Henley Africa first to receive quadruple accreditation

Henley Business School Africa has become the first business school to be accredited by the Association of African Business Schools (AABS). The announcement, made on Thursday 25 September, 2021 at the Association of African Business Schools held in Lagos, Nigeria, also made Henley Africa, the first business school on the continent to be quadruple accredited.

Henley Africa is accredited by the British Association of MBAs (AMBA), the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD) and the US Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). Henley Africa is part of Henley Business School at the University of Reading in the UK. The so-called triple crown is awarded only after the completion of a stringent due diligence process by the three most important business management quality assurance bodies internationally on the quality of the programmes offered, especially the flagship MBA degree.

Only 108 business schools - 1% of the total in the world - are able to boast this achievement. Of the 108. Apart from Henley, there are only four others in Africa with it: UCT’s Graduate School of Business, Stellenbosch University Business School, Gordon Institute of Business Science and the American University in Cairo Business School.

Becoming the inaugural business school to be awarded the AABS certification – on top of the triple crown - is highly significant says Henley Africa dean and director Jon Foster-Pedley.

“First and foremost,” said Foster-Pedley, “this certification recognises Henley Africa as a fully-fledged business school in its own right, rather than as a branch of Henley UK – it’s an amazing affirmation of a journey than began just over 10 years ago with a staff of five in a single office to a complete campus occupying an entire office park in northern Johannesburg with a staff more than 90 and a satellite campus in Cape Town, which together provide more than 65% of Henley’s worldwide executive MBA enrolment.”

“African education is truly becoming of age. AABS has created an accreditation process based on the strictest parameters from AACSB and EFMD models. African education as a whole is finding its voice, standards and stature in its own right, and this means that we can confidently collaborate to build better business education across Africa.”

The accreditation also recognises Henley Africa’s work in South Africa and the continent to decolumnise and decolonise education by making it accessible, relevant and vital, especially within the context of building back better after the ravages of the worst public health crisis in living memory. As the AABS noted during its announcement this week; “we are proud to be part of your movement for building Africa”, affirming the school’s credo “we build the leaders who build the businesses that build Africa”.

Henley Africa has been at the forefront of innovation during the pandemic, from its successful pivot to virtual learning before President Cyril Ramaphosa’s imposition of the first, level 5 lockdown in March 2020, to creating a range of short courses for everything from entrepreneurs to virtual medicine and aspirant farm managers as well as pioneering the use of virtual reality in its immersive learning component as part of its unique PG Diploma programme for Africa.

The school also appointed its first professor of research during this time and inaugurated Henley EARTH (Environmental Activism through Research and Training at Henley), producing research with deep impactful insights on issues as diverse as land reform to sustainable post pandemic remote working practices and even a playbook for making corporate strategy become a reality rather than an irrelevance.

“The AABS certification was an incredibly rigorous process,” said Foster-Pedley, “and my very deep gratitude is due to the our faculty and staff here in South Africa, as well as our colleagues in the global Henley community who helped, inspired and taught us and to the AABS for their very professional and appropriately challenging process.

“I am proud of what Henley Africa has achieved. This assessment was of Henley Africa itself rather than Henley global and really demonstrates what our faculty and staff achieved. They can rightfully be enormously proud of this.”

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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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