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New agile MBA targets leaders of the 4th Industrial Revolution

16 October 2019

Paul Dolan has been the principal at Ilam School for 7 years. He chose the UC MBA for a personal and professional challenge, and to help his move into leadership theory.

The University of Canterbury’s (UC) new Master of Business Administration (MBA) Programme delivers a course that is more relevant to organisations and focuses on emerging technologies, innovations and business needs beyond economic drivers.

Eight new courses in the 2020 programme, which offers more flexible online study options and weekend block courses make the programme more attractive to the 98% of executive learners who work full-time while completing their MBA.

UC MBA Director, Associate Professor Chris Vas says traditional business models will fail in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and UC’s radically different MBA will develop agile and innovative leaders with a focus on purpose, impact and growth.

“The impact of ‘digital’ on organisations has contributed to a fast-paced environment and the rapid emergence of innovative service offerings. The new connected MBA programme will hone in on attributes that support innovative and agile thinking in the new, fast-paced business environment,” Associate Professor Vas says.

“To keep up with the rapidity of emerging technologies leaders must be prepared to challenge the status quo, be adaptable and embrace risk. We will deliver courses that emphasise the importance of place-based knowledge and intertwine indigenous cultures into learning, as well as how organisations can and should strategise and connect their purpose to deliver impact through the lens of smart cities.”

The Programme is seeing early success with the signing of a three year MoU with Malaysian Government public sector agency JPA Sabah to train public sector officers in these areas. A virtual Sabah Co-Action Design Lab will be set up under the MBA Programme to progress key initiatives that emerge. Similar efforts are under way with ChristchurchNZ, technology collaborators and industry associations in New Zealand.

The MBA introduces a Creative Challenge course where executive learners will focus on themselves as a creative project. The course has been crafted as a safe-to-fail space, so participants can really challenge themselves to be reflective, he says.

The UC MBA Programme will be launched with a panel discussion event; Leadership in the Digital World. Presenters include Seequent Chief of Operations, Graham Grant; UC Vice-Chancellor Professor Cheryl de la Rey; ChristchurchNZ CEO Joanna Norris; Brannigans Human Capital Partner, Nick Carter; and UC MBA Programme Director, Associate Professor Chris Vas. The event is Tuesday 22 October, 5.15-7pm, Turanga Central Library on TSB Place. Find out more and book your place.

Enrol now for the 2020 MBA Programme


For more information contact:
MBA Director, Associate Professor Chris Vas, University of Canterbury, College of Business and Law,, phone: 03 369 0712.

More information
Visit our media enquiries page to contact UC Media.
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