HR Indaba Africa 2019: HENLEY ranked 20th best business school in the world

It moved up three places in the Financial Times' global business school rankings.

Henley Business School has recently been ranked fourth in the UK and 20th in the world for its open and customised executive education – moving up three places in the authoritative Financial Times (FT) rankings from last year.

The FT survey is recognised as the most reliable global indicator of the quality of executive education because of its use of global client and participant ratings, which in Henley’s case mostly came from its Africa operation.

“We are very proud of our collective achievement,” says dean and director of Henley Business School Africa Jon Foster-Pedley, “it reflects extremely well on our efforts here at home in South Africa where we have grown executive education from a zero base only seven years ago to the biggest part of the business school.”

Linda Buckley, Henley Business School Africa’s head of Executive Education, hails the accolade as proof of “many parts working together in a development dance, with each individual learning in the process to create a collective that is richer than what it was at the outset. If we are not learning with our partner institutions, we are not true educators.

“The alchemy of client and provider in an authentic partnership creates a winning formula - one that sees both parties succeed as their organisations benefit from the relationship in different ways.”

Steve Ludlow, the head of Executive Education at Henley UK ascribed the business school’s success to its investment in innovation.

“Recent developments at Henley include new programme designs that use both synchronous and asynchronous virtual learning components. These developments aim to provide learning individually and for cohorts of learners within their workplaces thus increasing flexibility of delivery, cost effectiveness, and reducing travel impact. ‘Face-to-face’ learning is still important but this valuable time is now focused on creative and experiential activities that are hard to replicate virtually.”

Jon says he is particularly pleased that Henley has been recognised for the diversity of its faculty, placing in the top 20 of the world’s business schools in this regard with 68 percent of faculty teaching custom programmes being women and 50 percent international.

“It’s something that we’ve been working on here in South Africa with great success in progressively transforming our faculty, our leadership and our student body over the last eight years. These days our students are mostly up and coming managers, 80 percent of whom are black African and 60% women.”

“Obviously it’s working because I am very pleased to say that we have record enrolments for the 2019 academic year underscoring not just an enduring demand for our MBA and other qualification programmes, but especially too our ongoing evolution of executive education in the South African and, increasingly, the African workplace.”

Henley, he says, is one of the most international of all business schools, with two campuses in the UK, one in South Africa and satellite operations in Denmark, Finland, Germany, Malaysia and Malta, with executive education operations in China and the Middle East.

“We are unashamedly diverse and international. Here in South Africa, we speak of building the people, who build the businesses that build Africa. In truth, as you can see from these rankings, it’s no idle boast to say we’re building the leaders who build the businesses that build the world.”

“And the best thing is it’s not us saying that, it’s the companies who entrust their staff to us and our students themselves, because it is them who form the basis of the FT rankings.”