The University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business (UCT GSB) has sealed its reputation as one of Africa’s top business schools with the news that its Executive MBA has moved up to 45th in the world on the prestigious 2020 QS ranking of Executive MBAs. It is the only African business school to feature in the top 50 in this ranking.
"This is a tremendous achievement,” says Professor Hugh Corder, Interim Director of the UCT GSB. “To be ranked among the top 50 worldwide for our EMBA programme for two consecutive years is a true mark of quality and a key differentiator in a highly competitive marketplace. It enables us to highlight our context as an emerging market business school in Africa that is benchmarked with 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.”
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. It ranks 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 UCT GSB scored particularly 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.
The UCT GSB’s 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. Programme director, Associate Professor Kosheek Sewchurran, says 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,” says Associate Professor Sewchurran.
“Management scholars drawing on philosopher 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 strategize, innovate their business models, and inhabit their leadership practice with more skill and wisdom.”
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. According to Nunzio Quacquarelli, CEO and founder, QS, “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.”
News of the UCT GSB’s QS ranking builds on other recent achievements for the school. In June, it was reaccredited by the AACSB, 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.