Milpark underpins top-ranking MBA with groundbreaking online option
IN the most recent PMR. africa 2016 survey, employers across the country ranked the Milpark Business School’s Masters of Business Administration (MBA) programme first in the higher education private sector and second overall in a highly competitive list of accredited Business Schools offering this degree in South Africa.
MBA graduates and students were rated in their workplace on, among other things, academic knowledge, entrepreneurial and leadership skills, ethical business conduct, strategic and operational management.
Dr. Cobus Oosthuizen, Dean of the Milpark Business School, says that most employers continue to regard it as a high value degree and are eager to hire MBA graduates.
He adds though, that “there has been a paradigm shift in how business-oriented students wish to study.
“Having experienced an unprecedented escalation of Distance Learning Online (DLO) enrolments on all our programmes and courses, we opted to add value to the traditional approach.”
Milpark Education launched its (DLO) MBA programme in January last year, making higher learning yet more accessible to South Africa students and further anchoring its position as a leader in online learning.
Dr Oosthuizen speaks of building on a sound base of relevance, flexibility, tailored solutions, and flexible funding.
“We were determined to lead the way and ensure that our DLO students experience constant learning and support.
“Their experience may exceed the classroom-based one, providing access to lecturers and other students with just a computer and an Internet connection.”
“This ensures that their 9-to-5 work lives are not interrupted and they remain an asset in their workspace.
“It’s our understanding of the daily challenges our students face that has allowed us to develop new ways of learning that remove the barriers of traffic, location and low engagement.”
He says the guaranteed high engagement was developed to meet the demands of daily life, offering flexible funding and peer-to-peer learning.
“We offer online synchronous and asynchronous contact for interactive support.
“There is one lecturer for each group of 25 students, who curates the learning journey effortlessly and seamlessly.”
The focus is on high engagement learning in a flexible, accessible format.
The Dean listed the benefits of online learning: “First and foremost, it guarantees a student to lecturer ratio of no more than 1:25.
“Each class has an online lecturer who leads the discussions and assesses an individual’s formative contributions.
“Everyone receives continuous feedback and can also interact with fellow students.”
This high level of engagement involves structured, asynchronous learning.
By taking part in well designed group discussions, the lecturer develops an individual’s understanding of the subject matter in a practical and relevant manner.
“The online mode facilitates better performance, and allows for better budgeting as students pay only for the modules they register for,” he explains.
Speaking at the DLO MBA launch in September last year, Arthur Goldstuck, founder of World Wide Worx, praised Milpark Education for introducing initiatives that use digital tools to enhance learning.
He said, “Everyone is connected, every teacher has access to every tool, and every student has access to all information.
“Yet, much of our education is still based on nineteenth-century systems, styles and philosophies.”
Internet use is growing rapidly and he predicted that by 2020 in South Africa 18.5 million of the 24.6 million Internet users will be involved in the digital economy.
Milpark Education continues to offer the MBA through contact learning for students who prefer face-toface interaction and immediacy, and offers a Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration which provides access to the MBA on level 9.
Dr. Oosthuizen concludes: “Our graduates are known to excel in the marketplace and this reflects positively on the status and credibility of our institution.”
Dr. Cobus Oosthuizen, Dean of the Milpark Business School.