A RECORD number of Henley Business School Africa graduates received their MBA degrees in the UK on Friday September 20th 2019

“It was a beautiful sunny day on the banks of the River Thames, a fitting backdrop for their achievement on an international stage, made even more special by the fact that nine other South Africans graduated with their master’s in coaching from Henley UK,” said Jon Foster-Pedley, dean and director of Henley Africa.

Among them was Henley Africa’s director of executive education Linda Buckley who graduated top of her class in Henley UK’s only second ever Master of Arts course in leadership.

“It was a wonderful all-time record for South Africa in Henley 73-year existence, made all the more poignant by the mass singing of Shosholoza on the lawn on the eve of the Springboks’ Rugby World Cup campaign in Japan to lift the Webb Ellis trophy for a third time,” said Foster-Pedley.

The group was so big, he said, that Henley Africa had to forego the normal pub for the afterparty and hire a bigger venue, because otherwise the pub would have been swamped with people spilling out onto the streets.

Some of them can opt to do it all over again at the end of November in Kyalami, north of Johannesburg, when Henley Africa caps 233 MBA graduates over a joyous three day festival of success, honouring successful candidates in every phase of school’s ladder of learning from advanced certificates to post graduate diplomas in business management, culminating in the holy grail of the MBA.

It’s one of the many unique attributes of the Henley MBA – a business school that continues to shatter its own records and redefine itself. This year’s crop of MBA graduates is well over the 180 capped last year, while the 2019 enrolments saw 317 students sign up for the family-friendly flexible executive MBA – up from 260 in 2018 – forcing Henley Africa to create an unprecedented five intakes to ensure the consistency and quality of the education it provides.

Henley Business School Africa currently accounts for two thirds of Henley’s global MBA intake and three quarters of the entire flexible executive MBA programme – which is also provided in Finland, Denmark, Malaysia and Britain.

“I just want to thank each and every one of our students, their families, our staff and supporters for their part in this remarkable growth and achievement. We are building the people who build the businesses that build Africa.

A key reason for Henley’s continued growth is the business school’s triple international accreditation, coupled to the fact that the examinations are marked externally and blindly by international markers looking at the entire Henley student body.

“People want to know their qualifications hold up, that they’re not being accepted into a place on the basis of a 30% pass in matric, that their three-year degree is actually equivalent to one year of university anywhere else. At Henley, the exams are marked off shore, the standards are immutable. When you get a Henley MBA it’s a standard that no one can argue about,” said Foster-Pedley.

Foster-Pedley, who attended the UK graduation along with Henley Africa’s academic director Frempong Acheampong and MBA programme head Tebogo Mekgoe, said Henley students weren’t supermen or superwomen, but just ordinary people with extraordinary motivation.

“Our MBA students are 70% black, maybe more, 50% women, maybe more, and in the blind assessment process do as well as the British, Germans, Malaysians –  they do as well as anywhere the world in fact. Which means that what we have here in South Africa is contrary to the ever enduring mythologies of the colonisation of the mind and how not good one is.

“We have very capable people in South Africa and our examination results prove it every time.”

On Friday September 20, 2019, 92 of them flew the South African flag with pride when they stepped up at Henley’s fabled Greenlands campus on the banks of the River Thames to receive their MBA degrees.


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