Why do an MBA in South Africa? The best business schools in South Africa prove that you don’t have to leave the country to pursue your MBA in a highly competitive environment.
In fact, South Africa has world-class, accredited MBA programs, each with their own unique benefits and characteristics.
First, earning your MBA in an emerging market like South Arica gives you the opportunity to learn innovation, challenge, and sustainability—skills valued in the international business world.
Additionally, South African MBA programs offer incredible financial value (especially compared to, say, an expensive Ivy League program in the US) as well as the opportunity to connect with a variety of students from diverse backgrounds.
Here are the 10 best business schools in South Africa offering MBA programs according to Eduniversal.
10. University of Limpopo: Turfloop Graduate School of Leadership (TGSL MBA)
The TGSL MBA degree focuses on the education of middle and senior managers in the public, private and corporate sectors. During the two-year course, students will complete coursework and submit a mini-dissertation. The program focuses largely on economic and social sustainability in Africa with the aim of educating competitive managers who value social responsibility in business.
As with all of our top business schools in South Africa, the MBA admissions requirements are competitive. Students must demonstrate that they are prepared for admission by earning a postgraduate or honors degree (NQF 8), gaining at least three years of relevant work experience, and submitting a resume and letter of support from their employer.
9. North-West University Business School (NWU MBA)
Location: Campus Mahikeng, Potchefstroom and Vanderbijlpark
The NWU MBA is a high-level, general MBA program that aims to build an alumni network of multidisciplinary thought leaders and managers. The two-year program offers a lot of flexibility in terms of campus location, lesson planning, and synchronous vs. asynchronous lectures. The program mixes theory and practice in its coursework, which can range from open book assessments to presentations.
Applicants must complete an online application and motivational essay, have a college degree (NQF 8), have at least three years of leadership experience, and provide relevant test scores (TTS, GMAT, or NMAT). Final round applicants will be invited to an interview.
8. University of South Africa: Graduate School of Business Leadership (UNISA SBL)
Location: middle edge
UNISA SBL focuses its MBA on corporate leadership rather than business administration. This leadership-oriented yet general MBA consistently ranks among the best in South Africa. The program has existed in various iterations since 1965 and has produced over a third of South Africa’s MBL/MBA degrees. Of course, the school’s alumni network is diverse and strong.
The two-year MBA program at UNISA consists of coursework and an integrated management research project. Students must apply with three or more years of work experience, an undergraduate or postgraduate diploma, and entrance test results.
7. University of KwaZulu-Natal: Graduate School of Business and Leadership
The University of Kwazulu-Natal Graduate School of Business and Leadership offers a general MBA alongside its various postgraduate diplomas. The two-year program consists of one year of compulsory modules and a second year of an elective, a core module and the completion of a dissertation.
The program comes in two formats. The block-release MBA consists of lectures, excursions and presentations that take place once a month from Wednesday to Saturday. The evening program meets weekly, Monday through Thursday, with some additional weekend lectures. These options offer flexibility for professionals who want to study part-time.
Applicants must be at least 25 years old as of January 1 of the year in which they enroll, have at least three years of formal work experience, provide GMAT scores, and have a bachelor’s degree (NQR 8).
6. University of Rhodes: Rhodes Business School
The Rhodes Business School MBA focuses on “Leadership for Sustainability” or the balance between economic, social and environmental sustainability in business. The program offers a general MBA for mid-career professionals.
The program can be completed part-time or in a modular format and enables (and encourages) students to continue their professional work while pursuing their MBA. The first two years of the program consist of coursework, and the final six months are devoted to writing a 15,000-word dissertation. The aim of the program is to enable students to reflect on their professional experience through an academic and research-oriented lens.
Like most top business programs in South Africa, the program requires a four-year bachelor’s degree (NQF 8), NMAT test scores, at least three years of relevant work experience and English proficiency.
5. Nelson Mandela University Business School
Location: Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth)
Nelson Mandela University’s MBA is the youngest business school in South Africa and is promoting itself as Africa’s first green business school. She is known for her focus on innovation and leadership. Each trimester of the two-year program requires students to participate in leadership-focused coursework.
