Welcome to the UFS Business School

 

The UFS Business School was originally founded to:

  • Develop and deliver successful programmes in the field of management and business education
  • Teach and share our knowledge and convert learning into practice as a key value-proposition
  • Rigorous coaching and mentoring in an on-campus and online environment
  • Empower individuals and organisations in an entrepreneurial context
  • Maximise potential and achieve exceptional results and visible impact by showcasing how good science, technology and innovation contribute to responsible business practices, sustainability and resilience.

Mission

The UFS Business School’s central mission is to inspire and empower positive change in South Africa, the African continent and the rest of the world by developing students into compassionate business leaders, while supporting faculty and students in the ongoing generation of knowledge.

Vision

The UFS Business School will be recognized as one of the leaders in the world in socially conscious business education, with a particular emphasis on small and medium (SME) business enterprises. The Business School will enjoy a strong reputation for generating knowledge through research and disseminating it to the next generation through inspired and innovative thinking.

Values

  1. to value the generation of new ideas through scholarship informed by the principles of rigorous investigation; creativity; freedom of enquiry; and measurable impact on the professions, academic disciplines, and students that we serve;
  2. to value excellence in teaching and learning in a tradition that creates an enabling environment that contributes to each student’s development as a unique individual;
  3. we believe that business has a responsibility to contribute to the public good in ways greater than the maximization of profit. We provide our students with experiences (both theoretical, empirical and practical) that will help them reach the conclusion that they can go on and to practice it in their lives and careers;
  4. we recognise the unique opportunities inherent in South Africa and the value and diversity of our people, reflecting a microcosm of the wider world that our students, faculty and staff are encouraged to explore and understand; and
  5. we value strong character and a clear sense of personal values, and provide an environment in which different academic and intellectual traditions may interact with one another to foster students’ critical thinking about what they believe add how they should conduct their lives and business careers.

At present our current formal offerings and learning path are illustrated below:

Formal Programmes

Learning Path


  • Higher Certificate in Management Development
  • Bachelor of Management Leadership
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration
  • Master of Business Administration
  • Philisophiae Doctoral in Business Administration

     

    Short Learning Programmes

    The Centre for Business Dynamics (CBD), as the commercial unit of the UFS Business School, was founded in January 2004 and offers management and leadership development programmes to a cross-section of constituencies. The mission of the CBD is to offer customised solutions of the highest quality and relevance, in order to ensure that the skills and competencies of companies and individuals are up to speed, especially in an environment of constant change and transition. The CBD aims to make an appreciable contribution towards the performance and competitiveness of the private and public sectors in South Africa., with a more recent emphasis on the small and medium (SME) sector in particular 

    Unique Value Proposition 

    The CBD realises its mission and vision through the following means:: 

    • Enabling complexity- and future-fitness, by focusing on meta-skills that will ensure adaptive capacity, and the ability to respond to increasing turbulence

       

    • Integrating short learning programmes into the business and management learning path through a process of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

       

    • Customised Learning Solutions  
  • strategic consultation processes for purposes of customising learning solutions to the client’s needs 
  • aligning the skills required with the participants’ level of work 
  • crafting an ‘Action Learning’ environment that is tied to Assessment – this represents the primary driver of measurable Return on Investment (ROI) 

     

    • Flexible Modes of Delivery 
  • online – low-touch programmes made for asynchronous learning with facilitator support 
  • face-to-face – workshop-based delivery in a classroom environment 
  • mixed mode – online learning complemented with physical or virtual contact sessions 

     

    • Online Learning Experience – user-friendly learning journeys, guiding by both synchronous and asynchronous learning, supported by zero-rated data 

       

    • International Accreditation – the scope of our accreditation is not limited to the MBA programme, but is inclusive of all the formal and short learning programmes

       

    • Certificate of Competence – formative and summative assessment designed to facilitate workplace application and therefore, bridging the learning-doing-gap 

       

    • Complete Solutions – end-to-end ‘Participant Management’ ensures a seamless experience from registration to certification 

    Short Learning Programmes

 

New directions and trends at the UFS Business School

Globally we stand on the brink of a technological revolution that will fundamentally alter the way we live, work, and relate with one another. In its scale, scope and complexity, the transformation will be unlike anything humankind has experienced before. We do not know quite yet how this will actually unfold, but one thing is clear: the response to it must be integrated and responsive, involving all stakeholders of the global polity, from the public and private sectors, to academia and civil society. Very simply put, the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) represents a fusion of technologies that are blurring the boundaries physical, digital and biological. The implications of the 4IR for business, industry and our daily lives remain to some extent speculative. Just what it might mean for post-school education, especially in the fields of business and management practices, has had less attention, although the implications are extensive – both in terms of what universities and business schools can (or should) contribute to the 4IR and its applications, and how curricula and learning will need to change.

