IBA Karachi commemorated its Annual Convocation at IBA, Main Campus

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Karachi, 6 December, 2015: In the midst of a revamped campus, in the backdrop of the state of the art IBA Alumni Students Centre and on the vast grounds of IBA-UBL Sports Complex, IBA Karachi commemorated its annual convocation at IBA, Main Campus. A total of 591 students were conferred degrees for the successful completion of various undergraduate and postgraduate degree programs. An audience of approximately 1000 included proud parents, members of faculty, eminent personalities from academia, corporate and public sectors; Dean and Director IBA Karachi, Dr. Ishrat Husain, honorable Chief Guest – Federal Minister of Planning & Development, Mr. Ahsan Iqbal.

Addressing the jubilant audience on this auspicious occasion, Dr. Ishrat welcomed the guests and profusely thanked Mr. Ahsan Iqbal, respected parents, donors and stakeholders for gracing the auspicious event with their presence.

Welcoming the esteemed guests, Dr. Ishrat said, 'Let me begin by extending my heartfelt congratulations to the graduating students and their parents on their successful achievement. I hope they have found their journey in IBA fruitful in preparing them for their future careers. Furthermore, it has been heartening to witness IBA's transformation during the past six years. The idea was not to catapult IBA to the heights of glory, but to equip it with the expertise that an institution needs to constantly reinvent itself for countering the competitive academic world. The ground-work is set; now, the onus is on the future leaders to take IBA forward. The institution, still, has a long way to go.'

Shedding light on the ever-increasing student body at IBA, Dr. Ishrat stated, 'I am extremely proud of my student body – a reservoir of talent any world class Institution can feel proud of. In the academic year 2014 / 15 the total student strength rose by 15 percent to 3429 – up from 2978 a year ago. After fall 2015 we have already crossed 3600 mark doubling of the student strength in six years' time. A further break up shows that the proportion of full time students has gone up from 78 to 83 percent – a source of stability. With the expansion of three new programs i.e. Economics and Mathematics, Accounting and Finance and Social Sciences and Liberal Arts the undergraduate students now account for almost three fourth of the student body and Graduate students one fourth. We are no longer a Business school but a high quality comprehensive institution of higher education. Although we are proud of our legacy and the brand name of IBA, we would follow the footsteps of institutions such as MIT, which started out narrowly confined to Engineering and Technology but subsequently diversified to all disciplines.'

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Praising the female student body, Dr. Ishrat elaborated, 'The gender composition of IBA students is almost 60:40 males to females and the majority of top positions are captured by the female students. The Dean's list consisting of top 5% of students of BBA graduating class has 14 females out of 16.'

Furthermore, talking about how IBA stands out of all other institutions, Dr. Ishrat stated, 'An institution of higher learning is not known by bricks and mortars but by the intellectual power of its faculty. Our efforts to attract high quality faculty were intensified in this academic year, fourteen new members were added as our full time faculty. Of these, seven were PhD degree holders from universities such as University of California, University of Virginia, Northwestern University, Massey University, and IAE Paris. Furthermore, I am happy to inform you that of the fulltime faculty of 105, we have 60 PhDs and 20 are doing their PhDs abroad and a few locally. In a few years the ratio of PhD faculty would rise to 80% taking us close to our target of 90%. I don't know of any other university in Pakistan that has such a high proportion of PhDs on their full time faculty. This, in my humble view, is an unparalleled feat. What was until a few years ago a purely teaching Business School with only a handful PhD degree holders has taken the course of becoming a teaching cum research institution. Education is not just about limiting oneself to books, teachers and notes; it is a holistic pursuit, which involves being out there and practically experiencing the highs and lows of real life. IBA's essence lies in its ability to provide hands on experience to its students. The correct blend of students, faculty, infrastructure and technology has enabled IBA to even further expand its outreach and enhance the overall process of delivering quality education.'

Dr. Ishrat proudly said that the ultimate test of any institution lies in successfully achieving job placements for its graduating students. 'By the grace of Allah SWT we have maintained our consistently impressive record this year also, as 217 graduates or 85% of our BBAs, 94% of BS Computer Science class i.e. 48 of them and 76% of MBA graduating class i.e. 60 students have accepted job offers by November 2015. These placement ratios are much higher than last year and so are the starting salaries. The average starting salary for MBA is Rs. 78200, almost 13% higher than the 2014 class and that of BBA is Rs. 59,200, 12% higher than the previous year. Computer Sciences graduates gained 10% and their average starting salary was Rs. 49,700', said Dr. Ishrat.

Shedding light on the increase in financial assistance to students, Dr. Ishrat said that the number of students receiving financial aid has increased dramatically from 270 to 627. The amount allocated for scholarships and financial aid now amounts to Rs. 154 million as compared to Rs. 30 million in 2008 / 09.

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Praising all the stakeholders involved in making IBA a success story, Dr. Ishrat Husain thanked IBA Registrar Capt. (retd.) Ahmed Zaheer for his diligence and utmost support in IBA's turnaround. He also thanked his Associate Deans for their support; the faculty, directors of various departments, all the corporations, donors and alumni were thanked for their tremendous support. He also thanked his staff for enabling him to transform IBA and he thanked them for their commitment towards IBA.

Concluding his speech, Dr. Ishrat said that the message to the graduates is clear; they should not be afraid of challenges and be prepared to take the good with the bad. IBA prepares its students well for the vicissitudes of practical life. The students, too, must continue to work consistently hard and prove their mettle to justify the pains taken and efforts made by their institute. Hopefully, these young and bright minds will take not only the institution but also the country towards the path of acceptance, tolerance and, civility.

Mr. Ahsan Iqbal, along with Dr. Ishrat distributed medals, awards and shields to the high achievers to celebrate dedication in their respective disciplines. The Institute also gave prizes to nineteen best performers amongst its dedicated staff that are the part and parcel of IBA.

Addressing the audience, Mr. Ahsan Iqbal said, 'I feel privileged to be here today, at this memorable convocation, which coincides with the 60 year celebrations of this prestigious institution. It gives me immense pleasure to congratulate the faculty of IBA for enabling these students to be who they are today, the proud parents of the graduating students for all the sacrifices they've made during the journey that culminates today.' He also praised the state of the art IBA campus and stated that the milestones that this great university has achieved are far and many. Mr. Ahsan said that it is good fortune to have a man like Dr. Ishrat Husain leading the institute, who with his tireless efforts and remarkable experience has transformed IBA! Addressing the students he said, 'Dear graduating students, you will now be entering a very complex world and remember that there is no shortcut in life, hard work is what makes life successful and meaningful. I urge you all to remain committed to the values instilled in you by your institution. It is an institution conceived with the highest principles of excellence in modern education. Whatever walk of life you may pursue, you will find that a commitment to excellence, to justice and fair play, to hard work and team spirit will stand you in good stead. Let your conduct and your words be worthy of the great traditions of your Institute to further strengthen its name and its image and bring honor to our country, Pakistan.'

This year the Best Teacher Award was awarded to Dr. Sajjad Haider, Associate Professor, Faculty of Computer Science. The Best Researcher Award was presented to Dr. Wali Ullah, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Economics & Finance. While the title of the Best Student Society of the Year went to 'Dramatics Society - Patron: Dr. Framji Minwalla'.

Valedictory Speech

Outstanding Achievers were as Follows:

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