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Otago Online MBA 13th in the world: QS World University Rankings

Sun striking the Clocktower

Thursday, 27 June 2019

The University of Otago’s Online MBA (Master of Business Administration) has been ranked the best in New Zealand and 13th in the world, in the latest QS World University Rankings.

Established in 2014, Otago’s Online MBA is fast becoming one of the world’s stars — it was ranked third in this year’s CEO Magazine Global rankings and it set to launch in China next year.

It was 34th in last year’s QS World University Rankings.

Ian Lafferty 2019 image
Ian Lafferty

Programme director Ian Lafferty says the latest results are very pleasing and recognition of the hard work put in by all staff.

“It’s a stunning achievement and reflects an extraordinary team delivering an extraordinary MBA from the city that is furthest in the world from London, yet bringing a world-leading MBA to the world,” Lafferty says.

“The secret ingredients of the Otago MBA, which have produced a long-line of incredible alumni such as [New Zealand businessmen and rich-listers] Graeme Hart and Guy Haddleton, are accessible from home regardless of location.

“These ingredients, particularly Otago’s excellent staff, individualised attention to students and attention to detail, are what has led to the latest QS ranking.”

The Otago online programme is one of only three in the world that teaches 100 per cent of its programme live, and that attributed to the 100 per cent score for Class Experience in today’s results.

“We have always believed that for an MBA, the only delivery methodology is live and interactive. This is a must for business people who want to learn from each other as much as they do from the lecturer.

“I find it hard to understand how it can be done any other way,” Lafferty says.

It is the staff who are the driving force behind the programme’s success, he says.

“It starts with student selection – the combination of people who make up the cohort is vitally important. The next step is delivery – who teaches and how they teach. The lecturer, or facilitator needs to be skilled in the art of driving and facilitating meaningful discussion.

“This is followed up by feedback and evaluation during and after every paper. All of this is reviewed by the support team and the lecturers and acted on accordingly.”

The final piece of the jigsaw is customer service and programme support, Lafferty says.

“We have an amazing team taking care of all the students’ needs. The response to student requests and enquiries is first class and the students do appreciate the effort that goes in.”

Continuous improvement is a priority, Lafferty says.

“It means a lot to us, so that is one aspect which is reflected here. This gives the market a clear message that we are here to stay.

“However, growth is very important to us, so it is nice to get recognition from QS as we prepare to enter the China market in 2020.”

Professor Robin Gauld image
Professor Robin Gauld

Otago Business School Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor Robin Gauld says the latest result speaks to what those who have done the Otago MBA have always known: that it’s a world-class degree.

“It also confirms that the focus on excellence and continual improvement delivered by the Executive Education and MBA team and that underpins all their activities.”

He says the way in which the Otago Online MBA is developed contrasts starkly with the vast majority of other online MBAs globally.

“Most students want a real experience and contact with one another, and to know that they are in a boutique programme,” Professor Gauld says.

“This is the Otago difference. It takes effort to deliver, and excellent staff; it also requires boldness and a sense of adventure, which is what MBA students want in a programme.”

Today’s announcement is a “tremendous boost”, Professor Gauld says.

“We know that we are one of the best business schools for research in the Asia-Pacific region and that the in-person Otago MBA has always been New Zealand’s premier product, routinely amongst the top in the region.

“Knowing now that the Online MBA is amongst the world’s best really puts the teaching and delivery staff on a pedestal and the Otago Business School in a very strong position, given that the MBA is often viewed as an indicator of overall quality of a business school.”


For more information, contact:

Please note, both Ian Lafferty and Professor Robin Gauld are currently overseas. Please expect some delay when contacting them.

Ian Lafferty
MBA Programme Director
Email ian.lafferty@otago.ac.nz

Professor Robin Gauld
Otago Business School Pro-Vice-Chancellor
Email robin.gauld@otago.ac.nz

Lea Jones
Communications Adviser
Otago Business School
Email lea.jones@otago.ac.nz
Tel +64 3 479 4969
Mob +64 21 279 4969

Electronic addresses (including email accounts, instant messaging services, or telephone accounts) published on this page are for the sole purpose of contact with the individuals concerned, in their capacity as officers, employees or students of the University of Otago, or their respective organisation. Publication of any such electronic address is not to be taken as consent to receive unsolicited commercial electronic messages by the address holder.

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