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Henley’s Executive Education Programmes Grow Exponentially

Henley Business School Africa, an internationally-ranked business school operating in South Africa for the past 26 years, has seen its executive education revenue increase by over 70% in the last year and from two executive education clients to over 45 in six years.

“Over the same period Henley Africa has grown some 700% in revenue and at about 28% year on year. Henley’s permanent staff headcount has grown from six to 50 people and has seen exponential growth in the programmes offered,” said Jon Foster-Pedley, dean of Henley Business School Africa.

“It is one of approximately three international business school accredited by the Council on Higher Education in South Africa and has a triple international accreditation. Henley is now proceeding with accreditation by the Association of Africa Business Schools which will give it quintuple accreditation,” he added.

Clients number large multinationals, government, locally-listed companies and parastatals. Some client programmes have included immersions in New York, LA, Boston, Toronto, London, Dubai, Munich, Accra, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Tanzania, Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai.

Mr Foster-Pedley said that programmes can be customised to meet client-specific needs. One of Henley’s longstanding customers, Servest, explained: “We recognised the need to develop a competent pool of future senior leaders within the Group, both in South Africa and the UK. The aim was to provide input around global best practices and develop leaders with leadership skills in the Servest way, while still preserving individualism,” said Dennis Zietsman, Servest co-founder and group deputy chairman. 

“Our philosophy is to develop managers as leaders with a high emotional intelligence, who think strategically, make effective decisions and have an adequate skills set.”

“Our aim is to instil into these individuals a different way of managing and to apply what they have learnt. This generally involves a number of objectives including a shift in behaviour and leadership style.”

Servest began its search for a business school that would provide a programme suited to these specific requirements. “The need was for a flexible course run by a reputable business school. We researched the top business schools in South Africa but they all seemed to have a similar approach and subjects covered,” said Mr Zietsman.

Henley’s approach caught Servest’s eye. Other business schools proposed ‘off-the-shelf’ programmes, whereas Henley as a first step investigated Servest’s requirements and designed a programme tailored to their needs. “It was this hands-on and personal approach, along with Henley’s top credentials with a South African focus and its international links, that drove Servest to choose them as our preferred partner.”

“Henley’s approach was different in that they identified our needs and only then designed a programme to fit these requirements. They only provided a solution after completing a full needs analysis,” said Mr Zietsman.

Mr Zietsman continued: “Their representatives, including Henley’s dean, Jon Foster-Pedley, listened to our requirements over a number of meetings. They even went as far as to include copies of the flipcharts we developed in these meetings as part of their proposal.”

“Henley customised the course, dubbed the ‘Alchemist’ programme, around our exact needs. As an additional benefit, we were able to run the programme at Henley’s facilities in South Africa and the UK, addressing the Group’s international requirements,” Mr Zietsman concluded.