The UCT Graduate School of Business (GSB) has claimed its place in the 2017 Financial Times rankings of the world’s top customised executive education offerings, beating competitors from as far afield as France, Canada, Italy, Norway and Belgium and signalling that African business schools are serious contenders in the international space.
The UCT GSB has retained its place in the top 100 business schools in the world for the 7th consecutive year and has been rated as the fastest growing business school globally in terms of growth in its revenues from customised programmes over the past three years.
The GSB, which is one of five African universities to make the list, was ranked 70th in the 2017 Financial Times ranking of the world’s top customised programmes, globally recognised as a pre-eminent benchmark for business schools.
“The ranking has important implications for all the school’s customers – students and companies – who want to know that they are selecting a business school that is globally recognised,” said GSB Director of Executive Education, Kumeshnee West.
“We believe we’re growing so fast because we understand that training interventions need to make a significant impact on people’s performance and the organisations bottom line and we know how to achieve this,” she said.
Customised programmes are business courses that are custom-designed to help organisations meet their particular challenges and generate positive business outcomes. They range from short interventions to full academic diplomas and qualifications.
“Our approach is about being a partner to our clients to help them think through the problems and challenges that they face and then design and implement a learning solution to deliver powerful results that permeate throughout the organisation,” said West.
Top of the FT customised programme ranking for 2017 is IESE in Spain, which has held the top spot for several years running. IMD, Duke and INSEAD all retained their position in the top ten, while significantly, Harvard climbed from 14th position to 5th.
Universities are ranked based on a variety of factors including programme preparation, teaching methods, materials, design, new skills and learning, diversity of faculty and “future use”, which indicates strong, long-term relationships with clients.
In addition to being rated number one for growth, the UCT GSB achieved high scores in the quality of programme design, teaching methods and materials, facilities and value for money, as well as the crucial area of future use. Diversity of faculty was also a plus point. The scores are assembled using three years’ worth of data.
“It is significant to see African campuses gaining ground where the business school environment is becoming increasingly competitive,” said GSB Director Mills Soko. “It is indicative of an ongoing commitment to excellence on local territory – but also an increased recognition from the global community that African business schools are serious contenders in the international space.”
“The result represents a continued victory for the UCT GSB in challenging political and economic times. It also underlines the ongoing, if not increased need, for continued top-class business education in an unpredictable environment.”
“The GSB is continuing to expand its footprint both locally, on the African continent, and internationally,” said West. “Providing a high standard of education to executives is a core part of equipping businesses to remain relevant and resilient in challenging times.”
Programmes run at the GSB’s Waterfront campus in Cape Town, or at the school’s new Sandton Campus in Johannesburg but the school can also travel to a site of the client’s choice to deliver on site and in-house.
The GSB is one of only three business schools in Africa to be triple-crowned, meaning it is accredited by the three most influential business school accreditation associations: AACSB – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business; AMBA – The Association of MBAs; and EQUIS – European Quality Improvement System. Of over 13,000 business schools worldwide, less than 80 have achieved triple accreditation.
“We remain focused on the highest standards of business education that gives input from industry leaders and reflects the diversity of our business environment,” said Soko. “The GSB’s ongoing presence in the FT rankings reflects this.”
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