South Africa: UCT GSB Executive MBA Ranked in Global Top 50

The University of Cape Town (UCT) Graduate School of Business (GSB) has sealed its reputation as one of Africa's top business schools. Its Executive MBA has moved up to 45th place in the world on the prestigious 2020 Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) ranking of Executive MBAs, making it the only African business school to feature in the top 50.

This year's edition of the QS survey is the most extensive overview of Executive MBA education to date, with 141 programmes in 35 countries included in the list of global rankings. QS uses a methodology that combines input from thought leaders in business and management, ranking each programme against five key metrics: how the programme is regarded by employers, how highly regarded it is among the global academic community, the level of professional experience of students, the career outcomes of the course and the level of gender diversity.

The GSB scored highly with regards to the executive profile of its graduates, a significant percentage of whom work in the C-suite. The school is placed in the top 13.5% globally on this metric.

A niche style of teaching and learning

The GSB's Executive MBA programme is one of the fastest-growing postgraduate degrees at UCT and is known for its focus on the practice of management and leadership rather than traditional training in business functions. Programme director, Associate Professor Kosheek Sewchurran, said it is this focus that tends to attract a more senior delegate to the programme, which has been running for 20 years.

"Over the years we have developed a niche style of teaching and learning that draws executives who are serious about character development and who want to shift their intelligence, as well as their orientation, or will, if you like, by stepping into new ways of being," he said.

"Management scholars drawing on philosopher [Ludwig] Wittgenstein highlight that most executive challenges have to do with orientation. In every design consideration of the programme we consider how we are evolving the skill and competence of executives, enabling them to draw on their lived experience to strategise, innovate their business models and inhabit their leadership practice with more skill and wisdom."

"In every design consideration of the programme we consider how we are evolving the skill and competence of executives."

Against a backdrop of rising uncertainty in the jobs market, caused by the economic downturn from the coronavirus pandemic, these attributes will be key requirements of future success.

"For those ambitious business professionals seeking to take their career to new heights, the Executive MBA remains a degree of unparalleled relevance and value to employers," said Nunzio Quacquarelli, CEO and founder of QS.

More accolades

News of the GSB's QS ranking builds on other recent achievements for the school.

In June, it was reaccredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business - the largest and most recognised specialised business school accreditation body worldwide - enabling it to hold onto its status as one of just 1% of global business schools that are triple-crowned.

Triple-crowned schools are accredited by the three largest and most influential business school accreditation associations and there are just three schools in Africa with this status.

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