More than 100 Henley Africa MBA students graduate

More than 100 MBA students from Henley Business School Africa graduated at the University of Reading’s Henley Business School in September. They had to do so virtually, because of the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions.

Every Henley Africa MBA graduate has the option to graduate in the UK in September or at home in South Africa in November, or - if they choose to - both. In November this year Henley Africa will be capping 238 MBA graduates, among several hundred other graduands and diplomates across the business school’s unique ladder of learning that allows students to access higher learning from NQF 5 to the Master’s level NQF 9. Once again this too will be a virtual event like last year, stretching over an entire month of separate ceremonies.

The UK graduation ceremony was overseen by the British business school’s dean of deans Professor John Board, while Henley Africa’s dean and director Jon Foster-Pedley convened a special panel of graduates drawn from Henley’s global campuses in Germany, Finland, Denmark, Malta, the UK and South Africa to speak about their experiences as they were virtually welcomed into the more than 80 000 strong international alumni community.

Their MBA, he told them, was their proven antidote against the virus of misinformation.

“Our world is increasingly a binary world; an intellectual pandemic where opinions trump facts; fake news gets more clicks than real news and the quacks call us sheep for getting vaccinated while dousing themselves in sheep dip. We have more access to information than ever before, but we’ve never been more misinformed.

“The good news is that there’s a vaccine for that. It’s called education – and specifically an MBA. This isn’t a Master’s in Business Administration, it’s a Master’s in Business Activism. We have to build back better across the world.”

Henley Africa accounts for 60% of Henley’s entire global MBA intake and 75% of the executive MBA class. A decade ago, Henley Africa capped 30 MBA graduates, today enrolments have increased tenfold, notwithstanding the pandemic as the business school innovated and pivoted its teaching entirely to virtual platforms. This year’s class exceeds. the record number of MBA graduates in 2019.

“You’re going back into a world where humanity has never been more at risk,” Foster-Pedley told the graduates, “yet never needed as much. Your humanity doesn’t have to be a grand gesture, it can be tiny like understanding the critical need to be vaccinated, to wear a mask, wash your hands and keep your physical distance not just to protect yourself but because you want to protect others around you.

“You’re emerging from your academic immersion knowing the challenges and the opportunities that lie ahead and, as an African – I hope that you will create prosperity in everything that you do for everyone involved in your value chain from supplier to staff member and consumer or client.”

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At the core of Henley’s philosophy is the belief that we need to develop managers and leaders for the future. We believe the challenge facing future leaders is the need to solve dilemmas through making choices. We work with both individuals and organisations to create the appropriate learning environment to facilitate the critical thinking skills to prepare for the future.
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