Shaheed Zulifkar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology (SZABIST) had the honor to sponsor 9th Deans and Directors’ Conference at Marriott Hotel Islamabad from 14 to 15 March 2022. The conference was held by the National Business Education Accreditation Council (NBEAC) with focus on following five panel discussions:
Panel A: ‘Impact and Relevance of Business School: Empirical Perspective’ – the focus in this panel has been what is known empirically about the impact and relevance of business in Pakistan. Speakers reported on pertinent studies. Discussion included the skills for which there is the most demand and the extent to which typical business education provides those skills.
Panel B: ‘Experiential Learning as a way of promoting relevance’ – the focus in this panel has been on experiential learning to provide market-relevant skills. Speakers reported on the experiences of selected business schools in integrating experiential learning into their programs.
Panel C: ‘Collaboration across business schools to promote impact’ – it is often pointed out that schools can have greater impact if they work together than working alone. Speakers discussed the role of a cooperative approach to teaching and research with examples from Pakistan schools. Special emphasis was placed on the role of collaboration on helping schools in remote areas where the potential for impact is often very high.
Panel D: ‘Enhancing impact via social responsibility programs’ – in addition to economic impact, social impact is an important objective of higher education. Accordingly, social responsibility is included as an NBEAC standard. The session considered examples of good practices in this area giving examples how various schools promote social responsibility through courses, internships and projects.
Panel E: ‘Emerging topics for business school curricula’ – in this session, focus has been on emerging topics for business school curricula that should make them more relevant for future work and service careers. Conference provided a platform of useful discussion of academic experts. Feedback provided in the conference will be used by the HEC and NBEAC in deciding future curricula and policies related to business education in Pakistan.