mba

Retaining MBA Graduates

By in Education, Research, Policy on August 16, 2016

By Dr Adri Drotskie, MBA Director of Henley Business School Africa

An ongoing survey by Henley Business School Africa has revealed that just over 50% our MBA students who completed their studies from 2011 onwards were still employed at the same company.

75% of students who received full corporate sponsorship were still employed by the same company. However, 60% of graduates whose employer did not sponsor their MBA had moved to another company. Retention of a newly graduated MBA employee is important. What can businesses do to retain their MBA graduates?

Companies taking an interest in sponsoring the higher education aspirations of their employees sends a message that they are valuable to the organisation and can contribute to the future success of the organisation.

While many students go on to accept promotions in other companies for various reasons, companies can learn from these statistics. Once a staff member has completed an MBA their employability increases.

One of the ways to retain a graduate is to provide a clear career path. Although salary plays an important role in retaining the MBA, it is not the most important factor.

Recognition is also important, as is the opportunity to grow within the firm. Graduates undergo a fundamental change on completion of an MBA. Employers need to adapt to these changes. The MBA graduate is a different person on completion of their degree and it is in this context that businesses need to accommodate and use their newly-developed skills.”

Regular feedback during the course by the student to management will provide an indication of what is being learnt and how it can apply to the business. The key areas of MBA learning are the practical application of learning. Students can apply what they’ve learnt immediately after each workshop; sharing experience across managerial levels and industries; learning across all functional areas of business; strategic thinking as well as implantation and integration. 

Henley, as an international business school, is triple accredited, meaning that internationally Henley is audited by different bodies overseas, namely the US and EU, yet is completely internalised in South Africa.

This means that our standards are immutable and they are continually challenged and audited. We can’t lower our standards in what we do, nor would we ever.

Henley has been in SA for 25 years and is the only overseas business school accredited here. We are deeply committed to transformation and enablement and use our international connections and resources to serve growth here, in a servant academia model, adhering to the Council on Higher Education model. Our latest intake was 71 percent black and 42 percent women.

Henley MBA students in South Africa achieved between a 95 percent and 98 percent pass rate in the last exams, beating the British and the Germans in assessment.

Our examination and assessment is done offshore, so the Germans, French, Italians and Chinese are all examined blind by the same people. 

This shows that we have extraordinary intelligence in South Africa. Classic education focuses on knowledge for some deferred, future application or career. Our MBAs are educated to apply what they have learnt in the here and now, with the focus on practical learning that can be immediately applied in the working environment.