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Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  12 May 2009

BUSINESS: GSB In Global Top Ten For Economics


Recent Western Cape Business News

The UCT Graduate School of Business (UCT GSB) is the ninth best business school in the field of economics in the world – this according to the latest Financial Times Global MBA Top 100 Rankings.

The UCT GSB full-time MBA programme was ranked as the best value for money MBA in the world in the latest Financial Times (FT) of London’s Global MBA Top 100 Ranking released recently, and remains the only business school in Africa in the FT MBA Top 100. It is the fifth consecutive year that the School has featured in the rankings and holds the same spot in the ranking as it did last year (71st).

According to Barry Standish, who has directed the economics core course on the GSB MBA for the last ten years, the unique approach to the subject matter at the School helps students to grasp and use the material in a more effective way.

The focus I have always had is to give the MBAs something useful. There are three main objectives during the course – the first is to give students a sense of the world economically and open dialogue and debate; the second is to give them a structure for understanding what’s happening so they can work with it in a logical way; and the third is to try to enable them to look into the future economically to anticipate changes in the business cycle, interest rates, inflation and exchange rates,” said Standish.

Standish has been refining the methodology for a number of years and has developed a mapping system to chart a range of key economic indicators which students can use to better understand what is happening economically and anticipate what is to come.

He said one of the things he has found teaching economics at business schools, is that typical economics taught by university at undergraduate level did not work with business school students due to the predominant focus on theory. Linking economics to real world trends and the concerns of businesspeople today, he said, motivates students to understand the theory more and become more actively engaged in using it – once they are fired up and see the complexity in the world economy, they understand why the theory is important.

Feedback from students over the years has further supported the approach taken at the UCT GSB – it is consistently highly praised for making economics accessible, logical and practically applicable in real life.

Standish also attributes the innovative design of the course to the level of freedom and support given to UCT GSB faculty by the business school’s leadership to explore new ideas in the classroom, as well as his experiences teaching at the Rotterdam School of Management, which has given him exposure to very international classes which has helped to internationalise the course content.

Complementing Standish’s course on the MBA is the Economy and its Financial Markets course run by Brian Kantor, which, according to Kantor, teaches how the economy affects the financial markets and vice versa.

It is also very much applied to the economic and financial world we are engaged with and makes constant reference to the South African, regional and global economic and financial market state of play. There is an emphasis though on South Africa and emerging markets and how they are influenced by developments in the major financial centres,” said Kantor, who has taught on the GSB MBA since the early 1990s.

Kantor added that he demonstrates the methods he uses in practice as an Investment Strategist to make asset allocation decisions and judge the state of markets.

It’s intended to be a very useful course not only for MBAs who are planning to work as financial analysts or portfolio managers on the buy or sell side of the asset management business, but also for most aspirant senior managers of capital raising public and private companies who will interact with and be evaluated by the financial markets.”


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