Eager, not exploited

October 29, 2015

Not all foreign education providers in South Africa are new or there to exploit a country and continent, as your editorial might suggest (“Africa needs education, not exploitation”, Leader, 22 October).

Henley Business School, University of Reading, has had a physical presence in South Africa since 1990. Each year we admit nearly 300 students to MBA programmes and more to master’s degrees. Our students principally come from South Africa, but also other parts of the continent. We are proud that our latest MBA intake was 71 per cent black (one of the closest to the national distribution of any business school in South Africa) and 43 per cent female.

Yes, we run a surplus, but this is to reinvest in our facilities and staff, to support design innovation for our corporate clients and to provide significant financial and academic support for our students. We run a social entrepreneurship programme that has helped more than 200 non-governmental organisations and produces local internships, scholarships and bursaries. We have launched the “family friendly” MBA process to help families to cope with the burden of studying in challenging socio-economic conditions

As your editorial says, Africa is hungry for quality education. But do not suggest that Africans are undiscerning. That would be reflecting a post-colonial myopia and unreconstructed insularity. They recognise quality and commitment and shun the unscrupulous.

John Board
Dean, Henley Business School

Jon Foster-Pedley
Dean and director, Henley Business School, Africa

Vincenzo Raimo
Pro vice-chancellor (global engagement), University of Reading


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