The UCT Graduate School of Business (GSB) has sealed its reputation as one of Africa’s top business schools with its latest reaccreditation by the AACSB – one of the largest and most recognised specialised business school accreditations worldwide. Around 856 institutions in 56 countries have earned AACSB International accreditation; this is the third time the UCT GSB has achieved accreditation.
"Accreditations like this are extremely valuable for the UCT GSB. They are a mark of quality and a key differentiator in a highly competitive market place. They also enable us to highlight our context as an emerging market business school in Africa that is among the best in the world, and to demonstrate the relevance that we have in shaping the business and thought leaders on the continent and beyond," says Professor Hugh Corder, Interim Director of the UCT GSB.
AACSB requires that schools demonstrate excellence in teaching and through measured student learning outcomes as well as through engaged scholarship and thought leadership that positively impacts the theory and practice of business. Participating schools are required to keep their standards high because accreditation is reviewed every five years.
Dr Kutlwano Ramaboa, Director of International Relations at the UCT GSB, explains that because of the holistic assessment they offer, accreditations are a valuable tool to help improve the quality of business school teaching, research and reputation. “Along with rankings, accreditations are increasingly important factors to prospective students and companies, who want to know that the business school they select is benchmarked with the best in the world.” The UCT GSB’s EMBA programme has just been ranked once again as the top EMBA in Africa, and 45th in the world (moving up one place from 46th last year) by the prestigious Quacquarelli Symonds (QS). Its EMBA 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 a traditional training in business functions.
Ramaboa adds that accreditations also help with attracting and arranging international exchange partnership with good schools in different regions which further enhances the quality and the relevance of its programmes. "The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted our increasingly globalised world and the need to collaborate to find solutions to global challenges. It’s imperative that we expose all students to diverse perspectives and cultures in order to enrich the learning experience and prepare them to operate successfully in any environment."
The reaccreditation from AACS also enables the UCT GSB to hold onto its status as one of just three schools in Africa that are triple-crowned – meaning that it is accredited by the three largest and most influential business school accreditation associations. In addition to AACSB, the UCT GSB also has accreditations from AMBA (the Association of MBAs) and EQUIS, the EFMD Quality Improvement System.
Other jewels in the UCT GSB’s international profile include affiliations with the Global Network of Advanced Management (GNAM - a Yale School of Management Initiative); the Global Business School Network (GBSN); the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME - a United Nations supported initiative; the Academy of Business in Society (ABIS); and the Association of African Business Schools (AACSB).
“All of these connections afford additional opportunities for UCT GSB faculty and students to collaborate internationally on teaching and research,” says Dr Ramaboa. "At the UCT GSB we are committed to participating in leading international scholarly conversations and to producing quality graduates that can lead much needed change.
“The world today needs well trained, well informed, energetic and optimistic young leaders with a global mindset now more than ever."