On top of the world: Dr David Maralack (left), convenor of the Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management; Alison Meadows, co-ordinator of all the Postgraduate Diplomas in Management; and Dr Richard George, convenor of the Postgraduate Diploma in Tourism Management, have reason to be delighted with the praise and accolades showered on their programmes.
UCT's School of Management Studies has recently won a slew of awards for its postgraduate diplomas, including the Best in the World award for its Sports Management diploma, and Best in South Africa award for its Tourism Management diploma.
The top sports management course in the world, according to the Eduniversal International Scientific Committee, is UCT's Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management, which is convened by Dr David Maralack. Evaluation criteria include the reputation of the programme, the salary of alumni after completing the course and evaluation by past graduates.
Maralack attributes the success of the programme to the three pillars on which it is founded. "First," he says, "the course seeks to lay a foundation in critical thinking within cognate theoretical fields such as sport development, business, administration and law. This provides students with a holistic approach to disciplinary rigour, enabling them to move across disciplinary boundaries and seek innovative solutions."
Secondly, projects are structured to facilitate development of student leadership and strategic skills.
Thirdly "and most importantly", all aspects of the course are structured around honing these skills in a pressurised and contested learning environment. Debates and interactions with leaders in sport business, sport federations and government contribute to this outcome, explains Maralack.
In similar vein, UCT's Postgraduate Diploma in Tourism Management, which is run by the globally-respected tourism expert Dr Richard George, has been assessed by the Eduniversal team as the top tourism and hospitality course in South Africa.
George noted that the strong combination of practical as well as academic experience that students obtained on the course made it a winner.
The Tourism Management Diploma has an international outlook and the class consists of students from a variety of disciplines, he explains. "The theory is up-to-date and relevant to the needs of the tourism industry. Lecturers all possess a combination of academic and practical experience."
The awards are a feather in the cap of the co-ordinator of the postgraduate diplomas in management, Alison Meadows.
"I am delighted that the dedication and commitment of the diploma convenors has been recognised internationally," says Meadows. "I have always been convinced that the combination of general management courses with the applied focus (sport and tourism) is the best way to prepare graduates for these industries."
Adding his praise, the dean of the Faculty of Commerce, Professor Don Ross, said, "It's terrific to have our belief that we're running world-class diplomas here confirmed by independent evidence. And one can't get more firmly world-class than best in the world."
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