While Henley Africa has outstanding credentials — our academic research is recognised internationally for its deeply theoretical underpinnings; we have been awarded triple accreditation from the world’s three leading educational bodies; and our MBA is a globally-recognised international qualification — these are not the only compelling reasons to study at our school.
We are living in a world that is profoundly different from what it was 20 years ago, and even 10 and five years ago, with technological developments bringing rapid change to almost every sector of industry, including education. Young people seek a more inclusive, more connected world. They are “woke” and want to live in a world that puts people and the environment before profit.
In this sense, we at Henley believe business schools have to be activists in the corporate world, switching people in the corporate world off autopilot so that they begin to use their skills and resources to build fairer businesses that contribute to flourishing societies and communities.
Through our focus on collective, collaborative learning, we are able to accomplish our mission of building the people who build the businesses and organisations that build Africa.
Providing value to our students, our communities and society at large is a key priority. We aim to provide the capability and substance needed to build a better continent, a better economy and a better life and future for all.
We are not an academic institution that is divorced from the world. We teach reflective learning, which means that we constantly reevaluate our perceived wisdom, we readdress the assumptions underlying our actions, and we encourage our students to do the same.
For South Africa to prosper, it needs to develop innovative ways of doing business. Our capability in Innovation, Creativity & Entrepreneurship (Henley ICE) is working towards achieving just that. It plays a central role in the transformation of Henley’s students into critical, creative and imaginative thinkers and disruptors, who are able to bring real and impactful change to their workplace environments while also focusing their energies on aligning businesses objectives to the needs of society. With its focus on developing an experimental mindset among our students, Henley ICE has helped many entrepreneurs grow their businesses by thinking out of the box while also helping large corporates achieve agility and flexibility in their business approach and human-centered ways of managing people.
Henley ICE works closely with two of Henley’s other business units — Henley MBaid and Henley FIRE. These two units focus on creating immersive learning experiences for Henley students and corporate executives.
Henley MBaid is about spreading the value of a business school into non-traditional business activities such as start-ups, entrepreneurship and nongovernmental organisations (NGOs). To this end, we work with more than 280 NGOs in South Africa, where our students, as part of their academic and action learning programmes, engage with these NGOs to help them to optimise their business and operating models so that they can be of help to more people.
Henley FIRE (Full Immersion Reality Education) creates short but intense immersive learning experiences for corporate groups in experiential learning environments that are designed to disrupt their thinking, so that they find new, innovative and imaginative ways of working and dealing with complex business problems.
At Henley Africa, we also offer a family-friendly MBA. Studying towards an MBA has always been associated with putting immense strain on the family relationship because of the enormous workload and demand on time. At Henley, we have structured our MBA so that our students can still spend quality time with their families and focus on their businesses while studying. By showing care and empathy for our students, our communities, our society and our world, while at the same time providing world-leading academic qualifications and business skills, we believe we can lead by example and show our students the way to creating a better future for all.
Jonathan Foster-Pedley is dean and director of Henley Business School Africa