The University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business (UCT GSB) has been ranked 44th in the world and number one in Africa for its customised programmes by the latest Financial Times (FT) rankings – widely regarded as a leading benchmark of quality and relevance for business schools worldwide.

This is the 13th consecutive year that the UCT GSB has been included in the Financial Times top 100 ranking for its customised programmes, ranking 15th in the world for growth and featuring in the top 40 for both programme design and customer relationship management. It is one of only two African business schools to make it onto this year’s ranking and is the top South African business school for Executive Education.

This is also the first time the UCT GSB has applied to be ranked for its open enrolment executive education programmes, ranking 65th globally, and scoring particularly well for international participants and for faculty diversity. It also ranked in the top 15 worldwide in this category for growth in revenues.

“Our ability to feature so strongly against global competition is a phenomenal achievement.”

“Our ability to feature so strongly against global competition is a phenomenal achievement given the context of the pandemic, economic hardship and major political and social unrest in KwaZulu-Natal in 2021,” said Rayner Canning, the Business Development director at the UCT GSB.

He added that the rankings are testament to the combined work and commitment of the Business Development-Learning Design Partner and Executive Education delivery teams. “The results of these rankings reflect the value we place on building relationships of trust with our corporate clients, delegates and our faculty network. We continue to see rapid growth in new client acquisition and strong client retention rates in excess of 75%. These are a direct result of our willingness to collaborate and partner closely, our agility and our high-touch client-centric approach. It is particularly pleasing to see how the FT ranking align with our own client satisfaction data, notably on future use, programme design and client relationship management. The international reputation of the school and its strength on the continent is an undoubted advantage when participating in the global rankings.”


Canning explained that the largest component of the Financial Times’ data is drawn directly from corporate client and delegate feedback. “We owe a big thank you to our clients and the delegates who stepped up to endorse us and provide the necessary data that awarded us these rankings.”

To participate in the annual Financial Times rankings, schools must be internationally accredited by either Equis or AACSB and have earned revenues of US$1 million during the preceding financial year. Canning said that the ranking is based on a rigorous assessment of the customised process from the design and interaction with clients to how the programme is delivered, the facilities, teaching methods and materials that the school offers and the quantity and quality of programmes delivered with partner schools.