IBA Karachi hosts USAID’s student services trainings

Karachi (Muhammad Yasir)

As a partner university of USAID’s Higher Education System Strengthening Activity (HESSA), Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Karachi hosted a four-day training concentrated on two areas crucial to the advancement of student support services at Pakistani higher education institutions including Mental Health and Microenterprise Development (MED). 

Dr. Kari Trexler Ellingson, Associate Vice President for Student Development at the University of Utah, led the Mental Health segment, focusing on strategies for fostering micro-counseling skills. Subsequently, Islam M. Orban, Chief Investment Officer, Arweqah, KSA, served as the lead trainer for Microenterprise Development.

Participants from diverse departments representing 16 public sector universities across Pakistan actively engaged in the training sessions, fostering a rich exchange of ideas. In the mental health segment, they focused on learning about micro-counseling skills, career counseling and student mental health, and understanding and working with trauma. Those in the MED stream delved into identifying best practices in university-based incubator design, crafting a winning incubator roadmap, and developing ecosystem support interventions that enhance incubation centers at higher education institutions.

In his closing remarks, Chief of Party USAID-HESSA, Dr. Kenneth Holland said that after interacting with the IBA students and faculty, he found them to be impressive as the students are very ambitious and aspiring to give back to their country by excelling in their prospective careers and contributing on different fronts. He also stated that the HESSA will contribute to the fruition of the students’ aspirations of becoming successful professionals and emerging entrepreneurs by equipping them with valuable skills. 

Dr. Holland and Ms. Gwendolyn Schaefer, Assistant Director, Institute of International Education, U.S. distributed certificates to all the participants.

The objective of this training program was to empower participating universities to enhance existing student services and introduce innovative programs. By focusing on mental health and MED, the training sessions aimed to equip university representatives with the necessary skills and knowledge to facilitate students and make higher education more accessible. The USAID’s HESSA training hosted by IBA, Karachi stands as a testament to collaborative efforts in advancing the quality and effectiveness of higher education services across diverse institutions.

The training concluded with a formal closing ceremony and a thank you note to IBA, Karachi for hosting the training sessions.