10th October 2018, South Africa. The largest-ever number MBA students graduated from Henley Business School Africa (Henley Africa) at the end of September 2018.
This year 183 students will be awarded Henley Africa’s world-renowned triple-accredited international Executive MBA. Of these, 80 have winged their way to the UK to attend Henley’s international graduation ceremony at the Henley’s Greenlands campus, on the banks of the Thames. The remainder will attend a graduation ceremony in Johannesburg on 22 November 2018.
The graduates were accompanied to the UK by Jonathan Foster-Pedley, Dean and Director of Henley Africa and Frempong Acheampong, the school’s Academic Director.
As an international business school, which is part of to the University of Reading in the UK, Henley Africa’s MBA students are assessed by the same examiners that evaluate UK, Asian and European students. “We’re finding that Henley Africa’s students are passing at the same level or doing even better than their international peers. This once again proves that African students have some of the best minds, motivation and brains globally. They are able to use the challenging social contexts they often find themselves in to come up with innovative, creative and practical solutions to difficult local and global problems, thereby making a meaningful contribution to society and humanity,” says Foster-Pedley.
The growth and success achieved by Henley Africa in the past seven years as a leading educational institution have been nothing short of phenomenal. It’s a business that not only teaches business, but is a brilliant business in itself.
Henley Africa has gone from being housed in a small office with a staff complement of just five people seven years ago to now having a fully-fledged campus with four buildings, 70 full-time staff members and more than 200 associate faculty and programme directors.
Diversity is one of Henley Africa’s core values. This year, of the 4000 students roaming its corridors, 70% are black students, of which over half are women.
When it comes to gender diversity, 75% of its staff, 42% of its MBA students, and 55% of its executive education students are women.
Henley Africa now accounts for more than two-thirds of Henley’s global MBA student body, including those from its UK and Europe campuses, with more than 65% of its students enrolled in executive education programmes.
The school was recently ranked the No 1 MBA business school in South Africa by PMR.africa following its 2018 PMR.africa survey on accredited business schools offering MBA degrees in South Africa. This is up from fourth place in the 2017 survey, and 9th seven years ago.
What makes this award so sought-after is that the ranking is based on an assessment by employers – in corporate South Africa, government and SOEs – of the calibre of MBA graduates produced by these business schools. Henley Africa achieved top position, among some of 18 accredited business schools in South Africa.
The business school is also among only 1% of business schools globally and one of four in Africa that hold international triple accreditation from the AACSB (USA), AMBA (UK) and EQUIS (EU) accreditation bodies. “This means that our students qualify with an MBA that is recognised globally and is held in the highest regard worldwide,” says Foster-Pedley.
Since opening its doors in South Africa 27 years ago, 1588 students have graduated with MBAs from Henley Africa and the number is increasing annually. Worldwide, Henley Business Schools have produced more than 80 000 alumni in over 150 countries. Henley’s alumni network was ranked No 1 of all business schools in the world, for potential to network by The Economist.
Henley has also pioneered a number of management education initiatives over the years, including syndicate learning. “The quality of learning is enhanced through a diverse group of students working together, sharing their varied experience and cultural differences,” says Acheampong. “We view ourselves as a truly African business school and run programmes, talks and events in Ghana, Tanzania, Mozambique, Botswana, Kenya, the DRC, Namibia, Nigeria and Zambia. Our MBA students are involved in immersions and action learning programmes in Africa, Asia, North America, the Middle East and Europe, giving them a unique and expansive perspective on the global business landscape. We continue to stand out as the leading international business school on the continent with our strong focus on innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship.” Henley Africa is currently in the process of applying for accreditation from the African Association of Business Schools. Finally, Henley’s “Family-friendly learning” initiates seeks to reduce the impact of studies on partners and families, building family and community-conscious leaders.
The school is also renowned for and sought-after because of its ethical initiatives. Its #CorporateActivism movement aims to raise the level of ethics in companies to counter collusion in state capture. Its ‘No More Bribes’ initiative challenges corruption at national level. Its MBAid initiative provides more their 300 NGOs with business school expertise to improve their operational efficiency so that they can be of assistance to more people. And Henley Africa’s scholarship programme – the school provides the highest number of scholarships of any business school on the continent – gives people with talent but financial challenges the opportunity to gain the knowledge they need to succeed in the business environment, as social entrepreneurs and as leaders in the creative industries. Its family-friendly initiative reduces the impact of learning on relationships and family.
And in a first for Henley Africa, the school has established an African research position that will see the production of research and case studies focused on Africa. It will complement the international research done by Henley Business School UK and the University of Reading and will widen the body of research created that is used to inform analysis and decision-making.