IBA Convocation 2016: Empowering Future Leaders
December 3, 2016: IBA Karachi commemorated its annual convocation on the vast grounds of IBA-UBL Sports Complex at IBA, Main Campus. A total of 695 students (the largest cohort of graduates in IBA's history) were conferred degrees for the completion of their undergraduate and post-graduate programs. The audience consisted of proud parents, students, faculty members and distinguished personalities from the corporate, academic and public sectors; Dean and Director IBA Karachi, Dr. Farrukh Iqbal, Honourable Chief Guest – Chief Minister Sindh, Syed Murad Ali Shah and Minister Education and Literacy, Jam Mehtab Hussain Dahar.
The event commenced with recitation from the Holy Quran, followed by an address by Dr. Farrukh Iqbal, Dean and Director IBA. Welcoming the esteemed guests, Dr. Farrukh profusely expressed his gratitude to the Chief Guest, the Honorable Chief Minister of Sindh, Syed Murad Ali Shah. He then addressed the graduating batch and praised their efforts and hard work, during their time at IBA.
'To the Class of 2016: That you are assembled here as "soon-to-be graduates" is a testament to the hard work you have put in over the past few years. You have crossed big and small obstacles, to arrive here. Most departments at IBA require students to pass at least 46 courses in four years of study. And the typical course involves two mid-terms and a final examination, or three examinations per course. This means that the average graduate has taken 138 examinations in his or her passage through IBA. That is hard work indeed! So you have every right to wear your regalia with a sense of pride today and to stand a little taller today. Ladies and gentlemen in the audience, I ask you to join me in a huge round of applause for the Graduating Class of 2016!'Said Dr. Farrukh.
The Dean then elaborated about the physical, intellectual and social transformation at IBA. He said that, IBA is currently on the path of an important journey, with a significant goal. The physical transformation is before our eyes. The IBA now has buildings and technology that did not exist a few years ago. Dr. Farrukh stated, 'Our facilities are now at par with the best endowed universities in the country! And they are kept in this fine state by a dedicated group of support staff.'
The intellectual transformation is just as prevalent. It is reflected in a surge in faculty hiring and the initiation of new courses. It is also reflected in the new departments that IBA has added in the last few years and in the research culture that is growing in every department. He said, 'We now deliver more than 500 courses each semester and this is done through the hard work and effort of approximately 100 full time faculty and 120 visiting faculty.' Drawing a comparison to the year 2009, when the IBA had 20 Ph.D. holding faculty members, Dr. Farrukh said that today there are 63 faculty with Ph.Ds and currently more than 24 faculty members are pursuing their doctoral studies, mostly from foreign universities. Moreover, a good faculty adds value to IBA students. This year again, IBA Graduates have performed well in the job market. A large proportion, 80%, have already found jobs, some 15% are at advanced stages of negotiating job offers and some 5% have decided to pursue higher education. The average starting salary for MBAs this year was Rs. 85,000, almost 10% higher than for the class of 2015; that of BBA graduates is Rs. 57,000. Computer Sciences graduates gained 10% as well to reach an average starting salary of Rs. 54,000. This year, our first batch of BS-Economics & Mathematics and BS-Accounting & Finance programs are entering the market. We hope they will also find a good reception.
Furthermore, Dr. Farrukh discussed the various programs being offered at IBA. He said that the intellectual transformation of IBA in recent years is reflected not just in the quality of the faculty but also in the program offerings. IBA is much more than a good business school now. Alongside Business Administration, IBA also offers programs in Computer Science, Accounting and Finance, Economics and Mathematics, and Social Sciences & Liberal Arts. Commencing next spring, a Master's degree program in Islamic Finance, by the Centre for Excellence in Islamic Finance, will also be introduced.
Discussing the social transformation in IBA's student body, he said, 'Diversity enhances knowledge and promotes tolerance. The experience of diversity makes for better students, citizens and persons.' IBA has made this possible by providing financial aid to students from different socio-economic backgrounds. 'The number of students receiving financial aid has jumped from 277 to 766 in the last few years. The amount allocated for for financial aid now stands at Rs. 167 million compared to Rs. 28 million in 2008/09. In addition, we have actively sought to diversify recruitment across Pakistan's different regions through a range of outreach programs called the Talent Hunt Programs. We have such programs for Sindh, KPK and Baluchistan and one for the entire country. In 2016, we enrolled 66 students from such programs, as compared to 23 students in 2009', said Dr. Farrukh.
Furthermore, talking about how Pakistan needs capable managers and responsible citizens, Dr. Iqbal stated, 'We have shared our knowledge and experience with you so that you might pass this along and help bring about positive changes in the country. Pakistan is in dire need of capable managers, responsible citizens and ethical leaders, we hope that one day you will be one of these.' He then addressed the proud parents whose immense hard work had finally paid off. He also thanked the parents for entrusting IBA with the future of their offspring. Concluding his speech, Dr. Iqbal wished the class of 2016 success and happiness, with the hope that they will be the 'leaders of tomorrow'.
Following this, degrees were conferred to students by the Dean and Director, Dr. Farrukh Iqbal and the Chief Guest Syed Murad Ali Shah, together they presented Medals, Shields and Certificates to the high achievers to celebrate outstanding excellence in their respective disciplines. The Institute also gave prizes to twenty best performers amongst its dedicated staff that are the part and parcel of IBA.
The honorable Chief Minister of Sindh, Syed Murad Ali Shah, then addressed the audience. Being a graduate of Stanford University, he has considerable experience in the fields of Economics and Civil Engineering. Addressing the audience, he stated that it was a great pleasure for him to attend the Convocation Ceremony of one of the best business schools in Pakistan. Praising IBA's unprecedented growth, he said, 'IBA is a seat of learning parallel to none in Pakistan, with all the reasons to be proud of its glorious sixty years. It has gradually matured from an institute for quality education in business to a seat of learning in many other disciplines. I am glad to learn that IBA has been true to its vision of contributing towards future leadership in its growing array of fields of studies; from Business Administration to Computer Science, Mathematical Sciences and more recently in Accounting & Finance and Social Sciences & Liberal Arts.'
He also placed emphasis on practicality and following the core values of integrity, diligence and humility. By getting a degree from IBA, students are custodians of these values and representatives of their alma mater. Regarding this, he spoke about how the top institutes of the country are indebted to IBA for producing such outstanding leaders.
Furthermore, he said that Dr. Farrukh Iqbal will take the institute to new heights, by guiding his colleagues and students to achieve their individual goals. He stated, 'I am pleased to learn that in recent past, IBA has focused on consolidating its intellectual capital and has been working towards the target of having PhD faculty ratio that can be paralleled by no other university in the country. I am certain that the professors of the institute would benefit the institute and their respective fields with significant academic contribution.'
He also praised the commendable work done by the IBA Alumni, who have not only proved themselves in their professional endeavors but have also been sensitive to their bond with their alma mater. Their contribution in overall infrastructure development of IBA has been an example worth following. Discussing diversity, the Chief Minister said that programs such as the NTHP are 'remarkable measures not only for the promotion of education but also for the improving social and economic indicators in years to come.' He concluded his speech by praying for the future and betterment of our country. After this, Dr. Farrukh presented a Souvenir to the Chief Guest, Murad Ali Shah.
This year, the award of Best Student Society of the Year was given to the Marketing Club. Recipients of Performance Awards for Best Teacher was given to Ms. Morial Shah and Best Researcher to Dr. Nausheen H. Anwar. Staff Performance Awards were also given to employees from various departments such as ICT, HR, Finance and Administration.