The UCT Graduate School of Business (GSB) has claimed its place in the 2017 Financial Times rankings of the world’s top customised executive education offerings, beating competitors from as far afield as France, Canada, Italy, Norway and Belgium.
The GSB has retained its place in the top 100 business schools in the world for the seventh consecutive year and has been rated as the fastest growing business school globally in terms of growth in its revenues from customised programmes over the past three years.
One of five African universities to make the list, the GSB was ranked 70th in the 2017 Financial Times rankings of the world’s top customised programmes, which are globally recognised as a benchmark for business schools.
“The ranking has important implications for all the school’s customers – students and companies – who want to know that they are selecting a business school that is globally recognised,” said GSB director of executive education Kumeshnee West.
“We believe we’re growing so fast because we understand that training interventions need to make a significant impact on people’s performance and the organisation’s bottom line and we know how to achieve this,” she said.
Customised programmes are business courses that are custom-designed to help organisations meet their particular challenges and generate positive business outcomes. They range from short interventions to full academic diplomas and qualifications.
“Our approach is about being a partner to our clients to help them think through the problems and challenges that they face and then design and implement a learning solution to deliver powerful results that permeate throughout the organisation,” said West.
A continued victory
Leading the Financial Times customised programme ranking for 2017 is IESE in Spain, which has held the top spot for several years. IMD, Duke and INSEAD all retained their positions in the top 10, while Harvard, significantly, climbed from 14th to fifth.
Universities are ranked based on a variety of factors, including programme preparation, teaching methods, materials, design, new skills and learning, diversity of faculty and “future use”, which indicates strong, long-term relationships with clients.
In addition to being rated number one for growth, the GSB achieved high scores in the quality of programme design, teaching methods and materials, facilities and value for money, as well as the crucial area of future use. Diversity of faculty was also a plus point. The scores are assembled using three years’ worth of data.
“It is significant to see African campuses gaining ground where the business school environment is becoming increasingly competitive,” said GSB director Mills Soko. “It is indicative of an ongoing commitment to excellence on local territory – but also an increased recognition from the global community that African business schools are serious contenders in the international space.
“The result represents a continued victory for the GSB in challenging political and economic times. It also underlines the ongoing, if not increased, need for continued top-class business education in an unpredictable environment.”
Programmes run at the GSB’s Waterfront campus in Cape Town, or at the school’s new Sandton campus in Johannesburg but the school can also travel to a site of the client’s choice to deliver on site and in-house.
“We remain focused on the highest standards of business education that gives input from industry leaders and reflects the diversity of our business environment,” said Soko. “The GSB’s ongoing presence in the Financial Times rankings reflects this.”