University of the Free State (UFS) Business School director Professor Helena van Zyl has noticed an increase in the number of students enrolled for the Bachelor in Management Leadership (BML) degree.
She believes this is, besides other factors, owing to the Financial Advisory Inter- mediary Services (FAIS) Act, of 2002, which requires financial advisers or bank tellers to have a certain level of skills that may not previously have been required.
The FAIS states that a person to be appointed as a compliance officer, other than a director, member, auditor, trustee, principal officer, public officer or com- pany secretary of a particular authorised financial services provider, must hold a legal or accountancy university degree and have at least three years’ experience in the financial services industry.
An individual must have passed any specific financial services industry or compliance-related course recognised by the registrar by notice in the Government Gazette, as well as have three years’ experience or already be appointed as a com- pliance officer by virtue of the law.
Further, an individual must be an accredited member of the Compliance Institute of South Africa, or any other organisation recognised by the registrar by notice in the Government Gazette, and have at least three years’ experience.
The UFS Business School had 72 graduates in 2009 and 77 graduates in 2010. This year, the school has 440 students registered to undertake the BML.
Professionals already in the industry and wanting to improve their qualifications, predominantly take the BML, says Van Zyl.
This qualification is based on experiential learning and the assessment and recog- nition of prior learning. The objective of the BML is to deliver a new generation of formally qualified and innovative managerial leaders equipped to excel in, and add value to, today’s corporate and business environment.
The BML programme consists of three modules, namely the business environment, management and leadership. The business environment module includes international finance, Africa in the new global order, labour law, political dynamics, cultural diversity and its influence on an economic enterprise, a basic understanding of the challenges and constraints facing government in the economy, and understanding basic macroeconomics.
Apart from a basic understanding of the role of labour in the economy, the programme also covers the impact of environmental factors on management decisions, the financial system and interest rate predictions.
The management module comprises general management (private and public sector), entrepreneurship, financial accounting, strategic marketing management, environmental dynamics in public sector management, organising and cooperative governance, small business management, public financial management, managing the quality of public service delivery and project management within the public sector.
The leadership module covers the development model of leadership, becoming an effective leader, confronting change, stress and time management, diversity within the African context, becoming a creative thinker and decision-maker, understanding the power game, conflict, motivation, perceptions and attitudes, human resource management and ethical leadership.
Van Zyl says the school aims to align its courses with current events in the marketplace and the business environment. “One of the most significant challenges for business leaders, currently, is to be decisive leaders. Further, the current business environment asks for proactive and visionary business leaders, while social responsibility is becom- ing increasingly significant and requires focused and dedicated attention, specifically in South Africa,” Van Zyl concludes.