Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology (SZABIST) ranked in ‘W’ category by HEC: Dr Saqib Rizavi
Islamabad: Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology (SZABIST) President Dr. Saqib Rizavi said that SZABIST is ranked in ‘W’ category, which is the highest category, by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan, and is recognised by the HEC as a degree-awarding institution.
He said this while replying to a question related to SZABIST during an interview.To another question, he said, SZABIST was established in 1995 through a legislative act of the Sindh Assembly. At present, it has five campuses, Karachi, Islamabad, Larkana, Hyderabad and one in Dubai.
Currently, there are more than 6,000 students enrolled in SZABIST. The student intake is based purely on merit. Hence, our students are highly motivated and intellectually curious.He said some of their recent remarkable achievements include: a group of students won the Best Business Idea Competition award in LUMS Business Initiative (LBI) 2013; Mina Kidwai, Media Sciences student won the best delegate award of Emirates Model United Nations in Dubai; Soarath Neel, a student of BBA, was selected to represent SZABIST at the National University of Singapore Summer Programme 2012; SZABIST Law School team, Saad Jumani, Hassaan bin Shaheen, and Sehrish Anees secured first runners-up trophy in the Third National Moot Court Competition organised by the LUMS; and Students of Computer Science Department, Muhammad Ahmed Khan and Arsalan Ali Najwani won FOLIO3 Developer Day 10 Minutes of Tech competition. We are very proud of our students, he said.
The SZABIST president said that its faculty members are highly qualified, competent and erudite, who have extensive experience of Education, Research and the Corporate World. Ms. Sharmeen Chinoy, who teaches in SZABIST, is an Oscar winner. In addition, SZABIST has 34 faculty members with PhD degrees in their respective fields.
He said, currently, SZABIST offers twenty-eight programmes in the disciplines of Computer Science, Management Sciences, Media Sciences, Communication Studies, Social Sciences, Biosciences, Law, and Mechatronics Engineering. Its International Programmes include ‘LLB’ with University of London, UK and ‘BA (Hons) in Business Studies – BABS’ in collaboration with University of Wales, Newport, UK.
Regarding the uplift of education in Pakistan, he said education is directly linked with the socio-economic development of any country, and the research-based education helps develop technically trained human resources required to face the challenges of the 21st century. Hence, students’ should be given the opportunities to equip themselves with modern knowledge and technology in the leading universities of Pakistan. This is being done in SZABIST. The government should increase the funding of the education sector, ensure proper utilisation of the funds, and guarantee the maintenance of high standard of education, he said.
The SZABIST president said the issue of lack of funds mainly affects the public sector universities which are dependent on the government and HEC for their financial resources. In case of SZABIST, finances are monitored very closely and every effort is made to ensure their proper utilisation. All campuses of SZABIST have to provide regular financial reports to the Board of Trustees.
To a question he said last year, Rs108 million of financial assistance was provided benefitting 80 per cent of the students. SZABIST has a wide range of scholarships for students, which include, SZABIST Need-Based, SZABIST Merit-Based, Sindh Endowment Fund, Balochistan Endowment Fund, HEC-USAID Need and Merit-Based, National Information and Communication Technology, Ihsan Trust Qarz-e-Hasna Facility and Various Community/Sponsored Scholarships. Recently, SZABIST signed an MoU with Ihsan Trust (IT), so that our needy students can avail Qarz-e-Hasna (loan) facility from IT in order to complete their education at 0% interest rate.
He said as an employer, SZABIST provides its employees the benefit of free education by waiving the tuition fee. In addition, two children of SZABIST employees are eligible for a 50% tuition fee concession.
He said SZABIST faculty contributes their research papers in national and international journals with high impact factor and they also organise and participate in national and international conferences, seminars and forums on regular basis.
About international collaboration and linkages he said SZABIST is a member of many prestigious organisations and associations which include the International Association of Universities (IAU), Paris, Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU), London, The Association to Advance Collegiate School of Business (AACSB), Singapore, Federation of the Universities of Islamic World (FUIW), Rabat, Asia Universities Federation (AUF), Seoul, Asia-Pacific Quality Network (APQN), People’s Republic of China, Management Association of Pakistan (MAP), Karachi and Marketing Association of Pakistan, Karachi.
Elaborating industrial or corporate linkages, he said SZABIST has good rapport with leading multinational, national and local organisations of Pakistan. Our Executive Development Centre (EDC) facilitates students in internships and job placements. In collaboration with the industry, EDC arranges on-campus recruitment drives and management trainee programmes at reputable local and multinational companies. A large number of SZABIST visiting faculty is from the corporate sector which provides our students exposure to the practical aspects of the industry and the corporate sector. SZABIST also includes industry and corporate sector experts in the formulation of its curricula.
About attraction for students, who want to apply in SZABIST, he said one of the biggest attractions to apply to SZABIST is that it provides market-relevant and skills based, high-quality education at very affordable cost. In addition, SZABIST graduates are highly sought-after by the corporate sector at very good salaries. Hence, education from SZABIST is one of the best investments that someone can make in a successful professional career. We encourage our students to join, participate, and assume leadership roles in various student societies to hone their leadership skills to prepare them for leadership positions in the corporate sector, he said.
Replying to a question related to Education Expo, he said participation in Education Expo is one of the ways we project our brand, interact with potential students, and showcase the many strengths of SZABIST. Our expectation is that the Education Expo will be well publicised so all the institutions participating in it can achieve the intended benefits.