Two Universities Take Hands

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By Frederick Philander WINDHOEK The UCT Graduate School of Business (GSB) has signed a partnership with the University of Namibia that will see a unique sharing of expertise between the two education institutions over the next two years, it was announced in a press statement. “The first fruit of the partnership will see the UCT GSB’s Executive Education unit take a hybrid of its highly successful New Managers Programme to the University of Namibia. The programme will be tailored to suit the needs of Namibian delegates through a fusion of South African and Namibian expertise,” the statement reads. Leading the initiative from the University of Namibia are Professor Diane Ashton, Capacity Building and Organisational Development Advisor, and Mr Jonathan Plessner, Senior Consultant for Business Development, both of the University Central Consultancy Bureau (UCCB). According to them the details of the partnership, the seeds of joining hands with the business school were planted by the good reputation the school has built on the continent. “We hope that this partnership will be the foundation for a growing and prosperous relationship.There is a tremendous potential for learning not only for programme participants, but also for the course facilitators, who will get an opportunity to engage with Southern African Development Community (SADC) peers,” added Ashton. Plessner stated that SADC as a region is growing and that, as national assets, it is important that universities share their knowledge across borders to respond to the region’s social and economic needs. Elaine Rumboll, Director of THE Executive Education unit at the UCT GSB, added that the UCT GSB has positioned itself as an education provider that is growing leaders in emergent markets. “This partnership is symbolic of what we envisaged ourselves to be and we certainly anticipate that the partnership will be one that opens new and interesting avenues for knowledge exchange,” she said. The Power Learning Programme for New Managers, scheduled to run in October at the University of Namibia, is based on the UCT GSB’s premier entry-level management short programme, which has seen a growing number of delegates from across the continent in recent years. Its success as an entry-level management programme is one of the key elements for using it as the launching pad for the bi-lateral relationship. “The vision at the University of Namibia is to develop a knowledge-based economy by 2030. To achieve this goal we need a labour force that is strong at lower and middle management level. We believe the Power Learning Programme can therefore act as one of the keys to unlocking accelerated management development,” said Plessner. The Executive Education unit at the UCT GSB has garnered much exposure recently thanks to a rating in the global top ten in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s 2005 survey of short executive education programmes. In 2005 the business school forged a similar cooperative initiative in Kenya with the Kenya School of Professional Studies.