The 6th Deans and Directors conference organized by the National Business Education Accreditation Council (NBEAC) of Higher Education Commission (HEC) concluded after two days of event held in Lahore on Tuesday.The conference titled “The Evolving Landscape of Business Education across the Globe” was inaugurated on Monday by Dr Ishrat Husain, Advisor to the Prime Minister for Institutional Reforms and Austerity. The event was attended by a large number of heads of business schools, vice-chancellors and rectors from both public and private sector universities.
Speakers of the second day included NBEAC Chairman Dr Farrukh Iqbal, Dr Dan LeClair, Dr Farrah Arif, Dr Naveed Malik and Dr Christophe Terasse. The conference hosted two plenary sessions, workshops and the 21st council meeting of the NBEAC on the last day.
In another session, jointly organized by Punjab University and NBEAC at the varsity’s campus, PU Vice Chancellor Prof Niaz Ahmad Akhtar called upon academicians and regulatory institutions not to compromise over quality of education, as there was no other option to progress.
NBEAC Chairman Dr Farrukh Iqbal, PU Faculty of Economics and Management Sciences Dean Prof Dr Nasira Jabeen, Dean Faculty of Commerce Prof Dr Mubbsher Munwar Khan, PU Alumni Association Director Dr Fauzia Hadi Ali, deans and directors of business schools of various institutions of higher learning attended the session.
Addressing the ceremony, Prof Niaz Ahmad said it was necessary for all the disciplines to get themselves accredited from relevant accreditation councils. He said world was turning into a global village and hence it was vital to produce students of international standards. Ahmed said there was a dire need to provide regular training opportunities to the evaluators and applauded the accreditation efforts, as they helped in improving the standard of education.
Dr Farrukh Iqbal said every challenge was an opportunity and NBAEC was working to ensure high standards in business education in Pakistan. “All stakeholders must extend cooperation in this regard,” he added. He paid rich tribute to Former Rector/Chairman University of Management and Technology Dr Hasan Sohaib Murad (Late) for his outstanding contributions in the field of education.
On the first day of the conference, Dr Ishrat Husain called all business schools in Pakistan to take a central role in public policy formulation, especially policies related to the economy. He said, “Business Schools must take a leading role in finding solutions to the economic problems of this country. Faculty members should be the ones hosting television and radio talk shows to highlight pertinent issues of the economy.”
Dr Husain also advised business schools to emphasise on experiential learning, as it will help exposing students to the real world issues instead of confining them to lecture theatres. He added schools should embrace a multidisciplinary approach, as economics alone will not help in resolving societal problems. He also paid tribute to the late Dr. Hasan Murad, the founder of NBEAC and the Deans and Directors conference, for being an exemplary leader and practical person.
In his welcome remarks on Monday, Dr Farrukh Iqbal appreciated the contribution of late Dr Murad and featured a short video footage of his contribution. He observed that with the rising number of business schools and programmes to 142 nationwide, deans and directors must be concerned about the quality of teaching and other statutory standards. He revealed that out of 142 business schools, only 21 schools were accredited by NBEAC.
Dean FAST-NU Dr Sadia Nadeem discussed the impact and influence of NBEAC on business education during the first ten years of its launching and said: “the vision of the body is to improve the quality of business education in Pakistan.”CEO Global
Business School Network Dr Daniel R LeClair said management was pervasive in nature and very hard, but held pertinence for both individuals and the organisation. He said management was turning to now more experiential.
The inaugural session was followed by plenary sessions including “Advancing Regional Collaborations” and “CPEC since the 5th DDC.” Different workshops were also held on the first day of the Deans and Director conference 2019.