Pretoria University’s Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) (South Africa) and carmaker Toyota have teamed up to create Africa’s first specialist manufacturing MBA program in an attempt to provide the sector with qualified professionals.
The program will be introduced in 2019.
Former Toyota SA CEO Johan van Zyl, now president of Toyota Europe and a trustee of the Toyota SA Educational Trust, said:
The creation of a deep manufacturing culture has contributed to the development of Asian economies such as Japan, Thailand, and Korea. I believe we need to start building a similarly deep culture of manufacturing in SA.
Toyota Wessels Institute for Manufacturing Studies Executive Director Justin Barnes said the MBA was not automotive-specific but would address manufacturing in general. Despite manufacturing being considered vital for the growth of developing economies, its contribution to SA’s GDP was in decline.
While the first group of students would probably all be South Africans, he expressed hope that about 25% of future intakes would come from the rest of Africa.
Barnes, a former chair of industrial studies at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) (South Africa), is chair of Benchmarking and Manufacturing (B&M) Analysts and lead consultant to the department of trade and industry on motor industry policy.
The institute, launched in November and named after the Wessels family that founded Toyota South Africa, has its campus in a Kloof mansion built at the turn of the 20th century by industrialist Sir Guy Hulett. Johannesburg-based GIBS beat several business schools, including UKZN’s, to win the right to offer the MBA. It will also teach a postgraduate diploma (PGDip) in business administration, which students will complete before tackling the MBA. Combined, the two courses will take two years to complete.
Curriculum focus and schedule
GIBS dean Nicola Kleyn said her school was wholly responsible for student selection and teaching. Programs, taught by GIBS faculty, would include both online tuition and 10-day block-releases at the institute. Annual intakes would be limited initially to about 40 students.
She said much of the MBA’s content would be general business administration. However, elective subjects, research, dissertations, and overseas trips would focus on manufacturing. She said:
We need to grow manufacturing and train people to manage it.
In addition to the GIBS programs, the institute plans to create research chairs, co-operate with international manufacturing centers, and run its own non-academic activities, including executive development programs and certification courses.
Applicants should have a Bachelors’ degree, at least five years’ work experience, and at least two years’ management experience.
International applicants need to submit the necessary passport and permits. Applicants who hold foreign qualifications need to send them to the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) for evaluation before applying to GIBS.
All applicants need to write a motivation essay stating why they should be accepted onto the manufacturing focused MBA program. Aspirants who currently do not have experience in the manufacturing Industry should explain how this qualification will assist them in the near future.
Applicants are also required to sit either the GIBS Entrance Test or the GMAT, depending on their qualifications. The required GMAT minimum score is 550.
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