The University of the Free State Business School (hereinafter UFS Business School) was founded as the Centre for Management Development (hereinafter CMD) in 1989, offering short courses to local organizations and businesses. In 1999, CMD was transformed into the School of Management (hereinafter SoM). At that time, SoM offered two formal study programs: the Bachelor of Management Leadership (BML) and Master of Business Administration (MBA). On 1 January 2011, the SoM was renamed to UFS Business School. UFS Business School has since grown and offers both formal study programs ranging from a Higher Certificate to a PhD and SLPs under the CMD.
UFS Business School is one of the “boutique” business schools in South Africa. It supports and assists students in many areas of their educational and personal well-being. Having personal relationships with all stakeholders, UFS Business School can quickly adapt to both student and employer needs and develop educational programs that respond to market needs. The school’s slogan “be worth more” expresses its philosophy, which is well embedded in its organizational culture. The meaning behind it is to empower people and is internalized among students, academics and administrative staff of UFS Business School.
The IQA Peer Review Team found that UFS Business School is recognized and highly appreciated by the local community, private business and government, and it has good relations with stakeholders and alumni. According to the 2017 Financial Mail survey, UFS BS is ranked 7th in the category of South African business schools with the best overall reputation, and 8th in the category of the South African MBA program with the best overall reputation. In the category of South African business schools with the best management development or executive development program, UFS BS is in the 8th position. The reputation of UFS Business School is reflected in the number of participants enrolled in SLPs. Despite the socio-economic challenges, SLP enrolments increased from 743 in 2013 to 973 in 2017. Interviews with representatives from the private and public sector confirmed the relevance and impact of UFS Business School in the local community.
UFS Business School is also strongly committed to society development and individual empowerment. The school is driven by the philosophy of sustainability and social responsibility throughout numerous social activities delivered to and by students and staff. The community highly appreciates UFS Business School activities, as it delivers strategic alignment with current and future challenges of the city and the region. The relationship with the corporate world is also very strong as UFS BS holds membership in several business chambers, e.g. Bloemfontein Business Chamber, Mangaung Chamber of Commerce & Industry and the Black Management Forum.
Based on these findings, the CEEMAN Accreditation Committee awarded the CEEMAN International Quality Accreditation to University of the Free State Business School on November 27, 2018.
This is an important milestone for both UFS Business School and CEEMAN IQA: UFS Business School is the first business school in South Africa to acquire CEEMAN Accreditation.
CEEMAN’s Peer Review Team during their UFS BS site visit in Bloemfontein, South Africa.
Mik Pindelski (Warsaw School of Economics, Poland), Tatjana Volkova (BA School of Business and Finance, Latvia), Helena Van Zyl (University of the Free State Business School), Mari Jansen Van Rensburg (Middlesex University Mauritius)
“It was a strategic imperative of the UFS Business School to become internationally accredited to highlight the quality education, research and value-adding engagement offered by the School. The CEEMAN IQA accreditation is an endorsement of the important role in empowering business leaders fulfilled by the UFS Business School in South Africa. Given the embracing role of CEEMAN in promoting relevant business education, it is a special moment in the history of the Business School to be associated with CEEMAN in this exceptional way; we are privileged and grateful. CEEMAN not only is the personification of quality and relevant management education, but is a strong and decisive platform for continued support to take management education to even higher levels.”
Prof. Helena Van Zyl
Director of UFS Business School