PROOF OF THE PUDDING
MBA providers face multiple challenges: transformation, pricing, expansion, chocolate …
The question is, which offers better value: an MBA or a helping of chocolate pudding? Why do we ask? Because a complete SA MBA degree course costs considerably less than the sweet. True, the latter, offered by an English countryhouse hotel, is moulded into the shape of a Fabergé egg, contains champagne jelly and edible gold leaf, and is decorated with a small diamond. But at £20,000, or R400,000, that’s four times the cost of some SA programmes, and over 50% more than the most expensive.
At £5,000, a signature London cocktail of vintage cognac and absinthe mixed with bitters outprices two SA degree programmes.
Of course, to most South Africans earning rands, SA MBAS (see table “Money, money, money”) aren’t cheap. But they are bargainbasement to northern hemisphere students seeking an overseas experience. Some come here, but not in significant numbers.
That’s why Rhodes Business School director Owen Skae asks whether SA marketers are paying enough attention to the competitive advantages offered by the rand’s lack of value. “I don’t think we use the advantage enough. Australia has made higher education a rich source of foreign revenue for the country. Why can’t we do the same? We offer even better value.”
It’s notable that in recent years, private SA schools have begun to overhaul leading state schools in the price stakes.
The University of Stellenbosch Business School has the most expensive MBA (and is the only school to disclose a premium for students from outside Africa), but Regenesys and Milpark have both closed the gap on traditional big-budget schools like the University of Pretoria’s Gordon Institute of Business Science, Henley, Wits Business School and the University of Cape Town Graduate
School of Business (GSB).
Given that, unlike most local university
What it means: Private business schools have begun to overhaul leading state schools in the price stakes — they say they’re worth every cent
Fulu Netswera, director of North-west University’s School of Business & Governance