SPREAD­ING THEIR WINGS

Some in­sti­tu­tions have ex­pe­ri­enced changes in lead­er­ship and cer­tain oth­ers are con­sid­er­ing re­lo­ca­tion as SA schools act to af­firm or ex­pand what they of­fer the mar­ket

Financial Mail - - COVER STORY / BUSINESS SCHOOLS -

Nel­son Man­dela Univer­sity (NMU) Busi­ness School hopes a new iden­tity will strengthen the brand and ex­tend its reach be­yond its East­ern Cape heart­land. Af­ter its found­ing in 2005, Nel­son Man­dela Met­ro­pol­i­tan Univer­sity never en­joyed the clear ge­o­graph­i­cal iden­tity of its pre­de­ces­sor, the Univer­sity of Port El­iz­a­beth. Now univer­sity au­thor­i­ties, with the ac­qui­es­cence of the lo­cal coun­cil, have de­cided to drop “Met­ro­pol­i­tan” from the name and trade ex­clu­sively on the name of SA’S first black pres­i­dent. The change takes ef­fect this week. Hence the ab­bre­vi­ated ti­tle of the busi­ness school. “We want to tie our iden­tity di­rectly to the Man­dela name and all it stands for,” says di­rec­tor Ran­dall Jonas.

The school is the lat­est SA in­sti­tu­tion to have its master of busi­ness ad­min­is­tra­tion (MBA) pro­gramme ac­cred­ited by the in­ter­na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of MBAS. But it has made lim­ited head­way be­yond the prov­ince, ei­ther across SA or deeper into Africa.

“For us to make in­roads be­yond here has been very dif­fi­cult,” says Jonas, who suc­ceeded Steve Burgess as di­rec­tor late last year.

NMU is one of the few SA busi­ness schools without ac­tive clients be­yond SA’S bor­ders. It has such a client of sorts, the South Su­dan gov­ern­ment, but stu­dents there are caught up in a deadly civil war. “We’d like to think we can re­sume that con­tract even­tu­ally,” says Leon Mou­ton, head of the school’s lead­er­ship academy.

Ge­o­graph­i­cal lim­its are less of an is­sue for the Univer­sity of Cape Town’s Grad­u­ate School of Busi­ness (GSB), which opened a Sand­ton cam­pus in June.

Di­rec­tor Mills Soko says the de­ci­sion is part of a grad­ual repo­si­tion­ing of the school. Since tak­ing over last year, he has in­tro­duced a more col­lab­o­ra­tive man­age­ment style than that of his pre­de­ces­sor, Wal­ter Baets. He has also launched an am­bi­tious bur­sary scheme aimed mainly at young blacks and be­gun to in­crease teach­ing fac-

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