Upstarting a revolution
The Vice-Chancellor’s Social Innovation Challenge, dubbed UCT Upstarts, is a joint initiative between the UCT GSB Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the GSB and Super Stage – a social innovation platform for students.
“The idea behind this was to promote a new student culture at UCT – one that supports an innovation mind-set that produces a generation of both graduates and entrepreneurs. In other words, a parallel university experience that encourages the collective talent and energy of the student public to become active agents of change, who solve real-world problems from campus and launch real start-ups beyond it,” said Dr Price.
The announcement was made in response to questions in the National Assembly that focused on the steps government is taking to address the electricity challenges facing the country, including prioritisation of maintenance of all power stations.
Eberhard is well-placed to chair the advisory panel with more than 25 years’ experience in the energy sector. He has, in recent months, worked with technical teams in the government’s War Room – established to manage the latest energy crisis and relieve the immediate shortfall between electricity supply and demand.
Best value for money in the world
This is the highest ranking that the school has achieved (up from 59 in 2014) and it is still the only MBA in Africa to be ranked.
The FT rankings are globally recognised as the pre-eminent benchmark for business schools, and the ranking has important implications for a school’s customers (students and companies) who want to know that the business school they select has international recognition.
This year, a record 159 business schools participated in the ranking process, up from 153 in 2014.
Notable accolades in this year’s ranking include the fact that the UCT GSB offers the best value for money MBA in the world and its graduates are also among the top 20 earners internationally.
UCT GSB director Professor Walter Baets said that this speaks to the school’s commitment to remaining relevant to its context as an emerging market business school.
Cape to Cairo: UCT GSB extends its footprint within Africa
Towards the end of last year, the school signed memoranda of agreement (MOAs) with three other leading business schools in Africa: Lagos Business School in Nigeria, the HEM Business School in Morocco (Institut des Hautes Etudes de Management (Institute of Graduate Management Studies)) and the American University in Cairo, Egypt. And in March, it joined a high-level consortium of top African business schools in Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria and Kenya to form the Academic Association of African Entrepreneurship (AAAE), which will focus on the promotion of mutual cooperation in the area of entrepreneurship in Africa.
According to Sarah-Anne Arnold, manager of the MTN Solution Space at the UCT GSB, who will represent the UCT GSB in the AAAE, promoting the exchange of ideas, experiences and skills is core to building up an entrepreneurship ecosystem on the continent.
“If we want to build our continent then we need to invest in building networks that are broader than any one single institution. The fuel to innovate is created when people with different experiences, realities, passions and ideas come together with the mandate and support structures to develop new possibilities,” she said.
“These agreements aim to promote academic cooperation through research, case study development, academic exchange of students and faculty, and technical collaboration,” said Professor John Luiz, director of International Relations at the UCT GSB.
The UCT GSB currently provides students with access to international exchange opportunities around the world, ranging from full semesters abroad to one-week immersion courses. The list of partner schools now tops 65 on all continents.
Top job for GSB teaching fellow
Professor Baker’s work at the UCT GSB is mainly with the Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship and he plans to continue this association.
“My on-going relationship with the UCT GSB and the Bertha Centre has led to some of the most rewarding work I have been able to do. Indeed, my decision to move to Rutgers was contingent on my new employer’s eagerness to support my work in Southern Africa” he said.
Reimagining solutions in public healthcare services
The Innovation Hub is a joint initiative of GSH, the Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the UCT Graduate School of Business and the UCT Faculty of Health Sciences, and will encourage and support hospital staff from across the public service sector to develop new models of care and technologies that could allow for healthcare to be more inclusive, effective and affordable to all South Africans.
“Everyone in South Africa can contribute to improving our healthcare system. Whether it is a healthcare worker, a student or any other hospital employee, everyone has a valuable contribution to make,” said Dr Lindi van Niekerk, from the Bertha Centre.
At the launch of the hub in March, eight staff-led innovation projects were awarded seed funding through the GSH Facilities Board to the value of R900 000. The Bertha Centre, UCT’s Faculty of Health Sciences and GSH management will support and guide these teams to test and implement their proposed innovations.
“Groote Schuur is known for being a pioneer in medical innovations that have had a significant impact locally and internationally. Now more than ever, Groote Schuur Hospital management believes that it is not just medical innovations that are required, but also innovations to strengthen the services to ultimately improve the patient experience and outcome,” said Dr Bhavna Patel, GSH CEO.