The Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Karachi, and the University of Utah (UU) as a partner of USAID signed an agreement for academic cooperation and to facilitate the implementation of capacity-building activities under the Higher Education System Strengthening Activity (HESSA) project. The signing ceremony was held at the IBA Main Campus.

Dr. S Akbar Zaidi, Executive Director, IBA, and Dr. Aslam Chaudhry, Research Professor, Dept. of Economics and Chief of Party, USAID/Pakistan HESSA Project, University of Utah, signed the agreement on behalf of their respective institutions.

The IBA team included Dr. Saima Husain, Assistant Professor and Director QEC; Dr. Shakeel Khoja, Dean, School of Mathematics and Computer Science; Dr. Asma Hyder, Dean, School of Economics and Social Sciences; Dr. Abdullah Zafar Sheikh, Professor, School of Business Studies; and other faculty members. The UU was represented by Mr. Naveed Ali, Admin and Finance Manager, USAID/HESSA.

Dr. Saima Husain apprised the audience about the HESSA project, explaining that the UU has been awarded a grant by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to implement the HESSA Project in Pakistan. The HESSA Project will provide technical assistance to several Pakistani universities in delivering high-quality, market-driven education and research. Furthermore, IBA, Karachi has been selected as one of the HESSA partner universities in its Tier 1 category. This project will primarily focus on facilitating public-sector universities.

Under this collaboration, HESSA intends to provide capacity-building support to the IBA in areas including, leadership development including women leadership, strategic planning, resource mobilization, institutional governance, faculty development, curriculum reform and modernization, research management, and student support.

Welcoming Dr. Chaudhry, Dr. Zaidi said that out of around 245 public-sector universities in Pakistan, the IBA was one of the five institutions to be selected from the top tier universities. Under the program, around thirty IBA faculty members will be mentored in areas including leadership, academic and research management. Dr. Zaidi further added that as a leading public-sector institution, the IBA can play the role of a mentor and facilitate other universities in terms of pedagogy and academic best practices.

Dr. Chaudhry stated that under this project, five universities had been selected in each of the three tiers, and together these fifteen universities will work with the higher education system and collaborate to develop strengths and overcome challenges. He said that the project will be targeted towards developing leadership, faculty development and student support services.

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Author

Arshad Yousafzai is a Karachi-based journalist covering Education and Human Rights. He can be reached on Twitter @Arshadyousafzay

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