The Nelson Mandela University MBA offers part-time and block-sharing options, allowing students to continue working and commuting if necessary. Admission criteria are similar to the programs already mentioned: a minimum of three years of managerial experience or five years of relevant work experience, a bachelor’s degree (NQF 8) and fluency in English.
Students must also live within a 60km radius of one of the school’s four main hubs: Port Elizabeth, East London, Cape Town, Gauteng or Durban.
4. University of the Witwatersrand: Wits Business School (WBS MBA)
Located in the business heart of South Africa, the WBS MBA focuses on educating leaders and managers who can build a better business community and economy across Africa. Nelson Mandela is known to have attended law school at the University of the Witwatersrand.
The two-year, part-time MBA at Wits focuses its curriculum around five main themes: Context in Africa, Context in South Africa, Sustainability, Entrepreneurship and Critical Engagement – all of which are critical to emerging markets like South Africa. In addition to core and elective courses, WBS MBA students participate in independent study (The Leadership Quest and an applied research project) and a global study tour (international or regional).
Application requirements are a four-year degree (NQF 8) or a three-year degree plus PG-Dip (NQF 8), plus at least four years of post-university work experience, relevant test results (GMAT, NMAT or WBS Admission). test) and proof of English language skills. The application consists of a fee of R200 ($13), transcripts, CV, WBS admission test results and online application.
3. University of Pretoria: Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS)
The GIBS MBA is aimed at entrepreneurially thinking business administration students who are aiming for a general business administration education. Located in a large business center, the program is based on experiential learning – a combination of theory and practice – and the students engage with the local business culture.
The GIBS MBA offers four majors: General Management, Entrepreneurship, Consulting and Manufacturing and Health, as well as many electives. The diversity of the program challenges the world views of the students. GIBS MBA students may choose to enroll in a full-time, one-year program or in a two-year modular format.
Application requirements include a college degree (NQF 7), at least five years of work experience (two at managerial level), GIBS entrance test scores, application essays, and proficiency in the Microsoft suite. The registration fee varies by round and ranges from R2,000 to R4,000 ($130-260).
2. Stellenbosch University Business School (USB)
Location: Cape Town
Second in our list of the best business schools in South Africa is the triple accredited University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB) in two formats: modular and blended. Both formats offer the opportunity to work alongside the MBA.
Focused on leadership development and quantitative skills, USB seeks to develop strategic thinkers with cross-cultural skills. There are four majors: Generalist, Healthcare Leadership, Management of International Organizations and Project Management. The program requires the completion of 18 core modules (including an overseas international study module, a research assignment and the leadership development module) and two electives as qualifications for the degree.
The requirements for the USB MBA application are quite extensive. This includes a four-year bachelor’s degree or postgraduate degree at NQF level eight or a three-year bachelor’s degree at NQF level seven. Applicants must provide evidence of at least three years of relevant work experience (preferably in management) and provide a resume, two essays, SHL scores and – if selected – an interview. The application costs R1,050 ($68) in addition to the test fees.
1. University of Cape Town: Graduate School of Business (UCT GSB)
Location: Cape Town
According to Eduniversal, the best MBA in South Africa is offered by the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business. The UCT GSB MBA program is triple accredited and can be completed in one of two formats: full-time, one year, and modular, two years.
UCT GSB seeks to enroll “talented, mature adults with proven academic ability and business experience who are highly motivated to succeed”.
Admission expectations require applicants to be at least 25 years old, fluent in English and have three or more years of relevant work experience, a GMAT score of at least 550, and an NQF Level 8 (or equivalent, for non-Southern Africans) qualification ).
Applicants must submit a CV, two reference reports, three required essays explaining their application motives and an application fee of R1,850 ($120). Before admission, some applicants are invited to an interview with the Admissions Committee.
The program offers a combination of individual and group work, as well as one-to-one tuition with faculty. In addition to the core curriculum, students must complete 20 electives.
In addition, students have the opportunity to specialize in Management Consulting, Marketing Management, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Leadership and Change, Operations and Supply Chain Management or Corporate Finance.
Why do an MBA in South Africa? Fees, scholarships and jobs for graduates