The management education field in our country, over the past couple of years or so, has witnessed unprecedented growth in the number of institutes offering management degrees and diplomas at the postgraduate as well as undergraduate levels.
“At present, there are several business schools in Rawalpindi approved by the Technical Education Board offering postgraduate courses in business management. Moreover, a large number of institutes with university affiliations are offering courses in business administration at the graduate and master’s levels,” says Rahat Kazmi. “Overcrowding of institutes has greatly affected the quality of management education programmes. Most private business school promoters have no prior experience in the field of management. Setting up an institute with requisite approval is not enough. It is just the beginning of the battle, to survive and grow in the wake of intense competition in the education market,” says Fizza Hussain.
“Running a business school requires a thorough business-like approach in order to develop a sustainable competitive advantage in the long term. There is a number of problems in setting up an institute. Among these are costs of land, high lease rentals for buildings, furnishing bank guarantees to approving authorities involving a huge amount of money, and so on.” says Ameer Abbas. “Despite these limitations, there are great opportunities in the field. Public acceptance for higher and specialized education handled by private institutions is increasing. People are willing to invest in quality education programmes and courses,” says Mazhar Ali.
“To provide top quality education, a business school needs to focus on key areas including hiring the right faculty as it is an issue of strategic importance for any business school. Besides searching for bright academicians, management practitioners from industry should be encouraged to switch to the field of education, training, and development,” says Khadim Hussain. “Management education programmes should be as per the requirements of industry and trade, the ultimate customers of the Business-schools. As their requirements change very fast, especially in the wake of global competition, the management schools need to act fast so as to catch up with business realities,” says Ali Akbar. “Use of innovative teaching tools and new generation methods like interactive workshops, business management simulation exercises, case studies drawn from the industrial environment, use of internet and satellite networks and panel discussions are crucial,” adds Ali Akbar.
“To maintain strong links with industry not only for employment but also for a frequent exchange of ideas with industry managers on business issues and performance on key indicators with respect to some of the front-ranking schools is necessary,” says Hamid Hasan. Naseer Zaidi says, “Intense competition and rising public expectations are going to mount immense pressure on Business-school administrators to deliver quality education programmes. Compete or perish, there is no other choice for business schools in the times to come.”