From July 6 to July 10, Grenoble Ecole de Management and the University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB) offer USB students the opportunity to study in France, focusing on the theme of Innovation. This week will also include company visits to ensure that students get a professional view of working in the country.
Professor Martin Butler, Senior lecturer and Head of PGDip in Business Management and Administration, gives more details about the group :
The MBA student group from the University of Stellenbosch Business School are one of 11 outgoing groups from the USB that will be completing their compulsory international study module to various global destinations. The USB use the tours to emerge the students into different cultures and base them around particular themes. The tour to GEM is themed Innovation and we of course expect to learn more about French and European ways of doing business.
The USB students all have work experience and this particular group varies in age . South African MBA students are typically older than in European business schools and mostly study on a modular basis. Modular students attend 12 intensive “block weeks” on campus during a three year period and remain in full time employment; Part time students study for a period of two years over weekends (thus also remains employed) and full time students are the only students that are not currently employed, although they have a minimum of 3 years work experience.
The 15 students are mostly employed at middle and senior management level across all industry sectors in Southern Africa from agricultural and mining to telecommunication and financial services. They are used to an interactive facilitation style and you are more than welcome to get them to do work during sessions (they have been assigned to 5 groups) and can certainly expect of them to partake and ask questions. From experience with previous study tours I find that the questions are 99% application in context based and not theoretical or philosophical in nature. All pre-reading have been distributed and they will be prepared for the sessions as indicated.
Grenoble Ecole de Management has now since over 20 years a very strong relationship with Stellenbosch University. Not only students had been exchanged during that time but also Gem Professors went to South Africa to teach there as well as Stellenbosch faculty came to Grenoble.
With this first Business Week here at GEM we accomplish a new step in our collaboration and these 16 brilliant MBA students get lectures in the main topics in Technology Management combined with high level company visits. The group is with a local South African faculty who teaches and do research in Information Systems. Prof. Butler and I see this next stage not only as the step in deeper relationship between our two institutions but as a think tank for new projects that we could launch together in the next years, says Prof. Martin Zahner, Associate Director of International Affairs and Academic Advisor for South Africa.