7 Of The Best Business Schools in South Africa

7 Of The Best Business Schools in South Africa

If you're considering furthering your degree and gaining skills to equip you for the business world, you'll need to decide which business school to attend. The choice can be overwhelming, but luckily, some excellent business schools in South Africa are known for providing outstanding education. Three of the country’s business schools hold the highly coveted Triple Crown Accreditation

This is a list of the best business schools in South Africa, a summary of their programmes, and a note about the awards they have won for academic excellence and good work in the community.


1. UCT Graduate School of Business


Established in 1964, the UCT Graduate School of Business (UCTGSB) offers top-notch business education in South Africa. It is one of only three South African business schools with Triple Crown Accreditation. 

The UCTGSB is a business school that focuses on research. Its studies focus on new ideas, sustainability, ethics, and South Africa's growing markets. The school wants to make the world a better place to live by giving students the tools they need to be change agents and teaching them knowledge, skills, and values.

Postgraduate, doctorate, and master's degrees are available from the UCTGSB. Various programmes intended to improve students' skills and help them advance in their careers are offered to recent graduates, business professionals, transitioning managers, and senior executives.

Find out more about the UCTGSB programme here.


2. University of Stellenbosch Business School


The University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB) is one of the highest-ranked business schools in South Africa and is the first in the country to hold the Triple Crown Accreditation. The school has several partnerships with businesses and international business schools to give students the chance to study overseas, obtain practical experience, hone their skills, and network with professionals and students from various industries.

USB is of the opinion that its students are essential to building a more promising future for society. Its main goal is to give upcoming business and organisation leaders the best, most up-to-date, and game-changing skills and knowledge. Through extensive research, it also seeks to share new business knowledge. 

The USB School offers a variety of master's, postgraduate, and doctorate degrees to accommodate its students' varied interests. Programmes include research projects, lectures, and global business school modules to develop ethical leaders who are capable of handling difficult situations and making crucial business decisions. Leadership ideals and analytical thinking are promoted.

Find out more about the USB school programme here.


3. Gordon Institute of Business Science


Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) was founded in 2000 and is part of the University of Pretoria. The school has been recognised internationally for its exceptional MBA and executive programmes, positioning it as one of the best business schools in South Africa.

One of GIBS's primary goals is to help its students develop into highly adaptive people who can react to any circumstance and help solve problems in the quick-paced, constantly evolving business world. Its programmes and centres of excellence make it easier for students to connect, learn, and engage in a positive atmosphere.

GIBS offers several master's, postgraduate, and doctorate degrees. Classes are taught online and on campus. Students receive advanced research training on a broad range of business-related subjects, and they graduate from this programme with the knowledge and abilities to comprehend the problems facing the business world and develop solutions for them. 

Find out more about the GIBS’ programme here.


4. Wits Business School


One of the best universities in Africa for higher education is the University of Witwatersrand, home to Wits Business School (WBS). With the largest percentage of its graduates occupying executive positions in national and international companies, WBS is one of the best business schools in South Africa.

An essential component of learning in WBS is research. It is home to the WBS Case Centre, Africa's largest academic case centre, where students can study, debate, and analyse real-life business challenges in the classroom. Students can also use the state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment and research facilities. Students can work on group projects and have discussions in the small group rooms, which are available around the clock.

WBS offers master's, postgraduate, and doctorate programmes. To maximise interactions between students and professors during lectures, the classroom format is based on the horseshoe model developed by Harvard Business School (desks are placed in a horseshoe, or circular shape so that students can face one another). Additionally, students participate in projects and attend various seminars that allow them to collaborate closely with the school's partner clients.

Find out more about the WBS programmes here.


5. Graduate School of Business Leadership


As a University of South Africa division, the Graduate School of Business Leadership (SBL) is a well-known academic centre. On the advice and encouragement of prominent South African business leaders, the school launched its Master of Business Leadership (MBL) programme for the first time in 1965. Because of the programme's success and various fields of study, SBL was established as a separate entity within the university in 1969.

With more than a third of all MBL/MBA degrees granted in the nation since its founding, the SBL is recognised as one of the best business schools in South Africa. The institution offers graduate, doctorate, and postgraduate diploma programmes.

The school offers one-year postgraduate diploma programmes in Supply Chain Management, Project Management, and Business Administration. The emphasis of the MBL programme is on leadership theory and practice, as implied by its name. It teaches managers how to lead successfully. Developing well-rounded leaders who can lead teams and individuals towards success is the goal of the MBA programme.

Find out more about the SBL programmes here.


6. Henley Business School South Africa


Henley Business School is another prestigious business school in South Africa with campuses in Africa, Europe, Asia, and the UK. It provides various management programmes, including graduate and undergraduate diploma programmes.

Its flagship programme is the two-year international MBA degree, intended for experienced managers and executives who want to improve as leaders and lead their companies to success. The fact that Henley Business School is accredited by prestigious international quality assurance organisations like AMBA, EQUIS, AACSB, and AABS speaks volumes about the calibre of its curriculum.

One of Henley's advantages is being an international business school with numerous partnerships and global ties. Henley Africa collaborates with organisations, companies, and academic institutions in South Africa and worldwide. It has multiple research centres, including the John Madejski Centre for Reputation Africa, which aims to improve the reputation of African businesses with an emphasis on sustainability and social impact; the Henley Centre for Leadership Africa, which transforms and develops good leadership in Africa; and the Dunning Africa Centre, which promotes partnerships between universities and businesses to study the impact of globalisation.

Find out more about the Henley Business School’s programmes here.


7. Nelson Mandela University Business School


Nelson Mandela University's internationally accredited Business School provides various programmes to cultivate creative, socially conscious business leaders. Three of their most popular programmes are the Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA), Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration (PDBA), and Master of Business Administration (MBA).

The AMBA accredited MBA programme emphasises the importance of developing leadership skills and is tailored to make experienced managers and leaders more successful and productive in their professional endeavours. This is in contrast to the PDBA, which is a one-year programme that teaches management and leadership through both theory and practice. The EDAMBA-accredited DBA programme at the school is for people who want to do research and help make business administration and leadership better. The programme encourages people to create and use theoretical frameworks to deal with real-world business problems. 

Find out more about the Nelson Mandela University Business School’s programmes here.

These are just seven of the best business schools in South Africa. Any of these top schools is an investment in business education. Go through the programmes carefully and decide which is best suited to your future career goals.


General entry requirements to a business school


If you plan to pursue an education at a business school, then there are certain conditions that you need to fulfil. Here are the most common prerequisites, depending on the programme you choose:

  • Bachelors degree
  • Three to four years of work experience
  • Good entrance exam scores
  • A detailed curriculum vitae (CV)
  • Recommendation letters

Each business school will have a list of their necessary requirements; contact the school of your choice to find out what these are.

Read: Tips for graduates entering the workplace.

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