GSB Executive MBA goes global

01 November 2002
THE UCT Graduate School of Business has joined forces with an elite network of international business schools to offer a new international component to its Executive MBA programme (EMBA).

The UCT international EMBA, which will be launched next year, will be one of just a handful of Executive MBA programmes worldwide that offer students a genuinely global experience.

“The international EMBA transcends anything offered by a South African business school to date,” said Professor Tom Ryan, Director of the EMBA at the GSB. “It will give our students an international perspective and an authentic experience of diversity that will transform them into worldly managers, able to manage difference and change. This is critical for management performance, especially in a global economy.”

The new international EMBA has been developed in collaboration with the International Masters in Practising Management (IMPM), pioneered at McGill University in Canada by Henry Mintzberg, which is renowned for challenging corporate orthodoxy. Ryan said that the programme heralds a new era in management education and has been developed in response to demand from international business that executives have the intellectual and other skills that will enable them to manage in complex and fast-changing environments.

“Traditionally top business schools have relied on hosting international lecturers and attracting international students to provide a global perspective,” explained Ryan. “But this is no longer sufficient. What is needed is a dynamic experience of internationalism that can be gained only from immersing students in a variety of contexts while at the same time focusing on developing them in their own context – their jobs and their organisations.”

The new programme is an adaptation of the existing Executive MBA at the GSB, which is already recognised as one of the most innovative in South Africa. Like the EMBA, the international EMBA will be modular, consisting of six two-week modules spread over two years with workplace projects between modules to enable students to link their learning back to their own context.

The difference is that a selection of these modules will now take place on three different continents at partner business schools around the world: Lancaster University Management School in the UK, McGill University Faculty of Management in Canada and the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore.

The overseas component of the course will be divided into three eight-day sections, each concentrating on a distinct managerial mindset, and will deal with matters crucial to successful management in today's trans-cultural environments. Alongside the tuition, students will get the benefit of exchanging ideas among a cohort of fast-tracked peers from around the world, creating a network of like-minded international leaders. Ryan said that there are only a few such programmes in the world.

The IMPM, launched in 1996, pioneered the concept of a consortium of international schools working together to provide a multinational Masters programme and paved the way for a number of similar initiatives. The UCT international EMBA is set apart from many of these programmes because it has a specific focus on managing in emerging economies and transitional societies. This is seen to be significant as these contexts will constitute a major part of future market growth.

The first intake of the UCT international EMBA will be in February 2003. The GSB is also launching a post-MBA diploma in early 2003 that will give post MBA and Masters students the opportunity to attend the same overseas modules.

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