Excellent manpower and human resource have been produced. As a Vice Chancellor of Karachi University, I took a large number of measures like elimination of cheating in the degree examinations and ending the influence of the political parties through the student's wing so I re-establish the authority of the Vice Chancellor because my conviction was that there should be only one authority and that was whatever the law prescribed and not the 28 student's groups.

PAGE: University of Karachi was a public university, MAJU is a private one, and IBA was also a public entity, what difference you feel running three different institutes. Is it students, faculty or curriculum?

AW: My perception is that it is leadership. No doubt that there are negative trends in the society but it is the responsibility of the head, of the leader of the institution to bring a change, to enforce the rules and regulations without any discrimination. This is what I did in IBA, in the University of Karachi and here also at Mohammad Ali Jinnah University. You create an environment, motivate them, and tell them about present. In MAJU I have established a center by the name of "Centre of Hope and Courage". I established it because whatever is happening in Pakistan, the unfair practices etc have made people lost their confidence and faith in the country, its institutions and its leadership. Everybody suspects the other person of his intentions. People don't see their future. Most of the young men see their future in Dubai, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia so whosoever finds it possible leaves the country so the purpose of this center is to tell the youth that other countries which are now most advanced have also passed through the worse conditions. We have collected a large number of books on the history of those countries like Japan, USA, Germany, and Britain etc. We have the largest collection of the biographies and auto biographies of those who brought a change in their countries. What we want to tell our students that look whatever condition you see in Pakistan should not discourage you, should not make you leave the country because sixteen crore Pakistanis can't leave. They have to stay here, they should think it as their homeland and try to bring a change and seek inspiration. I myself prepared a course on leadership not on traditional terms but in that we told them how to bring change in the mindset, what is mindset, what is Pakistani mindset, what are the attitudes of Pakistan and how to bring the change in those attitudes.

PAGE: Now tell me, if I ask you about business education. How do you see the role of business education in country's prosperity?

AW: Business education in Pakistan also needs a lot of changes. First of all, what we are teaching is not business administration but is business administration in the United States of America. This has not been realized. When we say Principles of Marketing or Principles of Management or Finance they are all related to American environment. In most of the cases the student's knowledge remains on superficial terms like management in general is very much connected to the culture of the country, the American culture and American philosophy is totally different from the philosophy and culture of Pakistan so when the students try to apply those things here, they don't work so we must not only benefit from the American thought in management in general but also try to know other models. Realizing this, I introduced six models of management in IBA i.e. American, European, Socialist, Japanese, third world model and Islamic model of management so that the students have options. I don't think that business education has any impact on business in Pakistan. Most of the graduates wanted to go to the multinationals and become a part of it. The multinational corporations have their own philosophy, there own way of doing things, which was determine in their head offices. Pakistanis who become a part of those organizations have a very little room for bringing change to the new products introduction and new methods.

PAGE: Talking of MAJU, where do you think it is standing in comparison with IBA or LUMS etc?

AW: Here at MAJU, we are doing experiments in education. We must be innovative; we must offer education according to the requirement of our society and our economy. Also we should try to make improvement in the education so we have introduced a large number of measures here for example the class room teaching. We provide training to our teachers in teaching methods, there are demonstration lectures attended by all the faculty members. MAJU is the only university even if compare to general university where we have introduced a system of class room monitoring. Teachers must be trusted but must not be given a full hand freedom because the result could be that knowing the Pakistani culture, the teachers particularly in semester system, they may not teach much and set exams from three or four chapters which they taught hence to curb this practice we have prepared a date wise course outline and the President and Chairman assess the performance of the teachers on its behalf. In that way not only the monitoring of the teaching course but also the class, student's interest and participation could give an idea about the teacher's performance. Another thing is the moderation of papers, for that purpose we also give training as to how to set up the examination papers etc. Another very interesting method which we are using here and I use it in IBA also is that whenever we prepare the syllabus of the program like BBA, MBA, MIS, BS etc we present that first to the employers who give suggestions which we later incorporate in the syllabus. This is the new method of involving business community and establishing linkages with the industry.

PAGE: What are the possible working areas for today's business graduates?

AW: Let me quote Oliver Cromwell "Exploit opportunity and create opportunity", it means you should be a keen observer of what opportunity exists and take advantage of it but you should not wait for the opportunities, you should create your own opportunities. First let me tell you the job opportunities in general, the position is like this from the top schools the graduates go to top professional organizations or multinationals, from the medium organizations the graduates go to similar corporations which are not much big or professional and the third type or category goes to smaller organizations so we badly need human resource for these three categories of organizations. The salaries are different but job opportunities do exist. It can't be said that the level of saturation has come. Also the environment of Pakistan is becoming very competitive both nationally and internationally. We have scope and opportunity in every discipline. These days let me tell you what is becoming more popular, from computer science we are coming back to business administration and telecommunication has become the most popular discipline. What I think is that there is a plenty of scope in every discipline provided the educational institutions teach them two things i.e. depth of knowledge and variety of knowledge like we can teach our students the socialist economy, the philosophy of it is that how the ownership of productive resources influence other systems. It is very useful to teach as it tells us about the feudal system that is prevailing in our country. With this knowledge one can easily trace the areas where feudal are manipulating other systems of legislation, administration or social set up. We should pick things from different systems and try to fix it in our system; this is more necessary rather than transplanting a system.

PAGE: Lastly, your message to youth.

AW: The message to youth is that Pakistan is a developing country, it is a land of opportunities, and you must open your mind, your eyes to the opportunities. When you go and seek opportunities in foreign countries you are rated as third rate citizens. In Dubai, in Kuwait, in Saudi Arabia you are insulted and humiliated even in USA so think of Pakistan, identify opportunity, exploit them, go to the depth of knowledge and variety of knowledge. Try to know other view points and perceptions so there is a plenty of scope for everyone in Pakistan.


Total Budget, Expenditure on Research and Library from Recurring Budget, Recurring & Non-Recurring Expenditure and Income Generated through Own Sources by Public and Private Sector during 2003-04 (Million Rs.).


Total Budget

Research Expenditure*

Library Expenditure*

Non-Development Expenditure *

Development Expenditure *

Income From Own  Sources *






















* = Excluding the amount of projects.


Funds Provided by the Higher Education Commission to the Public Sector Universities for Non-Development and Development  Expenditure for the period  2001-05.






Non Development