The University of KwaZulu-Natal's Graduate School of Business and Leadership is based on the Westville campus, in a convenient and easy to access location. Entering the modern building, one immediately gets a sense of the business of learning fused with the realm of corporate business. "This", says Dean and Head of School Prof Stephen Migiro, "is a significant part of the grounding process for students and stakeholders".
Unique Positioning of UKZN Graduate School of Business and Leadership
The UKZN Graduate School of Business and Leadership is the province' leading Business School, and the main public institution and service provider, and Prof Migiro outlines the key advantage they offer.
"The School is one of the few business schools in South Africa to be based at the coast, but, more importantly, we are one of the few business schools in the country to incorporate learning of leadership through system theory. This key methodology is crucial, as students are trained to understand how components of any organisation talk to each other. System theory enables students to apply critical thinking and cultivate the ability to become analytical in nature. In essence, we seek to provide excellent teaching in management and leadership education."
Distinct Value of Programmes on Offer
The UKZN Graduate School of Business and Leadership offers a generic MBA as well as several other highly specialised postgraduate degrees and diplomas, and a portfolio of short courses which form an integral component of holistic professional development.
The Masters of Commerce in Leadership Studies, for example, focuses on Local Economic Development, and as Prof Migiro points out, "If local economies are not well managed, then the National Economy will not be well managed or develop to maximum potential."
Other courses offered by the UKZN Graduate School of Business and Leadership include the PhD (Leadership Studies), the DBA (Doctor of Business administration), the MCom in Leadership Studies and three Postgraduate Diplomas, in Leadership and Management, Management (focus on LED) and Entrepreneurship.
There are also several short courses that cover a range of disciplines including Competent Project Management, Finance for Non-Financial Managers and the Management Development and the Managing for Impact Programmes.
Growth of School's Student Portfolio
Prof Migiro has noted significant changes to the School and its intake of students since his appointment less than two years ago. "For the first time in the school's history, the school has more enrolments than allocated classes."
This is probably attributable to an initiative introduced by Prof Migiro shortly after joining the School. MBA Block classes were introduced to introduce students to full-time academic study and face-to-face communication. The block classes also created the opportunity for students from regions outside KwaZulu-Natal to study at the UKZN Graduate School of Business and Leadership.
MBA Block classes also create opportunities for students to engage in enthusiastic and critical participation with the programmes on offer, and encourage full-time study. "We are not a regional business school, we are a national business school; and thus training for the nation, not just for the region," he says.
Prof Migiro reports that the school is currently at 103% of its enrolment, and is leading in postgraduate enrolment in the College of Law and Management Studies.
Innovation to Foster Partnerships
The University of KwaZulu-Natal's Graduate School of Business and Leadership is moving forward with progressive initiatives. Some of the initiatives for the year include Discussion Forums that focus on contemporary issues in society, and senior leaders from both Government and the private sector will participate.
The UKZN Graduate School of Business and Leadership will also partner with UZKN's School of Engineering with a view to foster innovation and entrepreneurship The aim, Prof Migiro says, is to "assist engineering students to translate innovative ideas into business.
Contribution to KZN Economy
Students participating in the Local Economic Development (LED) Programme are drawn from municipalities from the province of KwaZulu-Natal. Prof Migiro explains that the focus on LED grew from the Business School identifying a lack of crucial skills among personnel and top management at the key decision making points of Local Government in the province.
The Department of Economic Development and Tourism are leading advocates of the LED Programme and pay for their students to be taught excellence of leadership, management and sound decision making.
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