Top 12 Universities in South Africa to Pursue an MBA Degree

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A Master of Business Administration (MBA), often pursued by professionals or academics who wish to excel and access the plethora of knowledge that the higher education degree has to offer in the realm of business, has become a rather popular programme around the world. According to Prof. Shlomo Maital who is a Senior Research Fellow at the S. Neaman Institute for National Policy Research “there were over a quarter of a million MBA students worldwide” between 2011 and 2012, alone. 

An MBA, however, is not the only thing gaining popularity across the globe. Distance and online learning have become a rather popular topic, especially since the spread of the pandemic. However, the concepts of online and blended learning have been the talk of the town for the past decade as a result of the digitalisation of multiple industries in the world, including the education industry. Research and Markets had forecasted the market of online education to witness a growth of up to $350 Billion by 2025, and this was established before COVID-19 forced the world into a state of lockdown. 

Much like in other countries, in South Africa as well, an MBA equips professionals and students with the information and skills that they need to acquire an executive position in South Africa’s thriving business ecosystems or even transform the entrepreneurial landscape while utilising leadership, networking, and project management skills. According to a 2019 Corporate Recruiters Survey (CRS) by Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), 86 per cent of corporate respondents who were surveyed agreed or strongly agreed that MBA graduates from business schools were well-prepared for success in their organisation.

Keeping in mind the significance and prominence of the degree course as well as the new trends that have emerged in the education industry, the following is a list of the top 12 universities in South Africa for students to consider as they decide to pursue an MBA. Some of these universities offer online MBA programmes that meet students’ requirements and are credible and economical to pursue.

1. The University of Pretoria – Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS)

The University of Pretoria (UP) is one of Africa’s top universities and the largest contact university in South Africa. It produces socially impactful research to find solutions for the world’s most pressing issues. The institution has a high quality of teaching and learning in the classroom, online, or communities. They have support in place for students to graduate on time as well-rounded, responsible citizens fully prepared for the world beyond university. 

2. Milpark Education: Milpark Business School

Milpark Business School is one of the first private providers of higher management education in South Africa. Since 1997, they evolved into an internationally recognised institution. The Milpark Business School is currently home to the only internationally (AMBA) accredited MBA in Africa for online distance learning. Milpark offers 21 accredited higher education programmes through four schools, namely, The Business School, The School of Commerce, The School of Financial Planning and Insurance, and The School of Investment and Banking.

3. Westford University Online

Branching out its decade of experience in the education industry gathered from UAE, India, Lebanon, and Africa into a platform dedicated completely to offering quality education to students across the globe, including South Africa. Westford University Online offers Postgraduate, Undergraduate, and vocational courses in Business, Management, Marketing, Human Resources, and various other fields of study. Westford has been recognised as the
Most Valued E-Learning Institute by Forbes Magazine in 2020 and the Fastest Growing Online MBA Provider by Global Brands Magazine in 2020.

4. Regent Business School

Regent Business School, a higher education provider strives to deliver quality academic programmes that meet recognised academic standards to its students. It does this by ensuring that all REGENT’s programmes are developed internally by its professional team, in consultation with experts from business, and leading academics.

5. Management College of South Africa (MANCOSA)

MANCOSA was established in 1995 as a post-apartheid empowerment institution offering affordable and accessible management education primarily to persons previously denied access to postgraduate education. MANCOSA is a leading provider of management programmes through supported distance learning in Southern Africa. It has more than 10,000 students currently enrolled on its programmes.

6. University of Cape Town (UCT) – Graduate School of Business

The University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business are passionate about learning and is dedicated to social responsiveness and to addressing the key developmental challenges facing this country and other emerging markets.

7. University of South Africa (UNISA)

Unisa is the largest open distance learning institution in Africa and the longest standing dedicated distance education university in the world. UNISA offer an unparalleled range of study choices, ranging from short courses and certificate programmes to three-and four-year degrees and diplomas, with close to 400,000 current students. As one of the leading research institutions on the continent, their research efforts have won us numerous awards, recognitions, and honours.

8. University of the Witwatersrand – Wits Business School (WBS)

Wits University has made a formidable impact on society over the past 100 years and is set to continue advancing society for good. It is a beacon of hope for South Africa and continues to punch above its weight in the world. Wits celebrates 100 years of academic and research excellence, innovation, and social justice in 2022.

9. University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB)

Stellenbosch University (SU) is home to an academic community of 29 000 students (including 4 000 foreign students from 100 countries) as well as 3 000 permanent staff members (including 1 000 academics) on five campuses. The University is amongst South Africa’s leading tertiary institutions based on research output, student pass rates and rated scientists, and is recognised internationally as an academic institution of excellence. It boasts the highest weighted research output per full-time academic staff member of all South African universities and the second-highest number of scientists in South Africa who have been rated by the National Research Foundation (NRF).

10. North-West University – NWU Business School

The NWU is committed to functioning as a unitary, integrated, multi-campus university that enables equity, redress and globally competitive teaching and research across all three campuses. The core activities, teaching-learning and research are intertwined with community engagement and innovation in eight faculties, most of which serve both distance and contact students. Through collaboration with other universities and institutions internationally, they are part of the global higher education community. 

11. Henley Business School – South Africa

True to the mission of Henley Business School Africa “We build the people who build the businesses that build Africa”, our overarching ambition for Research at Henley is to contribute significantly to inculcating a forward-thinking philosophy through research and to develop and foster sense-making capabilities for the benefit of Henley Business School Africa, its stakeholders, its clients, and broader society in Africa and beyond. 

12. Regenesys Business School

Regenesys Business School was founded in South Africa in 1998. The Business School boasts a faculty of 100 highly skilled, expert educators and facilitators. They have different schools offering a variety of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes: The Schools of Business Management, Public Management, Accounting Science, Science and Technology, and Education. In addition, Regenesys offers corporate education and a selection of skills courses. Digital Regenesys is our dedicated digital education platform. Regenesys is passionate about higher education and empowering individuals. To date, we have empowered more than 200,000 students and graduates from 190 countries.


You may also be interested in reading: The value of an online MBA from a global perspective for South African students

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