The full-time MBA programme at the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business (GSB) has been ranked 74th in the latest Financial Times (FT) of London’s Global MBA Top 100.
The school, which is the only African business school to feature in the rankings, was also marked out as offering the second best value for money MBA in the world (Coppead in Brazil is number one).
This is the ninth consecutive year that it has been listed in what is widely considered to be the premier ranking of business schools worldwide.
Director of the GSB, Professor Walter Baets, says that the school is proud to be ranked yet again: "The FT rankings, as a recognition of quality, has important implications for all customers of the business school; students and companies want to know that the business school they select has international recognition."
Baets believes it is important for the GSB MBA to remain competitively priced for the high quality it delivers and so is gratified that the school is rated as the second-best value for money MBA in the world.
"This is helping the school to attract more international students and grow as a hub of expertise on the African continent," he says.
Although the school’s position in the rankings has dropped by 20 points this year, Baets says that the difference between the business schools in the top 100, with the exception of the first 20 to 25, is extremely small.
"A small change in criterion can lead to a big change in ranking. Of course we would rather go in the other direction, but this should not take away from the achievement of making it into the top 100 for almost a decade. The competition is intense and more business schools take part every year. The fact that we have held our spot in the rankings tells us that the fundamentals of the school are solid.
"Like good investment companies, we take a long-term view of the business school and are constantly working on the fundamentals to improve them, and that shows up in rankings like the FT’s but also, more reliably, in the accreditations we receive from external accrediting agencies."
Last year the GSB received accreditation from the Association of MBAs (AMBA) and was recently re-awarded EQUIS accreditation from the European Foundation for Management Education. In 2013 it will be seeking a third accreditation from The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), in order to gain the coveted "triple crown". Out of 13 670 schools offering business degree programmes worldwide, only 57 are triple-crown accredited.
Baets says its accreditations, taken alongside the FT ranking, should inspire confidence in current and prospective students that the UCT GSB offers an MBA on a par with the best in the world, and that a qualification from the business school will allow them to compete on a global level.
"We aim both to raise the profile of emerging market business schools as centres of excellence and thought leadership, and to provide local and international students with the skills they need to take on the challenges of this decade’s emerging markets," he says.
At the top of the 2012 FT Top 100 is Harvard Business School moving up to one and knocking Stanford Graduate School of Business into second place this year. The GSB’s ranking at 74 places it ahead of notable international schools including McGill University in Canada, Boston University School of Management, the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business and the Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School in Belgium.