World Class Education at Karachi Business School
Karachi Education Initiative, which is providing the initial core funding for KSBL, is a non-profit group of leading industrialists and businessmen of Karachi. The group has committed to raising a permanent endowment fund to support the education of deserving students at KSBL, as well as for the provision of resources, facilities and buildings required to create a world-class institution.
The school is headed by Dean Robert Wheeler III who has served at the Pennsylvania State University, University of Texas at Austin and Georgetown University in key positions like assistant dean and director of MBA program. Spread over three acres, the main campus of KSBL is now under construction on Stadium Road in Karachi. The construction phase will be over in July 2012 and the first group of students will be admitted in September. Initially, KSBL will offer a full-time, 21-month MBA program in general management only.
KSBL's MBA curriculum has been designed in collaboration with Judge Business School of Cambridge University in England. In addition to conventional teaching methods involving lectures and case studies, KSBL will use videoconferencing to let its students attend live lectures from American and British universities.
Wheeler told Express Tribune that the core faculty of KSBL would be of Pakistani origin with PhD degrees from foreign universities. “We’ll cut back on the administrative work that faculty is often required to do in Pakistan and encourage them to do applied research that could be used in the industry, government and business.” In many classes, especially those on entrepreneurship, Wheeler said more than one person would co-teach students via videoconferencing to provide them with a combination of academic and professional perspectives.
KSBL will join the ranks of other major business schools such as Karachi's Institute of Business Administration (IBA) and Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) to deliver world class business education for meeting the growing demand for professional management in the industrial and service sectors of Pakistan's economy.
The history of advanced business management education began with the founding of the Institute of Business Administration (IBA) in 1955 in Karachi, Pakistan, in collaboration with the top-ranked Wharton School of Finance & Commerce at University of Pennsylvania. Additional help and support came from University of Southern California and USAID to set up facilities and train faculty.
As the contribution of agriculture dropped from 50% of GDP in 1950s to about 20% of Pakistan's economy in 2000s and Pakistan began to urbanize and industrialize, the demand for business professionals grew significantly, as did the number of schools offering business education. As of 2004, there were 87 business schools recognized by the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan, according to stats compiled by Dr. Jamshed Hasan Khan of LUMS. Of these, 28 were in the public sector and the rest in private sector.
The rapid expansion of business education has raised concerns about the quality of such education. The HEC is responding to such concerns by standardization of business curricula and accreditation requirements. A number of programs have been initiated by the HEC to improve business faculty, including scholarships for advanced training and education in Pakistan and universities in the West.
Business schools in Pakistan have produced highly competent men and women executives who have proved themselves by managing significant topline growth and increasing profitability in banking, telecom, FMCG, automobiles and other sectors in very difficult circumstances. I am optimistic that the addition of business schools like the KSBL will further enhance the capacity of future managers to deal with such challenges.
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