Henley recognised as top in the world for faculty diversity

Henley Business School, an international business school with a campus in South Africa for more than three decades, has maintained its world Top-30 ranking for its customised and open executive education programmes and was ranked number one for faculty diversity in the annual Financial Times ranking of executive education providers.

Henley Business School has been ranked in the world’s top 30 for its open and customised executive programmes in the Financial Times annual rankings, published on 20 May 2024, placing it in the top 1% of the world’s 10,000 or so business schools.

An international institution that is part of the University of Reading, Henley is one of just seven business schools active in Africa to feature in this prestigious annual ranking, regarded as the leading benchmark of quality and relevance for global business schools.

"We’re celebrating today," says Linda Buckley, Henley Africa's Head of Learning Experience and Executive Education Director. "This result reaffirms the continued relevance and impact of the work we are doing with public and private sector clients across our UK, Finnish and South African campuses.

"Our clients are reporting higher overall satisfaction rates, and Henley was also again rated number one in the world for faculty diversity in both the open and customised ranking. This is a vital measure and indicates the unique breadth of critical thinking and practical insight that we can deliver by virtue of our extensive thinking and learning network across four continents. A diverse faculty can bring unique viewpoints and research opportunities to the student experience and is key in giving students a sense of belonging. Diverse perspectives enhance teaching and engagement with the community and the world."

"This is a significant achievement," comments Jon Foster-Pedley, dean and director of Henley Africa. "Henley Business School has delivered its international Executive MBA in South Africa for over three decades, but its executive education work has only expanded in the past decade. African clients now form a significant portion of the school’s annual customised ranking.

"While by no means the only yardstick a credible business school needs to measure itself against, the Financial Times rankings are an important and influential third-party gauge of standards and quality. Rankings tell you that as a business school, we are securely rooted in best practice and quality standards, and this frees us up to innovate as we work to equip business leaders with relevant and practical skills to respond to contemporary challenges."

Foster-Pedley adds that in a world of accelerating technology and rising geopolitical uncertainty, Henley has been exploring novel ways to deliver impactful learning with a human touch to enable individuals and organisations to successfully navigate the uncertain terrain. This includes using Virtual and Augmented Reality, experiential immersions to other geographies both on the African continent and beyond, and creating new and unique simulations for current and future-focused learning.

"Henley’s reputation for our innovative and family-friendly approach to equipping executives, managers and leaders in all sectors is growing," he said. "It is not uncommon to hear our delegates talk about the love and connection they feel during their time with us and to report that their confidence and skills leap forward delivering results for the organisations they work for."

Foster-Pedley and Buckley paid tribute to the faculty, educators and the people on the ground in South Africa and the global Henley community who have played an integral role in helping the school achieve this ranking by providing exceptional service to clients. "This is a team effort, and Henley is a magnificent and really special global team," said Foster-Pedley.

Buckley also thanked Henley Africa’s public and private sector clients for helping deliver this accolade to the business school. The rankings are based on direct interviews with business school clients, and up to 80% of the total ranking is determined by client satisfaction. Other factors such as teaching methods, follow-up (a measure of the level of follow-up offered to participants after their return to their workplaces) and aims achieved were also taken into account.

"This isn’t a celebration just for us, we’re celebrating with our clients as well. It is a privilege to be entrusted to work with so many of the continent’s top organisations to inspire and upskill their people. Together we are building the people, who build the businesses, that build Africa,” said Buckley.

Ninety schools from around the world were ranked by the FT in the 2024 customised ranking, with 19 new entrants to the rankings this year. Insead took the top spot, beating Duke Corporate Education, last year’s number one, into 3rd place. HEC Paris topped the ranking for open programmes.

Other African schools to feature in the two rankings include the UCT Graduate School of Business, Lagos Business School in Nigeria, the Gordon Institute of Business Science (University of Pretoria), and The American University of Cairo School of Business in Egypt. Duke Corporate Education and Skema Business School, both international institutions with a presence in South Africa, are also ranked.

Details of the Financial Times 2024 rankings can be found on the Financial Times website here.

Useful resources:
Henley Business School
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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