NMU Business School makes history with new doctoral programme

Picture: 123RF/ANDRIY POPOV
Picture: 123RF/ANDRIY POPOV

Nelson Mandela University’s Business School will make history with its internationally recognised new doctoral programme for business professionals and specialists.

The solutions-driven degree programme is designed to provide crucial skills to executives who have to navigate organisational complexity.

“We are indeed proud to add this distinctive qualification to our basket of offerings,” business school director Dr Randall Jonas said.

The university is only the second business school in Africa to be admitted to the European Doctoral Programmes Association in Management and Business Administration (Edamba) to have its Professional Doctor of Business Administration (ProDBA) accredited.

NMU Business School research director Prof Cecil Arnolds said this recognition, which followed a rigorous application process of over two years, would allow for greater international collaboration, while shining a spotlight on Africa.

“This means  our research on African issues will be recognised and held in high esteem.

Edamba provides a network platform for international collaboration, including international supervision of topics.

“Transdisciplinary, global and cross-cultural construction of industry solutions is made possible through the Edamba networks,” Arnolds said.

Arnolds, the programme leader for the ProDBA, said students enrolled for the degree at the NMU Business School would gain access not only to a network of 78 of the top universities in the world that belong to Edamba, but would receive lectures from world-renowned scholars and leading international and local industry experts.

The ProDBA is replacing the outgoing thesis-based DBA, which has been offered since 2006.

The ProDBA will be delivered in block lectures, the first one to start on February 7.

All lectures will be virtual in 2022 due to Covid-19 restrictions, with the expectation that face-to-face interaction will be available from 2023 onwards.

The purpose of the ProDBA is to reinforce the application and development of theoretical frameworks, methods and techniques to solve practical business problems on the continent and in SA.

“Professional doctoral degrees seek practical solutions for practical business problems,” Arnolds said.

“Research studies often start with a practical industry-related weakness or gap in the professional management of organisations.

“Industry experts are often part of the supervision team of the envisaged doctoral study, but academic research is harnessed in the pursuit of the solution.”

Professional DBAs often make important theoretical and practical contributions to business administration knowledge and competencies.

“The qualification will be ideally suited to managers, middle to top executives, experienced consultants, strategic hi-tech staff members or full-time or part-time academics seeking a career specifically focused on management consulting.

“Entry requirements include an MBA or any other relevant, approved master’s degree and at least five years of middle to senior management experience,” Graduate School head of department Dr Sam February said.

The degree includes a taught component for credit and culminates in a thesis that is presented for examination.

Applications for the ProDBA close on November 1.

To find out more, visit the website.

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