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Celebrating 50 years of business education

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It all started with 13 students…

In 1964, USB started out as a small and local business school, providing postgraduate programmes for Stellenbosch University. Today, five decades later, USB has become a top-tier business school with three international accreditations and cooperation agreements with over 80 business schools on all continents. Many of USB’s 17 000 alumni have become admired leaders in all spheres of society. Here are some of our highlights:

THE DECADE OF FIRSTS

1964 The first 13 Part-time MBA students commence with their studies at USB.
1966 The first 8 MBA degrees are awarded.
1967 Students can now also enrol for a Full-time MBA.
1968 The first DBA degree is conferred.
1969 Stellenbosch University establishes an independent Department of Business Management and Administration to take care of its MBA and DBA degrees.
1970 The first 4 full-time staff members are appointed. They move into offices in Merriman Avenue, Stellenbosch, although lectures are still presented in Bellville in temporary facilities behind Karl Bremer Hospital. A total of 70 students enrol for various courses.
1973 To move closer to the business community, the Department relocates to Bellville.
1974 Student numbers total 90.

THE DECADE OF GROWTH

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1976 The Institute for Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management is founded to present business development programmes in self-governing black states.
1979 USB now has 171 MBA and 21 DBA students. Permanent academic staff consists of 4 professors and 4 senior lecturers.
1979 The USB alumni association (initially named NABUS) was started by the Part-time MBA class of 1977.
1981 The current premises in Bellville are acquired.
1982 The first students register for the Modular MBA. The first Belgian exchange students arrive.
1984 The Senior Management Programme is introduced.

THE DECADE OF NEW BEGINNINGS

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1986 The Department relocates to the Bellville Park Campus.
1989 MBA student numbers reach 580.
1990 USB Alumni Club (now the USB Alumni Association) establishes its Future Fund to support deserving students. An English-medium Senior Management Programme is introduced.
1991 Management Development Programmes are presented in Namibia for the first time.
1992 The name of the school changes to the Graduate School of Business of the University of Stellenbosch (later referred to as the University of Stellenbosch Business School – or USB for short).

THE DECADE OF ACCREDITATION

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1995 The first exchange students from the Rotterdam School of Management arrive. The permanent faculty consists of 11 professors, 4 associate professors and 3 senior lecturers.
1996 An English-medium Modular MBA is introduced.
1997 To accommodate international students, the Full-time MBA is presented in English for the first time.
1998 Bellvista Lodge with 41 rooms and a restaurant opens its doors on campus. The first assessments for high-level leadership competencies are done. A group of USB’s MBA students visit two European business schools for the first time.
2000 USB receives international EQUIS accreditation from the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD).
2001

A public company, USB Executive Development Limited (USB-ED), is established to manage USB’s non-degree programmes​.

2002 USB receives international accreditation from the Association of MBAs (AMBA). USBI, the USB's full-service library, is opened. USB introduces its Full-time PhD.
2003 The first students enrol for the new Master's in Development Finance (MDevF). USB is invited to join the Aspen Institute's Teaching Innovation Program.
2004 After a stringent audit of all local MBA providers, the Council on Higher Education in South Africa fully accredits the USB MBA.

