MANCOSA hosted an academic study tour from the Novosibirsk State University of Economics and Management (NSUEM) in Russia this October. The group comprised senior academics and researchers, and MBA students.
The ten-day study tour from 19 – 29 October 2014 in Durban allowed participants to experience a carefully planned programme that included academic, cultural and tourist activities. This was the first Russian study tour hosted by MANCOSA.
The study tour is one example of higher education internationalisation underway at MANCOSA reflecting its intent to engage particularly with BRICS countries and their universities. The programme provided insights into business and management education and their practice in South Africa; offered a glimpse of Durban’s cultural and religious diversity and; took in the sights and sounds of local tourist attractions such as uShaka Marine World and the KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board.
Business visits undertaken to Standard Bank, Independent Newspapers, Transnet, Bidvest Food Services and to the Sugar Terminal presented the delegation with an understanding of the styles of strategic leadership, management approaches, and business operations and practices in South Africa.
The group had the opportunity to participate in a MANCOSA graduation ceremony at the International Convention Centre in Durban. They also attended and participated in a MANCOSA Golf Day at the Durban Country Club.
Professor Yusuf Karodia, the Principal of MANCOSA thanked the Russian study tour group for their participation in the NSEUM Study Tour to South Africa and highlighted the benefits of such experiences for both senior academics and MBA students. He described the experience of hosting the delegation’s visit as a
“learning curve – a tour that proved successful despite dealing with the challenges of satisfying a heterogeneous group with diverse interests.”
The study tour participants expressed their gratitude to MANCOSA for its hospitality during the ten day stay in Durban and extended their appreciation to Professor Karodia for arranging an interesting and diverse programme which provided them with a holistic experience of academic, business and cultural activities in the context of networking and building relationships.
Below are some comments from study tour participants.
Prof Alexander Veronin, a researcher at NSUEM said he was grateful for the opportunity to give a seminar on The Management of Human Resources during the study tour. He enjoyed the interaction this platform presented with academics. He was
“impressed with the MANCOSA academic infrastructure and its high quality higher education practices.”
He added that he was proud to be a guest at the MANCOSA Graduation as it was such a dignified event. He was impressed by the punctuality of timing and the high quality organisation of the graduation. He observed that he graduation which was so meaningful to all the graduates and their families. “Graduates were so proud to graduate with their MBA degrees,” he said.
Highlights of the visit for Ms Podoksenova included the hospitality and friendliness she experienced from the South Africans she encountered. Another high point of the tour was a game drive at the Tala Game Reserve and an educational visit to the Valley of 1000 Hills near Durban. She was impressed by the facilities and resources available to lecturers, including the learning facilities available to academics and students.
Mr Georgy Kuznetsov, an MBA student, indicated that the Russian delegation’s visit to MANCOSA in Durban was more than academic presentations. For him as a young entrepreneur, it was an opportunity to explore opportunities to establish business prospects in South Africa and on the continent, given the various opportunities for interaction which were made available.
He said it was also a great chance for two higher education institutions in two BRICS countries to strengthen academic and research relationships for mutual benefit.
On her second visit to MANCOSA, Ms Olga Seresova, an academic on the MBA programme at NSUEM said she was amazed by the significant developments taking place at MANCOSA, especially with the infrastructure and state-of-the-art facilities at the Mancosa Graduate School of Business (GSB).
“It’s convenient for students to study at MANCOSA due to the support for students; the ease of education processes and the library facilities available,” said Seresova.