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International seal of approval for GSB

22 Jan 2019 - 16:15

The University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Graduate School of Business (GSB) has joined 14 other business schools from around the world to enjoy re-accreditation by the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD), with the European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS) stamp of approval.

Kicking off 2019 on a high note with this international seal of approval from Europe’s pre-eminent business school quality and impact assessment body, the GSB was rewarded for showing continuous quality improvement in line with international standards regarding governance, programmes, students, faculty and research, as well as internalisation, ethics, responsibility and sustainability.

GSB acting director Associate Professor Kosheek Sewchurran said the school is honoured to share the EQUIS accreditation with top-class business schools from around the world.

“It shows that our commitment to internationalisation, as well as our efforts to keep the business school at the cutting edge of management education in Africa, is really paying off.”

The GSB became the first business school in South Africa to achieve EQUIS accreditation, in 2001, and has successfully maintained this status for 17 years.

Sewchurran said the accreditation aims to enhance standards in business education while promoting excellence in management development. Schools must reapply for accreditation every three to five years.

Enhancing standards of business education

“So it is an exercise in continuous self-assessment and improvement,” he said.

Dr Kutlwano Ramaboa, director of international relations at the GSB, said 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 explained.

The GSB is among 14 schools to be re-accredited, and joins only 180 other business schools across 44 countries to have earned the EQUIS stamp of approval.

For more than five decades the GSB has been setting the pace for business education in Africa, and is one of only three business schools on the continent to have triple-crown accreditation; in addition to EQUIS, the GSB is also accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and the Association of MBAs (AMBA).

Sewchurran said that what sets the EQUIS accreditation apart, however, is a specific requirement regarding internationalisation, corporate connections and ethics.

“In these areas specifically, the UCT GSB performs strongly,” he said.

The GSB also regularly hosts top global events; it was the first business school in Africa to host the MBA World Summit last year, also partnering with the World Economic Forum (WEF) to bring the Young Global Leaders (YGL) conference to Cape Town for the first time.

International relevance

Ramaboa said international mobility in today’s global business world is a key requirement, and that an accreditation such as EQUIS helps the GSB to demonstrate international relevance. This in turn helps the school attract international students and faculty.

“Perhaps more importantly, it also offers our students a chance to experience international contexts,” she said.

“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.”