GSB’s impressive global rankings climb

05 June 2019 | Story Supplied. Photo UCT Archives. Read time 5 min.
For the second consecutive year the GSB improved its Financial Times ranking, climbing an impressive 16 places this year.
For the second consecutive year the GSB improved its Financial Times ranking, climbing an impressive 16 places this year.

The University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Graduate School of Business (GSB) has been ranked 51 in the world for its customised programmes by the latest Financial Times Ranking, widely regarded as a leading benchmark of quality and relevance for business schools worldwide.

The GSB has improved its ranking for the second consecutive year, climbing an impressive 16 places this year. It is one of just three African business schools to feature on this year’s ranking

“This is a tremendous win for the UCT GSB,” said Kumeshnee West, the GSB’s director of executive education.

“It is a vivid testament to the work we have put in to grow and enhance our offering to clients over the years.”

The GSB was ranked top in Africa in terms of faculty diversity, in recognition of the fact that it is gender representative and draws on a rich mix of nationalities. It also scored in the top 50 worldwide in terms of value for money and future use (the likelihood that clients will use the school again).

West explained that the ranking is based on a rigorous assessment of the customised process, from the design and interaction with clients to how the programme is delivered, the facilities, teaching methods and materials that the school offers, as well as the quantity and quality of programmes delivered with partner schools.

“In recent years we have worked hard to strengthen our offering and facilities – including opening a state-of-the-art training facility in Sandton, Johannesburg, to expand our footprint and bring us closer to our clients in that region and on the rest of the African continent,” she said.

Impressive feat

To participate in the annual Financial Times ranking, schools must be internationally accredited by either EQUIS (European Quality Improvement System) or the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), and have earned revenues of $2 million during the preceding financial year.

Rayner Canning, the GSB’s business development director, said this is “no lightweight ranking”, especially bearing in mind that there are thousands of business schools globally.

“So 51st is an impressive feat.”

He said the GSB prides itself on co-creating innovative and impactful programmes to deliver transformative learning that advances clients’ business.


“This is an affirmation of our high touch, client-centric approach to customised education.”

“This is an affirmation of our high touch, client-centric approach to customised education.”

Canning explained that the GSB philosophy of “Better Every Single Time” means that the school invests significant time and energy in ensuring that it is responsive and agile – able to adapt and update materials and learning methodologies as clients’ business needs shift and as the programmes unfold, and from cohort to cohort.

“This agility is highly valued by our clients and contributes to the building of a deep and lasting trust between us,” he said.

West said a large part of the Financial Times data is drawn directly from client feedback.

“We owe a big thank-you to our clients who stepped up to endorse us and provide the necessary data to propel us up the ranking. This speaks to the strength and depth of our partnerships with our clients.”

This is the second major endorsement of executive education at the GSB in recent weeks; last month it became the first business school in Africa to win a Gold Excellence In Practice Award from the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD). This was for a case study on its longstanding partnership with Standard Bank to deliver a Masterclass in Strategic Client Management Programme (MSCMP) for the bank’s corporate and investment banking (CIB) managers across Africa.

Lenie de Waal, senior learning partner for CIB at Standard Bank, commented that the MSCMP is a testament to the “true partnership between all stakeholders”.

West said that to in order to deliver high-impact and sustainable results, “we believe that deep collaboration between the corporate and the learning provider is foundational”.

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Please view the republishing articles page for more information.