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Unisa Graduate School of Business Leadership graduation interrupts the world

Dr Renosi Mokate, second from the left, congratulates DBL graduates

The Unisa Graduate School of Business Leadership (SBL) has conferred 21 Master of Business Administration (MBA), 208 Master of Business Leadership (MBL) and ten Doctor of Business Leadership (DBL) degrees in 2014. The SBL presented awards to its top MBL and MBA candidates for 2013 and 2014 at a graduation gala event with the theme ‘Interrupt the World’.

The Doctor of Business Leadership graduates were also recognised at the event which was attended by business leaders including Sizwe Nxasana, CEO of First Rand, 2005 winner of the SBL’s Leadership in Practice Award, several captains of industry as well as senior management and academics from Unisa.

SBL has yielded more than a third of all the MBL and MBA degrees awarded by South African universities since our formal inception in 1969 and many SBL alumni hold senior positions in global companies. Since 1969, the SBL awarded a total of close to 300 DBL degrees.

Its flagship programme, the Master of Business Leadership (MBL) has since its inception in 1965 produced a staggering 12 000 graduates; with the younger Master of Business Administration (MBA), born in 2002, delivering a total of approximately 1200 MBA graduates to date with 100 students completing the degree annually. 

“As one of the top business schools in South Africa today, the SBL is committed to our philosophy of innovation, social responsibility, ethical engagement and global interconnectedness,” says SBL Executive Director and CEO Dr. Renosi Mokate.

“Through this commitment, we are ideally positioned to operate in the area where the public sector and the private sector intersect and we are proud to continue producing graduates from both sectors who go forward to excel in their careers.  It could be said that we have disrupted the world for the past 45 years, by nurturing such a pool of talent that can be let loose into industry and government with fresh insights and leadership skills.”

A total of 14 graduates of the Doctor of Business Leadership degree from 2013 and 2014 were recognised from a diverse range of professional disciplines, including Dr Judith Dlamini, already a medical doctor, who received her second doctorate. Judy Dlamini is the Chair of Mbekani Investment Holdings Limited and Aspen Pharmacare Limited.

The best student for the 2013 MBA programme, Nkateko Hlatshwayo, achieved an average of 80 %. Hlatshwayo is employed by Sasol as the Supply Chain Officer, Site Services. Willem Van Der Colff, General Manager of Operations at Macsteel Tube and Pipe, was recognised as the best student for the 2014 MBA programme with an average of 76% in his second Masters degree. In addition to his MBA he also holds a Masters degree in Engineering Physics.

Best student for the Master of Business Leadership programme 2014 is Barend Deysel, a Chartered Accountant who was appointed Managing Director of the Highway Group following the successful completion of his MBL with an average of 79 % and 13 distinctions. Candidates were further recognised in the categories of Best Field Report and Best Research Report for 2013 and 2014 in the MBA and MBL degrees.

Dr. Mokate joined speakers including Mr Alfred Da Costa, Chairperson of the SBL Board and guest speaker ABSA board member Yolanda Cuba in congratulating the graduates.  “There has always been intense debate around the MBA degree, from the toll it can take on its students to what type of person it produces,” says Dr. Mokate.

“A recent study by the Graduate Management Admission Council, which administers the internationally recognised graduate management admissions test for business schools, found that some 80% of business school recruiters plan to hire MBAs, a 7% increase from last year and 30 percentage points higher than 2009.  Therefore be assured that – although you had to walk the extra mile to complete these qualifications – research shows that you are on the “most wanted” list for employers.” 

Graduates were challenged to use their new skills to truly make a difference and interrupt the world. “As we acknowledge our recent graduates and top performers, I invite you to consider what type of person it would take to make a positive impact on our society. No doubt, it is the dynamic and ethical leaders we aim to train and develop, leaders who value diversity and are dedicated to enhance human prosperity,” said Dr. Mokate.

While the MBA degree is offered by many business schools, the SBL is one of a few to offer the MBL and DBL degrees. As well as it formal programmes, which include the MBA, MBL, the Doctor of Business Leadership (DBL) and the Post Graduate Diploma (PGD) which serves as a bridge to these degrees, the SBL runs seven short learning executive education programmes, including specialised courses such as Project Management, Public Sector Governance and Strategic Human Resources Management.