Education is essential for the development of the mankind and plays a significant role in transforming the society and gives impetus to the development of the nation. Educational institutions play a significant role in building the nation through their noble service. The need of the day is to develop the future ready leaders with strong emphasis on theoretical knowledge, wisdom to apply this knowledge to the benefit of the society and lead a fulfilled and contented life beneficial to the family and community. The onus of this challenging task to produce such professionals who can meet the global needs largely rests on the shoulders of the faculty and educational institutions of the globe.
One such institution that has been contributing to the needs of the society with its untiring efforts to nurture and develop business professionals with high intellect and morals is the Bellville, Cape-Town based University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB).
USB was the first African Business school in Sub-Saharan Africa that boasted with the esteemed ‘Triple Crown’ accreditation of EQUIS, AMBA, and AACSB.
“In its history there are many firsts, but one of which we are particularly proud of is that we were one of the first schools in the world with business ethics as a core module,” remarked the faculty team of University of Stellenbosch Business School.
A Glorious Vision
The University of Stellenbosch Business School’s vision is to be a source of value for a better world. It does so through knowledge advancement and transformative learning to develop responsible leaders who positively impact society.
As can be seen from this mission, the school has three focal areas namely education, research, and social impact, which drives most of its activities. As far as values are concerned, the institute strives for excellence, value-creation, equity, accountability, respect, and compassion.
Stellenbosch University is historically associated with the apartheid. The USB, a part of the bigger university, acknowledges its role in this legacy and is committed to the restitution of South Africa and to correct the injustices of the past.
Nurturing Businesses to Make the World Better
The University of Stellenbosch Business School has a major focus on responsible leadership and strategic management as focal areas. At the same time the school is known for its focus on analytical skills such as operations research, accounting, and finance. The USB is also closely associated with entrepreneurial incubators such as LaunchLab and the Small Business Academy.
A paradigm that permeates the teaching at USB is that businesses should make the world better. In a world of social inequality, corruption, and environmental problems, businesses can play a key role in addressing these and other issues. By solving the problems as portrayed by the Sustainable Development Goals businesses can thrive.
The Academic Rollout
In comparison to other business schools in Africa and even beyond, the USB has one of the broadest program portfolios. Programs such as the masters in Coaching, the masters in Futures Research and the master’s degree in development finance gives the school a unique ability to act on its vision and mission in an African context.
USB prides itself in the fact that students have great choice around their learning path both vertically and horizontally. This means that students can choose to start with a PGD and end with a PhD, but they can also switch between streams such as business management and development finance from a lower degree to a subsequent degree program. Students at the USB can choose between 13 different postgraduate programs.
One of the competencies that distinguishes the USB is its online teaching and facilitation ability. The USB has offered blended learning programs since 2015 and was able to immediately convert all its programs to a blended format when COVID-19 hit in 2020. Blended learning allows students with similar interests from different geographical areas to meet in synchronous class sessions to discuss topics of mutual interest.
One of the reasons for USB’s online facilitation competency is the great investment that the school makes in its teaching staff.
Furthermore, many of the faculty teaching on the different programs are leaders in their respective fields in South Africa and Africa.
Guiding Responsible Leadership
The biggest distinguishing feature across all the different programs at USB is the focus placed on responsible leadership. This characteristic can be seen across programs, research, and social impact initiatives. In terms of the MBA degree there are five aspects that we believe set our students apart; they are responsible leaders, excellent strategic managers, outstanding communicators, stewards of society, and effective problem solvers.
The other degree programs may have other high-level goals, but all of our programs aim to create leaders that will change the world for the better. We put much focus on selecting degree candidates based on academic ability, but also their values.
The USB Experience
“Our facilities are some of the best in the world and our classrooms are able to support both physical and virtual sessions. Many of our students are from the C-suites of local and international businesses. Studying at USB provides graduates with access to a renowned network of esteemed alumni,” said a member of USB administration board.
The MBA degree at Stellenbosch is offered in four streams: General, Health Care Leadership, Management of International Organizations, and Project Management. The MBA in project management is recognized by the Project Management Institute (PMI), something that no other school can say.
Few schools in Africa can boast with academic credentials that can equal that of the USB. The school is proud of its African roots and the difference that is being made by its alumni network on the continent.
Furthermore, USB has very strong ties with a number of leading international business schools but also with multiple schools in Africa. The school is adamant to create leaders that will lead the continent to prosperity for everyone.
Rising to the Top
The USB was the first school with EQUIS accreditation and the first with AACSB accreditation in South Africa. Consequently, the USB was the first school with full triple accreditation in sub-Saharan Africa.
Over the years the school has topped many of the business school rankings in South Africa and in Africa and also featured in the global Top 40 of the ‘Beyond Grey Pinstripes’ rankings, a ranking that recognizes the top schools in the world by their focus on social and environmental issues.
Aspiring to Make a Difference
The USB is committed to its vision and mission of creating value for a better world through its teaching, research and social initiatives. The world is in great need of responsible, ethical, and transformational leaders that are willing to stand up for all their stakeholders. The USB will continue to grow and deepen its portfolio of management and business-related programs that offer the best in its class.
Paradoxically, while we believe online programs will increase, we also believe that students want real and authentic interactions with each other and teaching faculty. USB programs can offer this unique offering while simultaneously linking students with a vast South African, Africa and global alumni network. We are continuously working on refining existing programs while investigating presentation needs of the future.