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
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-