MOTIVATION VITAL FOR QUALITY EDUCATION

INTERVIEW: PROF DR ANWAR ALI SHAH G SYED

AMANULLAH BASHAR
(feedback@pgeconomist.com)

May 17 - 23, 2010

Prof. Dr Anwar Ali Shah G Syed has strong educational background. He did his M.Com and LL.B from Sindh, MBA from Leeds England and Ph.D. in Business Administration from Cardiff Business School, (Wales) United Kingdom. Dr Shah is presently serving as a professor (BPS-22) at Institute of Business Administration, University of Sindh Jamshoro and has been Dean of the Faculty of Commerce & Business Administration, University of Sindh, Jamshoro since July 01, 2003.

Dr Anwar Ali Shah has an extensive exposure to the education for more than 31 years and research experience of 16 years. He has more than 20 publications in the journals of national and international repute and authored a book on banking in the field of Commerce & Business Administration.

Dr. Shah has presented a paper on "Participation of Small-Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Economic and Social Development: A study of Pakistan and Malaysia" at the International Conference on "Management of Resources in Muslim Countries and Communities: Challenges and Prospects" held on August 4-6, 2009 organised by International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Dr. Shah is a member of Pakistan Business Education Accreditation Council, Higher Education Commission, Ministry of Education, Government of Pakistan. He is the founder director of Institute of Business Administration (IBA) Sukkur (Affiliated to IBA, Karachi). Dr. Shah has also remained a member of Academic Board, Affiliation Committee and Doctorate Committee of IBA, Karachi.

Dr. Shah as an expert is evaluating MS, MPhil and PhD theses of the national and international Universities in the field of Commerce & Business Administration.

Dr. Shah has recently been awarded Syed Muzaffar Hussain Shah Trophy Award 2009 in recognition of his meritorious services in the field of education by the Sindh Graduates Association Karachi on October 10, 2009.

In an interview with Page, Dr Anwar Ali Shah gave his expert opinion about the state of education in Pakistan besides highlighting the performance of IBA & commerce department and the role of the future leaders in developing the national economy on sound footings. Following are the excerpts from the interview.

PAGE: WOULD YOU LIKE TO SHARE THE PERFORMANCE OF THE IBA & COMMERCE DEPARTMENT OF UNIVERSITY OF SINDH IN TERMS OF PRODUCING QUALITY GRADUATES AND BUSINESS LEADERS?

DR. ANWAR: I would like to highlight the historical background of both the institutes which constitute my faculty: these institutes are IBA and Institute of Commerce (IoC).

IBA, University of Sindh, formerly known as Institute of Business Studies (IBS) was established in 1979 under the dynamic leadership of Late Professor Nabi Bakhsh Daudpota, initially housed in the Allama I.I Kazi Library Building of the University. It was later shifted to its present premises in 1984. Dr R.A. Shah the then Vice-Chancellor, University of Sindh redesigned IBS to Institute of Business Administration in 1999 after approving my proposal.

However, Department of Commerce, University of Sindh was established in 1963 at Old Campus, Hyderabad, nowadays called Elsa Kazi Campus, University of Sindh, Hyderabad. Thereafter, it was shifted to the new campus namely Allama I. I. Kazi Campus, University of Sindh, Jamshoro in 1970 and was upgraded from Department of Commerce to the Institute of Commerce in July 2004 during my tenure as a Dean of the Faculty.

I would also like to mention that 4 year BBA (Hons) and B.Com (Hons) programs in both the institutes have been introduced from the Academic Year 2007.

Our faculty is producing MBAs and M.Coms who are working at national and international level. They have been playing key role in the development of the national economy of Pakistan.

PAGE: PLEASE HIGHLIGHT THE STRENGTH OF STUDENTS AND FACULTY CURRENTLY ASSOCIATED WITH YOUR DEPARTMENT.

DR. ANWAR: Our faculty is well equipped with the highly qualified faculty members having PhD in Commerce & Business Administration both from the national and foreign Universities. The students of my faculty are talented. They have proved their mettles in practical fields and are working across the world.

The strength of students in BBA and MBA at IBA is more than 1800 both in the morning and in the Evening Programs. Similarly, students in B.Com and M.Com at Institute of Commerce are around 800 both in morning and evening programs.

PAGE: WOULD YOU LIKE TO SHARE WHAT IS THE UTILISATION OF THE RESEARCH REPORTS AND THESIS SUBMITTED BY THE STUDENTS? HOW THESE RESEARCH REPORTS CAN BE UTILISED FOR THE MAXIMUM BENEFITS OF THE ECONOMY?

DR. ANWAR: Our students have produced good pieces of research reports as a part of their MBA/M.Com degree programs. The conclusions and recommendations by the talented students are made on the basis of analysis. These recommendations can be useful both for the economy and the country.

PAGE: WHAT STEPS WOULD YOU ADVISE TO IMPROVE THE QUALITY OF STUDENTS AND FACULTY ASSOCIATED WITH THE HIGHER EDUCATION SECTOR?

DR. ANWAR: In order to improve the quality of students we need to improve the quality of education. The students need to be motivated to work hard and seek knowledge as the knowledge is power in the modern knowledge-based society. In my faculty of Commerce & Business Administration, we have faculty development programs through which 7-8 faculty members get PhD degrees and Masters from national and International Universities in UK, USA, China and Japan, etc. I am also delighted to inform you that presently three faculty members are pursuing their PhD degrees in United Kingdom and six faculty members are registered with M.Phil/PhD programmes in different local universities. In addition, some faculty members both from IBA and Institute of Commerce who have been awarded HEC scholarship are expected to leave for pursuing their PhD abroad.

PAGE: DO YOU AGREE THAT THE PRICE OF EDUCATION HAS GONE UP BEYOND THE REACH OF AVERAGE INCOME GROUP ESPECIALLY THE PEOPLE FROM RURAL AREAS? WHAT STEPS YOUR UNIVERSITY HAS TAKEN TO ACCOMMODATE DESERVING FINANCIALLY BATTERED STUDENTS?

DR. ANWAR: Yes, I do agree that the price of education has gone up beyond the reach of common man in Pakistan. In this regard, I am glad to inform you that my University which is a public sector University has one of affordable fee structures in Pakistan. We also provide financial assistance to poor and needy students in the form of bursaries, freeships etc. This is for both the middle and lower middle classes from urban and rural areas.

PAGE: DO YOU THINK THAT CURRICULA FOR BUSINESS AND COMMERCE GRADUATES AND MASTERS ARE RESPONDING TO THE MARKET NEEDS OR YOU FEEL SOME RESTRUCTURING IN THE SAME FOR PRODUCING QUALITY GRADUATES TO MEET THE MARKET REQUIREMENTS?

DR. ANWAR: The curriculum of any degree program plays key role in producing quality graduates. In order to update the curriculum to meet the market requirements, we have National Curriculum Review Committee (NCRC) in Commerce & Business Administration under the umbrella of HEC which revises the scheme of courses regularly every two to three years. I have a privilege to be associated as a Chairman and Member of these Committees since last more than 20 years.