With an overall percentage success rate of between 85 and 90 per cent, Guyanese students pursuing the Australian Institute of Business (AIB) Master of Business Administration (MBA) have been a credit to the institution, visiting Student Support Manager Bojan Mandic told Stabroek Business in an interview earlier this week.
Mandic is on a brief routine visit to Georgetown to touch base with senior officials of the Kingston-based Nations Univer-sity, the local institution that delivers the MBA programme. He said that from the AIB’s standpoint the real value of the programme is that it is “work-applied,” that is, that both in its course work and its final project it is primarily concerned with responding to the requirements of the students and their respective workplaces. Mandic said it was important to AIB that the MBA programme responded to needs in countries where it was being offered.
Ranked 20th in the world amongst MBA programmes being offered, the AIB 12-subject course of studies commenced at Nations University in 2011 with 25 students. Currently in its fourth year, the programme has, up until now, graduated around 100 of the 250 students that have signed up for the training.
Initiatives involving the local Private Sector Commission (PSC) and the University of Guyana aimed at providing industry-relevant academic programmes have borne little fruit up to this time and both public and private sector managers continue to bemoan the scarcity of skills at workplaces.
The structure of what is, in effect, a fast-tracked MBA programme allows students to focus on one of the 12 subjects that comprise the curriculum each month for one year. Workshops, seminars and a research project round out what Nations University Programme Manager Vanya Chesney told this newspaper is a programme that focuses on keeping students connected to their day-to-day work.
Not least amongst applicants for the MBA programme are experienced businessmen, whom, Chesney says, “may be looking for ways of better structuring and running their businesses.” That apart, the AIB programme also attracts public sector employees drawn from government ministries, the disciplined services and other state-run agencies.
Chesney told Stabroek Business that evidence of the value that has been placed on the credential was to be found in the fact that in the local workplace environment it is regarded as a vehicle for upward mobility.