The role of business schools as agents of economic development has been well documented. Business schools need to gain increasing prominence as knowledge innovators and actors, which is key to competitiveness, while serving as the catalyst for economic growth and wealth creation. Such entities need to take moral responsibility to disseminate the necessary knowledge, values and skills and awareness to create a sustainable and fair future.

The UFS Business School intends to move towards building an ecosystem of entrepreneurialism, one in which “third’ mission objectives continue to resonate and be elevated. The role the UFS Business School intends to play in opportunity-driven initiatives (start-up creation, patenting, licensing, venture capital formation, incubation facilities); technology-transfer; and the commercialization of intellectual property, will feature going forward as key considerations. Our capacity to continually create and innovate and forge university-industry linkages will continue apace, and increased value will be created through these kinds of partnerships, allowing for new ideas to inform and permeate the academic research agenda, while addressing scientific concerns as well as practical problems, thus increasing the UFS Business School’s financial independence through its own income-generating capabilities.

This thus allows for heightened levels of sustainable economic development and societal advancement, and speaks additionally and directly to a just energy transition. Ultimately, the underlying argument in favour of engagement in science-based innovation activities at universities is the facilitation of economic development, job creation, a just energy transition, and renewed levels of global competitiveness. Our nascent academic entrepreneurs and students need to acquire entrepreneurial skills and competencies to create successful spin-offs and venture formation initiatives, especially among a cross-section of small and medium enterprises (SMEs). It is well known that entrepreneurial competencies are linked to venture performance. Essentially, the UFS Business School (to reiterate) intends to become an entrepreneurial ecosystem committed to responsible science and the generation of credible knowledge strong in integrity and high in relevance, thus ensuring that the interface between theory and praxis is properly fulfilled.

As mentioned above, specific focus will coalesce around the SME environment, and the UFS Business School will attempt to ensure that small businesses get to work with academics, policy-makers, regulators, and the private sector in creating an environment that is conducive to growth and competitiveness. The UFS Business School envisages a South Africa where small and medium-sized businesses are supported by thoughtful, evidence-based policy that limits obstacles to their success and sustainability, and works to eliminate structural impediments to competition, access to markets and effective entry into supply chains. SMEs need to be supported in legislation, regulation and procurement policies.

Consulting and incubation services will feature prominently in the UFS Business School landscape going forward, focusing on the business resilience of SMEs in challenging economic conditions, and ensuring that premium services are provided to start-ups with high growth potential (for example partnerships with venture capitalists). The Business School also intends (in addition to its formal offerings – see above)  to build a more focused short-learning programme menu, thus developing a distinct reputation for specialised SME expertise that can serve as a brand on the basis of which it can expand its business. An additional focus will be on the delivery of premium services to start-ups with high growth potential. It is also not lost on the UFS Business School that it needs to expand its repertoire of services and offerings to academically undeserved rural provinces (and small towns) where SMEs dominate the economy and where the issue of business resilience, particularly during periods of economic distress, is a key concern.

A focus of the Business School, aligned to the articulation above, will be the commencement of a number of initiatives to increase exposure of our students to climate smart and inclusive innovations, thus exploring systemic pathways and solutions towards addressing the enormous challenges presented by climate change and energy sustainability. We need to foster thinking on how we can begin to engage with new and differentiated approaches in tackling these challenges. We need to rethink our relationship with nature, shift human behaviour, and reimagine the vital systems that underpin our societies. Our youth in particular are calling for renewable energy, green jobs and climate finance that open new opportunities to strengthen economic security while accelerating climate change action. The UFS Business School will attempt to create truly transformational change and accelerate the transition to a sustainable green economy by greater co-operation, collaboration, and cross-sector partnerships with all constituencies in the value-chain. In a few years from now, the Business School (through its incubation, start-up and venture capital initiatives) will want to showcase, as an example, its internally developed and manufactured flying drones, climbing 100m to aerially inspect agricultural farmland to help farmers reduce their costs and increase their yields by collecting and analysing multi-spectral drone data, thus providing information to make better decisions. We will do this by partnering and collaborating with all relevant actors, including government and industry.

The new direction of the UFS Business School – while remaining true to its formal and official offerings in which the theoretical and methodological underpinnings informing such courses will continue to remain stringently rigorous – thus intends to begin a series of entrepreneurship training programmes that focus, to reiterate, on equipping individuals in the SME sector in particular, with the knowledge and skills for launching and operating business ventures. The Business School is of the strong and unfettered opinion that entrepreneurship training is a key practical means to create new business and venture formation. Indeed, meta-analytic research has provided incontrovertible evidence that entrepreneurship training is effective in promoting cognitive and  motivational outcomes resulting in more start-ups and higher performance. There is a compelling need in South Africa, and in the higher education sector in particular, to activate entrepreneurial scholars as agents of change.

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BUSINESS SCHOOL CONTACT

bus@ufs.ac.za


New-Education-Building-Bloemfontein-Campus

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