The UCT Graduate School of Business (GSB) is launching a new initiative that will see managers on one of its premier executive programmes obtain some of the most advanced learning support offered by a South African business school yet.
Elaine Rumboll, Director of Executive Education
The Modular Programme for Management Development (PMD), a course that develops high-potential middle-to-senior managers, is the launching pad in February for the intensive learning support facility, which will keep alive a manager's or executive's link to the source of learning and helping them to firmly embed learning into their organisations.
Those studying on the flexible format PMD will for the first time have a hotline to the School that they can call at any time and support will range from confidential counselling and ad hoc coaching to practical advice.
As the year unfolds, it will also be rolled out to all three of the School's flagship non-degree leadership programmes - the New Managers Programme, PMD (full-time) and the Executive Leadership Programme.
Elaine Rumboll, Director of Executive Education at the GSB, which runs the programmes, said that the decision to put serious resources behind a post-course learning support function was spurred by recent feedback from its participation in the international Economist Intelligence Unit Ranking of Executive Education.
"We took part in the survey for the first time in 2005 and were extremely gratified when we made it into the Top 10. This ranking said positively that our learning and experience is right up there with the best business schools in the world. However, the one area where we scored less well than others was in the realm of learning support."
Rumboll said that by creating a facility that delegates can tap into after they leave, the business school hopes to keep alive their link to the source of learning, helping them to plot their learning course through their organisations.
"It is now well established by research that adults learn better when they are able to apply what they have learned in the workplace," says Rumboll. "What is now starting to emerge is that the more people are supported in this process, the more effectively learning can be embedded in the organisation."
Rumboll added that delegates on the PMD modular course stand to benefit particularly from it.
"Because of the modular nature of the programme, which means managers spend their time at the business school in modules spread over a few months rather than full-time, those attending will be able to keep in touch with the School on a daily basis if they feel they need to," she said.
Rumboll said that South Africa's skills development crisis is one of the main reasons for needing to be innovative to ensure people get the most out of their learning experience.
"The modular format itself is a response to market needs in South Africa - research at the UCT GSB has highlighted the need for innovative ways of delivering business education to meet the needs of many students who may not be able to study full-time. There is a real demand for modular programmes that allow people the ability to study while continuing to work and care for their families."
The PMD develops in managers the capability to innovate, think differently and deal with complex business environments and develops the ability to create and deliver value. It also teaches how to apply systems thinking in a variety of complex situations.
Applications are being taken for the Modular PMD which starts with module one on 18 February 2007. Contact Shireen on (021) 406 1370 or email for details.