UCT GSB MBA ranks top in Africa on sustainability performance

PRESS OFFICE: UCT Graduate School of Business

The University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business (UCT GSB) has been ranked 22nd in the world for its MBA programme on the Corporate Knights’ 2021 Better World MBA list of the top 40 global business schools. This prestigious international rating system recognises business schools that are responding to the strong demand for sustainability in business.

The UCT GSB MBA programme has been recognised among the best business schools in the world on the Corporate Knights’ 19th annual Better World MBA Ranking. The latest ranking was published this week, identifying the top programmes from around the world for shaping business leaders who prioritise the integration of responsible and environmental priorities into their business practice.

The UCT GSB ranked 22nd out of 147 programmes evaluated by Corporate Knights – making it the top African business school on this list. Australia’s Griffith Business School took the top spot on the ranking for the second consecutive year. Maastricht University’s School of Business and Economics in the Netherlands was second with the UK’s Warwick Business School named third. The next African business school on the list is Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS), in 39th place.

“Every MBA program in the world should be instilling holistic purpose in leaders, ensuring they have the skills, tools and values to build a more inclusive, healthier economy that’s beneficial to society and in harmony with the natural world, and the Better World business schools are leading the way,” says Toby Heaps, CEO of Corporate Knights.

The organisation notes that since 2020, there has been a noticeable rise in faculty research and business school core courses aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). This trend accelerated in 2021 and is indicative of a greater demand from students for education in how to do meaningful work to help address the serious social and environmental problems that threaten humanity’s common future.

UCT GSB’s MBA Director, Associate Professor Mignon Reyneke said that the school was honoured to be recognised among its global peers for imparting sustainability in its business education. “This ranking recognises our efforts to develop impactful, and relevant qualifications for business leaders on the continent,” she said.

Earlier in 2021, the UCT GSB was the only school on the continent to make the prestigious Financial Times 2021 ranking of full-time MBA programmes. Over the past year, the UCT GSB has shifted its teaching to online, tapping into new opportunities, including providing greater access to global thought leaders, business experts and academics.

Deputy Director of the UCT GSB Kutlwano Ramaboa says, “The UCT GSB’s aim is to combine cutting-edge education with new ideas, innovative approaches and creative thinking about real challenges in a way that has a wider-ranging, positive impact on not only the business world but society as a whole.”

In compiling the ranking, Corporate Knights included the 2021 Financial Times 100 Global MBA programmes, every programme that made the 2020 Top 40 in the Corporate Knights Better World MBA Ranking, and select MBA programmes accredited by AMBA, AACSB or EQUIS, and/or signatories of the Principles for Responsible Management Education that opted in for evaluation.

MBA programmes are evaluated across key performance indicators including core course integration of sustainability, research publications per faculty member on sustainability topics in calendar year 2020, percent of total faculty publications in 2020 on sustainability topics, number of citations per faculty for those publications, sustainability-focused research institutes and centres, faculty gender diversity and faculty racial diversity.

Associate Professor Reyneke says, “We are working very hard to make our MBA programme even more responsive to our current global business climate. Exploring new insights and opportunities for Africa and tapping into the fast-paced innovations that we have right here on the continent, and learning to apply these for better ways of doing business on the continent.”