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Executive Education



Executive Education


In an emerging economy, a new perspective on management education and organisational development has become a core business imperative.

Against this backdrop, it is important that leaders and managers develop new knowledge contextually. They must fully understand their environment and its complexities in order to find new ways of addressing issues arising within this. In addition, they require an expanded skill set.

In order to support executives and managers in this, Executive Education programmes at the UCT GSB are holistic, multi-disciplinary and research-based; they encourage participants to develop their ability to think critically and innovatively to meet new demands.

The business school draws on a considerable range of expertise in delivering these courses, using local and international resources, and is proud of the reputation it has built up.

UCT Graduate School of Business (UCT GSB) Executive Education programmes are based on the following principles of adult learning:

Learning and development is an active process and takes place in a real work or life context

The interplay between work and learning means that an adult learns optimally within his or her own work context, where learning is enhanced by doing - the learning is taking place where it is actually applied and practiced.

Adults learn as they do – each action can lead to new insights that enable them to learn from experience

Reflection on the experience of learning is as important as the theoretical learning, and allows positive behavioural patterns to be documented and sustained while negative behavioural patterns are noticed and consciously improved.

A process of continuous improvement and development becomes an intended consequence of the learning process. Nurturing self-awareness in the relevant institutional and societal contexts, all the while building analytical and systems-thinking skills, is key to success.

Adult learning is a social activity

Adults learn through conversations and debates. The programmes are embedded in social processes that provide the opportunity for communicative action and interaction. The programmes have emerged according to recent developments in social science and management, referred to as practice turn, a focus on the day-to-day activities that make up social systems.

New knowledge cannot be assimilated without previous knowledge and experience

Although all learning material is grounded in theory, participants are not expected to accept this at face value. Students construct their own theories by building on their experiences and existing knowledge.

Values and relevance need to be explicit in learning – managers pursue what they value

Learning focuses on integration, synthesis and evaluation that go beyond the analytical aspects of management and draw on existing experience, commitments and purposes relevant to the knowledge construction process. This increases engagement in the learning process.