A visionary collaboration between the Rhodes Business School and the Rhodes International Office has secured a partnership between the Rhodes Business School and Montpellier Business School (MBS, France) to facilitate Faculty and student mobility and exchange.
The partnership aims to ensure that Rhodes University and the Business School continue can build international partnerships in order to operate as global citizens. However, the School recognises the need to be grounded in the local context, as this will ensure relevance in contributing to learning and knowledge that is indeed transformational.
“Montpellier Business School want to learn from us as much as we want to learn from them. The opportunity to have lecturer-student exchanges and collaboration at a time when the world is becoming increasingly polarised can only build bridges of understanding, which will contribute to sustainable business for a better world. France has a particular prominence in both Europe and Africa,” said Prof Owen Skae, Director of the Rhodes Business School.
The Memorandum of Understanding provides Rhodes with the opportunity to harness shared experiences from the point of view of a developed country and the local emerging market context.
The Dean of the International Cooperation at Montpellier Business School, Dr Yvon Desportes, expressed his excitement about the new relationship. He confirmed that South Africa is a key priority for the European Union, France and in particular, the Montpellier Business School (MBS).
“We explored partnerships in South Africa for some time but the Rhodes Business School turned out to be an easy choice as a preferred partner. It has a good reputation paired with the quality of life I experienced on my visit to Grahamstown,” said Dr Desportes.
Senior Lecturer at the Rhodes Business School, Evert Knoesen had an opportunity to present two modules on Economics and Gender Justice at the French business school in November, and to plant the seed for collaboration.
He presented his research as part of the MBS’12th World Wide Week, which honours the school’s international dimension and prepares Masters students for their international exchange. All the courses offered during the week were about the discovery of a new culture with a focus on the business field.
The school hosted ten teachers from prestigious foreign partner universities including India, Colombia, Germany, South Africa, the United Kingdom, Mexico, and the United States. Lecturers met students, shared ideas with MBS teachers and discussed their research areas.
Ayoub Akil, a first-year student in the Master Grande Ecole programme, chose to take the Economic Relations course between South Africa and Europe & Gender, Sex and Power in Africa, offered by Knoesen from the Rhodes Business School.
“I found the course really interesting – fascinating, actually. We got to share our opinions, which were sometimes different depending on our own culture of origin and learnt a lot about South Africa. I think there is nothing better than learning about a country, its history, and evolution through the people who live there and speak passionately about it. This week has allowed us to discover a bit more about the world we live in, and to open ourselves up to it,” he said.
Skae said, “this is a wonderful opportunity for our students and the school to engrave our mark on the international scene.”
The first students from MBS are expected at Rhodes Business School as early as the second semester of 2018”.