Henley Africa achieves Level 1 BBBEE ranking

Henley Business School Africa has become the first leading business school in South Africa to achieve Level 1 BBBEE. Announcing the achievement, Henley Africa dean and director Jon Foster-Pedley, said it was even more remarkable since the business school had achieved this in the space of a year in the middle of a national state of emergency. This now means that Henley’s clients can claim 135% of their spend with Henley Africa as BBBEE procurement recognition.

“Last year, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, we were at level 4, yet, as part of our #CorporateActivism initiative, we have managed to fundamentally transform ourselves into an authentic corporate South African citizen, delivering the highest level of BBBEE engagement.”

The achievement, he said, had been made possible by a school-wide team effort with adoption and energetic implementation of a preferential procurement policy creating opportunities for black suppliers – and particularly businesses owned by black women. The other component which had weighed heavily in Henley Africa’s favour was its insistence on staff and socio-economic development.

“We don’t just have the biggest MBA scholarship programme in South Africa, it’s also mandatory that our staff study, which many are doing through Henley’s unique ladder of learning allowing them to progress from higher certificate all the way to the flagship executive MBA programme.”

Henley Africa is also continuing to support government’s Youth Employment Service (YES) by providing learnerships to 11 interns.

“We are immensely gratified to receive this recognition from the Department of Labour,” said Foster-Pedley, “it’s a massive step in the journey we have undertaken over the last decade to recreate ourselves as a truly African business school with a global reach, providing world class education as measured against any metric.

“We tell the world that ‘we build the leaders who build the businesses that build Africa’, and that is precisely what we do. Only a fortnight ago, the Association of African Business Schools (AABS) granted accreditation to Henley Africa - the first business school in Africa to achieve this. Now Henley is the first business school in Africa to be quadrupled accredited.

“Becoming the first business school on the continent to be accredited by our own African AABS was highly significant,” said Foster-Pedley, “it recognises Henley Africa as a unique fully-fledged business school in its own right, as an independent African business school; one that is also part of a global business school with three regional centres, Henley Europe, Henley Africa, and Henley Asia.”

It was also important, he said, because it symbolised the coming-of-age of African business education.

“AABS has created a challenging accreditation process based on the strictest parameters from AACSB (USA) and EFMD (EU) models. African education as a whole is finding its voice, standards and stature in its own right, and this means that we can confidently collaborate to build better business education across Africa.”

The level 1 BEE achievement and the accreditation were testimony, he said to the people who make up Henley Africa, the staff and the faculty, who have worked tirelessly over the last 10 years to achieve these double summits, without forgetting the efforts of their colleagues in the broader, global Henley community, especially those in the UK.

“Together, the AABS recognition and the BEE Level 1 ranking help to tell the incredible story of an international business school becoming fully Africanised and serving Africa with all its intellect and the passion. I am proud of what Henley Africa has achieved. The AABS assessment, conducted by our African peers and leading international educators, was of Henley Africa rather than Henley global. It really validates what our faculty and staff have achieved.

“Starting as a branch of an international university, we have immersed ourselves in Africa to create a leading stand-alone African business school with a strong international research focus, 4 500 students annually, graduating nearly 2 000 students per year on innovative and empowering programmes, who are making a real impact in Africa. We achieved this as a team, organically, entrepreneurially and independently, with only our own resources, in 10 years from having five staff in one office, graduating 30.”

The BEE Level 1 ranking complemented this from a hyper-local perspective showing that Henley Africa was a truly committed and proud corporate South Africa citizen, putting its money where its mouth is to make its contribution to fundamentally transforming the economy and build back better after the ravages of the pandemic.

“Everyone at Henley Africa from student to staff can be rightfully proud of what they are part of. This is what #CorporateActivism is truly about,” he said.

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