The UCT Graduate School of Business (GSB) has kicked off 2019 on a high note with a seal of international approval from Europe’s pre-eminent business school quality and impact assessment body.
The European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD) re-awarded its European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS) to the UCT GSB recognising that the school has shown continuous quality improvement in line with international standards regarding governance, programmes, students, faculty, and research as well as internalisation, ethics, responsibility and sustainability.
“The UCT GSB is honoured to share the EQUIS accreditation with world-class business schools from around the world,” says UCT GSB Business Acting Director Kosheek Sewchurran. “It shows that our commitment to internationalisation as well our efforts to keep the business school at the cutting edge of management education in Africa is really paying off.”
The UCT GSB was the first business school in South Africa to achieve EQUIS accreditation back in 2001 and has successfully maintained this over 17 years.
“The accreditation aims to enhance standards in business education and promote excellence in management development and schools need to reapply for accreditation every three to five years, so it is an exercise in continuous self-assessment and improvement,” says Associate Professor Sewchurran.
“The process of business school accreditation is rigorous and time consuming,” agrees Dr Kutlwano Ramaboa, Director of International Relations at the UCT GSB.
“Schools must articulate their vision and mission, relevance and impact and be able to demonstrate that they are delivering what they claim to be delivering. This process can be useful because it helps us identify and improve on weaknesses identified,” she says.
The UCT GSB is one of 14 schools to be re-accredited and joins just 180 business schools across 44 countries who have the EQUIS stamp of approval. The school has been setting the pace for business education in Africa for more than five decades and is one of only three business schools in Africa to have triple-crown accreditation, which means that in addition to EQUIS, it is also accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and The Association of MBAs (AMBA).
“What sets the EQUIS accreditation apart, is a specific requirement regarding internationalisation, corporate connections and ethics. In these areas specifically, the UCT GSB performs strongly,” says Associate Professor Sewchurran.
For example, in 2018 UCT was ranked the top university in Africa by the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings. The UCT GSB also regularly hosts top global events. It was the first business school in Africa to host the MBA World Summit in 2018 and in November partnered with the World Economic Forum (WEF) to bring the Young Global Leaders (YGL) conference to Cape Town for the first time.
“International mobility in today’s global business world is a key requirement and accreditations such as EQUIS help us to demonstrate international relevance, allowing us to attract international students and faculty. Perhaps more importantly, it also offers our students a chance to experience international contexts,” says Dr Ramaboa.
“The other key benefit is that because EQUIS assesses performance in a holistic way – looking broadly at the kind of impact a school is having on the world around it – it helps us to hone our offerings to develop the right calibre of leadership and management to drive the inclusive development that is needed on the continent.”