Top ranking for business school

University of Otago Business School dean Prof Robin Gauld is proud of the school's successes....
University of Otago Business School dean Prof Robin Gauld is proud of the school's successes. PHOTO: UNIVERSITY OF OTAGO
Being named the country's top business school for research is a "phenomenal achievement'', the dean of the University of Otago's Business School, Prof Robin Gauld, says.

It was the first time Otago had come out top among the eight business schools and it followed a "rigorous'' exercise, involving six years of research being externally assessed.

The ranking reflected a lot of hard work over the six years from 2012 - when Prof Gauld's predecessor George Benwell was involved in setting a target of attaining number one status - and it was "just wonderful to see the result'', he said.

It showed staff were doing meaningful work that was of a very high quality. It was the quality and impact of research that was important and the result meant the school was in a very strong position.

Alongside that, Otago also had the top MBA programme in the country; often an indicator of quality of a business school was the performance of its MBA programme, Prof Gauld said.

Otago was the only MBA programme from New Zealand ranked in the top 25 for Asia-Pacific and that was "no mean feat''.

Otago was the first MBA in New Zealand and the online MBA - also ranked top in the country - had also helped to boost its status, proving very successful. A doctor of business administration programme was also recently launched in Auckland.

Business today, Prof Gauld believed, was more relevant than ever in terms of the issues the planet faced.

It was about teaching students ways and means, through business, to "help make the world a better place''.

Three of the last five Young New Zealanders of the Year had studied at the Otago Business School, including this year's winner Kendall Flutey, who has a master's degree in entrepreneurship.

She created Banqer, an online educational programme that helped young New Zealanders develop financial literacy skills.

In March, the Otago Business School ran the inaugural tourism policy school in Queenstown, a "high-level'' meeting bringing researchers together with policy makers and industry leaders.

The invitation-only gathering of about 50 people was designed to highlight key issues around value in tourism versus volume, and proved very successful, Prof Gauld said.

It would become an annual event and next year it would focus on decarbonisation.

A forum was being held in Auckland in November with the New Zealand Super Fund, looking at sustainable investment, based on the same model.

sally.rae@odt.co.nz

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