THE DECADE OF EXPANSION AND EXCELLENCE

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2005 USB is ranked as the top business school in South Africa by Professional Management Review (PMR.africa) and as number two by the Financial Mail.
2006 USB receives EQUIS reaccreditation and becomes a member of the European Doctoral Programmes Association in Management and Business Administration (EDAMBA), based on the quality of its PhD. Three black MBA students – Kagisho Mahura, Pambili Booi and Fortune Ngwenya – beat 28 teams at the National Black MBA Association (NBMBAA) Student Case-writing Competition sponsored by DaimlerChrysler in the USA. The USB officially establishes a presence in West Africa (Lagos, Nigeria) by appointing a representative in this region to support students and to market the USB’s programmes.
2007 The Centre for Corporate Governance in Africa is established. USB-ED becomes the first business school entity in SA to conclude a Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) transaction, and is listed in the Financial Times Top 50 rankings. An agreement is signed with Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School in Belgium to establish joint chairs. The Aspen Institute, USA, ranks USB on its Beyond Grey Pinstripes Top 100 Schools list for promoting social and environmental sustainability in its curricula and research. USB-ED opens its Gauteng Office.
2008 The Africa Centre for Dispute Settlement is established. USB becomes one of only two African business schools with an A-rating for “universal business schools with major international influence” from the French ratings agency Eduniversal. USB receives AMBA reaccreditation. USB achieves first place in the South African 2008 PMR.africa rankings. USB produces a finalist, Kagisho Mahura, in AMBA’s global MBA Student of the Year Competition. USB-ED is ranked No 45 in the 2008 Financial Times Global Executive Education Survey.
2009 USB introduces a Modular MBA with classes starting in June. The School officially establishes a presence in East Africa (Nairobi, Kenya) by appointing a representative in this region. The USB Alumni Association launches a branch in West Africa. USB-ED receives its first PMR.africa award.
2010 USB is named top business school in South Africa in both the Professional Management Review (PMR.africa) and Financial Mail surveys. USB has the largest intake of Afrikaans Modular MBA students (59 students) in many years. USB jumps more than 30 places to position itself among the top 40 schools in the world according to the 2009-10 Beyond Grey Pinstripes survey. MBA alumnus Will Coetsee is a finalist in AMBA’s global MBA Student of the Year Award. The MPhil in Management Coaching is introduced. USB-ED establishes its Centre for Applied Entrepreneurship, Centre for Business in Society and Centre for the Business Management of Projects. USB-ED receives its second PMR.africa award.
2011 South Africa’s first Postgraduate Diploma in Dispute Settlement and first-ever Postgraduate Diploma in Leadership starts at USB. An International Study Module at an overseas partner business school becomes a compulsory part of the USB MBA. USB is ranked among the top 100 business schools in the world according to the Beyond Grey Pinstripes survey. Placed at number 65, USB is the only African school represented on this exclusive list. USB – for the fourth year in a row – receives the prestigious A-rating from Eduniversal. USB is ranked one of the top three business schools in the Africa and Middle East region in a Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) Global 200 Business Schools Report. USB-ED is ranked No 49 in the 2011 Financial Times Global Executive Education Survey. USB-ED receives its third PMR.africa award.
2012 USB becomes the first business school from an African university to be awarded AACSB international accreditation. USB now has the Triple Crown – business schools with all 3 international accreditations (AACSB, EQUIS and AMBA). USB launches its Small Business Academy (SBA) to give life to its vision of meaningful engagement with society. USB is named the No 1 business school in South Africa by the Professional Management Review (PMR.africa). USB’s first AMBA Global AMBAssador, MBA alumnus Gretchen Arangies, is chosen as winner of AMBA’s 2012 Global AMBAssador Challenge. USB-ED receives its fourth PMR.africa award.
2013 USB adds a Postgraduate Diploma in Project Management, Postgraduate Diploma in Development Finance and PhD in Development Finance to its portfolio of programmes. USB is named the No 1 business school in South Africa by the Professional Management Review (PMR.africa) – for the sixth time in 11 years. USB is ranked as one of the Top 3 schools in Africa by Eduniversal for the sixth consecutive year. USB’s second AMBA Global AMBAssador, MBA alumnus Brigitte Roediger, is chosen as joint winner of AMBA’s 2013 Global AMBAssador Challenge. USB-ED is ranked one of the Top 50 executive schools in the world by the Financial Times Executive Education 2013 World Ranking. The first intake of 23 students from Khayelitsha enrols for the Small Business Academy’s 9-month Small Business Development Programme. USB-ED receives its fifth PMR.africa award. USB-ED is ranked No 50 in the 2013 Financial Times Global Executive Education Survey.
2014 USB celebrates its 50th anniversary. The number of MBA students enrolled for the year is 631 and the total number of students enrolled at USB is 1 204. USB-ED receives its sixth PMR.africa award. MBA alumnus Xolani Nocanda becomes USB's third Global AMBAssador for AMBA. The second intake of 22 students from Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain enters the Small Business Academy programme. USB is named the No 1 business school in South Africa by PMR.africa. Eduniversal ranks USB as the Nr 2 school in Africa. USB receives 5-year reaccreditation from EQUIS.​​