UCT’s MBA programme flies the flag for Africa in top global ranking

UCT GSB PRESS OFFICE - 7 February 2021

The University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business (UCT GSB) remains the only school on the continent to make the prestigious Financial Times 2021 ranking of full-time MBA programmes.

The UCT GSB’s MBA has again been ranked one of the best programmes in the world by the Financial Times (FT) in its 2021 list of the top 100 Global MBAs. The school, a global leader in innovative thinking in complex environments, saw its full-time MBA rank 5th in the world for value, 12th for corporate social responsibility, 14th for international course experience, and 94th overall.

The UCT GSB is the only African MBA programme to make the list, which was topped by INSEAD (France/Singapore) and London Business School (UK). This marks the 13th time that the FT has ranked the UCT GSB’s MBA as one of the best in the world; the UCT GSB remains the only African business school ever to have been included in the FT’s Global MBA ranking of the top 100 full-time MBAs.

“This ranking reflects the exceptional quality of our MBA programme, the global contribution made by our faculty, and the value of the school’s unique expertise and approach to management education,” said UCT GSB Director, Dr Catherine Duggan. “Our programme brings together some of the world’s best MBA students who are looking to combine cutting-edge business and leadership skills with new ideas, innovative approaches, and creative thinking about real challenges in a way that has a broad, positive impact on business and society.”

The FT rankings are globally recognised as the pre-eminent benchmark for business schools and are determined according to performance in 20 areas including: average income of graduates three years after graduation compared with pre-MBA salary; value for money; number of international faculty members; research performance; and corporate social responsibility.

This ranking comes hard on the heels of other achievements for the MBA programme. In 2020, a team of UCT MBAs became the first from an African school to win the prestigious John Molson MBA International Case Competition, and for two years in a row UCT MBAs have been honoured by the Association for MBAs (AMBA) in its global Excellence Awards, which recognise the most accomplished MBAs from around the world.

With this latest ranking, the UCT GSB becomes the only business school on the continent that the FT ranks in the top 100 in three of its premier rankings: the full-time Global MBA, Executive MBA (where the UCT GSB ranked 56th in 2020), and Executive Education – Customised (where the UCT GSB also ranked 56th in 2020). The school is one of just over 100 worldwide to have a “triple-crown” accreditation, meaning that it is accredited by all three of the world’s leading business school quality assurance bodies (AMBA, Equis, and AACSB).

Associate Professor Kutlwano Ramaboa, the UCT GSB’s Deputy Director, says the ranking is a testament to the drive and passion of the school’s faculty, staff, students, alumni and corporate partners. “The ranking reflects our continued investments in expanding our faculty and supporting world-class research, as well as our commitment to teaching that is rigorous, innovative, research-driven and relevant.”

She noted that the school has continued to make investments to keep the MBA engaging and up to date during the COVID-19 pandemic. “The faculty and MBA team have been working hard to make the MBA more flexible, more innovative, and more relevant than ever.”

Dr Duggan adds “As a global business school with a broad international reach and a distinctly African identity, our students explore the lessons of developed markets and the fast-paced innovations of emerging ones. This unique approach gives our MBAs new insights into opportunities in Africa—and beyond. Our graduates join a network of extraordinary alumni around the world whose success is a testament to the value of this approach, and whose enduring support for the UCT GSB is a testament to the transformative nature of our MBA.”

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