Billed by the developers as “the perfect place to do business”, the GSB’s new home-away-from-home at 61 Katharine Street in Sandton is up and running and ready to do business.
The satellite campus will formally open its doors in early May, and GSB director Associate Professor Mills Soko says that the school is looking forward to working more closely with clients and stakeholders in the region.
“While the GSB has been doing business in Gauteng for years – specifically with its customised and Executive Education short courses – we are excited to be formally taking up a permanent home in the heart of South Africa’s business district. This is an area that is, to a very real degree, the gateway to Africa,” he said.
The new campus will be used primarily to deliver short courses and customised courses to corporate clients as well as to host alumni events. It will also offer students enrolled in academic programmes, such as the Modular MBA and the EMBA, who are based in Gauteng and its surrounds, a space to gather and collaborate between modules.
“The ease of access to Sandton from across the continent also makes it a far more convenient venue for many of our African delegates,” commented Soko.
Soko explained that the opening of a campus in Gauteng is part of a wider strategy at the GSB to be more tapped into African business – and is, he hopes, not the last satellite campus that the school will open. The school is considering additional campuses north of its borders. Earlier this year it also opened a satellite campus in Philippi Village in Cape Town, in an effort to widen its engagement with relevant stakeholders and increase access to its courses and expertise.
“While the university has been active in township communities through field sites, mobile health services and education programmes for decades, it has not, until now, established a presence like the Philippi Campus. This has the long-term purpose of getting all students and stakeholders to engage and interact beyond the traditional spaces of the university,” said Soko. “The idea is that each campus will be fit for the market in the area that it serves.”
He added that the school seeks to be responsive to its stakeholders and that the key impetus behind the establishment of both campuses has been in response to feedback from partners and clients. “Many of our clients who are based in Gauteng or the rest of Africa, expressed to us that they would appreciate having greater access to the business school,” he said.
The building – which was formerly home to Alexander Forbes – is strategically located within the Sandton “superblock” (bound by Katherine Street, Rivonia Road and West Street) forming part of the new Sandton Central surrounding the Gautrain Station and Sandton City Mall. Located on the 5th floor, the single-level, open plan campus is a 674-square metre space commanding great views of the surrounding area. Facilities include two multi-purpose teaching venues and two breakaway meeting rooms that are sound-proofed and equipped with the latest technology.
Rayner Canning, director of Business Development at the GSB, said that the school has been working towards getting the campus ready for the past ten months, since the site was identified in early June 2016, after a protracted search for the perfect spot.
“Our new campus is looking fantastic and we are looking forward to introducing it to our alumni and stakeholders,” said Canning. “We hope that over the next few months everyone will make an effort to come and visit us and enjoy the facilities.”
The campus will be officially opened with a “bit of a party” for alumni and stakeholders and the first programmes will run from June.