Henley Business School
+27 11 808-0860
Send us an email
Visit our website

Henley MBA receives top ranking

Jon Foster-Pedley, dean and director of Henley South Africa
When it comes to meeting students’ expectations, Henley Business School tops the charts. A recent report produced by reveals that by far the main reason people study an MBA is to attain business knowledge (selected by 72% of respondents). Acquiring confidence in a business setting was considered the second most important factor. Henley was the only school of all South African business schools to achieve the top ranking for meeting expectations in both areas. It also scored highest in meeting students’ financial expectations post-MBA and in increasing job effectiveness.

Dean and director of Henley Business School, Jon Foster-Pedley, attributes these positive results to the school’s philosophy of prioritising the development of managers and leaders for the future. “Doing things well is important, but doing the right things well is critical,” he says.

Henley also obtained the highest score for meeting students’ expectations of financial rewards, as well as international mobility. The report quoted a 2011 Henley graduate as saying: “[I liked] the ability to learn and work at the same time, as all assignments were focused on a problem at work. So I got return on investment from day one of starting my MBA."

Foster-Pedley says the school’s top ranking for international mobility is hardly surprising, considering that it is both the only Council for Higher Education-accredited international business school in South Africa and the only internationally triple-accredited one. “Having triple international accreditation from AMBA, EQUIS and ASCSB gives us a qualification that’s both credible and rigorous.”

Despite, or perhaps because of, being smaller and more focused than most other business schools, Henley achieved number one rankings in a total of four of the nine criteria set out in the report. And although all schools were effective in positively impacting job effectiveness, Henley’s rating of 9.4 out of 10 placed it firmly at the top of the list.

The report, which is based on a comprehensive survey of 1 575 individuals who have either completed, or are currently studying towards, an MBA degree at an accredited South African business school, aims to answer the question: should I do an MBA? In so doing, it took a critical look at the impact, both positive and negative, of an MBA on their personal and professional lives.

The report points out that, although the overall impact on students’ and graduates’ lives is overwhelmingly positive (only 1% of respondents regretted the decision to study an MBA), students have to make significant sacrifices for the duration of the programme. Nonetheless, while Henley scored high on the upside, it also succeeded in scoring low on the downside.

“What this means is that you get the important wins but at relatively low cost,” says Foster-Pedley. “Henley has a high positive impact on your career, but is the least likely to cause problems.”

According to the report, the careers of Henley MBA students were least affected; they also reported the lowest financial impact from a lifestyle point of view.

While the majority of students surveyed reported a negative impact on their stress levels, Henley came in with the second lowest score. Foster-Pedley believes that allowing students more time to complete their MBA degree can alleviate stress considerably. “That’s not to say that longer programmes are any less rigorous; in fact in many ways they are deeper. They give students more time to immerse themselves fully, reflect on what they’ve learned and bounce ideas off one another. Henley’s part-time flexible executive MBA takes a minimum of three years to complete.

“Our students don’t do an MBA; they manage an MBA, which is why our programme focuses so much on management skills, project management skills and working in groups. Because we help people to manage their MBA, they remain interested and focused. And because it’s flexible, it allows people to adjust their lives to reduce stress, so that when a new child comes along, they’re not desperately conflicted between an artificial deadline and feeding the baby. They can actually stretch that deadline, feed the baby and return to their studies.”

Not surprisingly, the report reveals that 92% of those experiencing high stress levels also reported that it affected their health, diet and exercise negatively. Once again, Henley scored low in all three areas.

MBAs are often disparagingly referred to as “Marriage Break-up Academies”, and yet only 1% of Henley respondents reported that the programme had had an extremely negative impact on their marriages or romantic relationships, standing in stark contrast to the average of 7% across all participating schools. It was also one of the schools to score lowest in terms of negative impact on sex life. “The Henley programme has a strong focus on the family,” says Foster-Pedley. “Several of our students are married couples and we have even gone so far as to post photos of MBA babies on a board in our office. At Henley we are working with families and partners and are determined to create a modern, responsible and conscious MBA that builds family relationships in the process of bulding careers”.

“The Henley MBA is packaged to prepare students to be effective, intelligent managers and leaders who can build businesses, while still balancing their studies with the demands – and joys – of day-to-day life.”
Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on Facebook
Share via Email