Building a nation

Weekender

By PHOEBE GWANGILO
AS YOU enter the Institute of Business Studies University (IBSU) campus just outside Port Moresby, your gaze is automatically drawn to eight Greek columns that stand at the entrance. They reflect the eight values of the university and state where ‘knowledge’ came from.
The 33-hectare campus at Mt Eriama at 11-Mile is now graced with poplar trees and royal palms, although there wasn’t much there many years ago when a younger Nick Nades put the young stem of one of those trees into the soil and vowed to build a university there if it grew.
That young sapling now stands proud against the harsh Moresby weather, and Nades’ promise has been fulfilled.  Twenty years on, the infrastructure has grown to include sporting facilities and state-of-the-art buildings, with four computer labs. Oil paintings from around the world add colour to the halls.
This private university is not only focused on student-centred learning but also builds character and helps students understand their purpose in life and be good citizens.
The university promotes a user-friendly environment where students can sit under a tree with their laptops connected to free Wi-Fi.
The campus first began as an institute. On January 25 this year, it became a university and is an entity of the IBS group of companies. Nades, the founder, is also chairman and chancellor.
IBS was established in 1989 to provide revision classes for professional examinations conducted by the Papua New Guinea Institute of Accountants, now Certified Practising Accountants (or CPA PNG).
IBS soon found itself extending its purpose to helping school leavers who had been rejected by the formal education system.
“We take pride in providing a conducive and supporting learning environment and making learning accessible to many fellow Papua New Guineans who want to pursue and achieve their dreams by obtaining an international degree in the fields of accounting, marketing, human resources and information technology,” Nades said.
The university is funded mostly through tuition fees and has produuced  hundreds of successful men and women.  Two such women were Mabel Gavera and Janet Sios, who did the revision classes and became Papua New Guinea’s  first women accountants.
Two men who came through IBS and became accountants were Johnson Kalo, who became group deputy chief executive and chief financial officer of Bank South Pacific, and Vere Arava, the chief financial officer of Nambawan Superannuation Fund.
Others include Ivan Pomaleu, the former managing director for IPA and now ambassador and the senior official to Apec. He obtained his MBA from Deakin University through IBS.
IBS University has a good mix of national and expatriate staff who teachdegree programmes in accounting and finance, business and management, economics and development studies and information technology.
It has a partnership programme with Australia’s Southern Cross University and Deakin University.  The lecture theatres and classrooms are named after philosphers, scientists and management gurus and when entering lecture rooms you are greeted at the door by  busts of philosophers like Aristotle, Plato and Socrates.
“Statistics have shown that more students are interested in our degree programmes, including the Australian degree programmes, because of the international level at which the programme is delivered to students and the accreditation students receive from CPA Australia and CPA PNG when they graduate,” vice-chancellor Edward Silva said.
In the university’s first year it had  308 students for its degree programmes and  another 425 students under the   Southern Cross University degree programme.
“We place our students’ interests in the centre of all we do and ensure that they have the best learning experience here at IBSUniversity where they are empowered and molded into responsible citizens of this nation”, Silva said.
“The buildings, learning facilities, beautiful gardens and activities organised are designed entirely for students so they are comfortable and that learning can take place anywhere around the campus and not just in the classrooms.
“Students have a balance of study and fun here at IBSUniversity and are encouraged to lead healthy and happy lives.”

What it stands for
THE students and employees of IBS University are guided by values of integrity, innovative, excellence, accountability, responsive, collaboration, respect and service.
The university’s vision is to “enrich lives through world-class education, training and research”.
Some of its short-term goals are:

  • To enhance ‘student centred learning’ methodologies;
  • To provide hands-on training through the IBS career development centre;
  • To enable the faculty and students to develop their research skills;
  • To help students develop their natural talent; and
  • To provide leadership and management programmes through IBS Centre of Excellence using outbound training (experiential learning) concept.

It’s long-term goals are:

  • To produce high-calibre graduates who can help build our society and the nation; and
  • To be an innovative international university in the South Pacific

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