Updated: Jan 9
The GIBS Business School (Gordon Institute of Business Science) MBA manufacturing students at the Toyota Wessels Institute for Manufacturing Studies (TWIMS) recently visited the United Kingdom.
Having, due to Covid-19, been unable to travel internationally over the past two years, this cohort of MBA manufacturing students were immensely grateful to participate in the first manufacturing global module. The global module is a compulsory component of the MBA, which has a focus on enhancing competitiveness in dynamic markets.
The participating students were provided with a learning experience of a lifetime and gained immense value from being exposed to manufacturing challenges and approaches in the United Kingdom. The trip has also led to several positive connections being made between TWIMS and the organisations visited.
The students were exposed to the robust research, innovation and strategic insights into the future trajectory of manufacturing from the Global Development Institute at The University of Manchester and the Institute for Manufacturing (IfM), University of Cambridge. The experience provided the opportunity to affirm the key focus areas in the manufacturing curriculum designed by TWIMS, benchmarked against what is being taught at the Institute for Manufacturing Studies in Cambridge.
In addition, the students were able to relate their knowledge gained from the suite of manufacturing electives offered through the manufacturing focused MBA to the practical experience of walking the floor of the Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK plant and PepsiCo Coventry plant. They further reflected on the learnings with Rose Heathcote from University of Buckingham.
The standard of the TWIM’s curriculum was apparent in the students’ engagement with the experience, the challenging questions they asked, and in their insightful observations (often in pubs!) The students were also well equipped to engage in meaningful discussions about what they are taking back home as leaders of manufacturing in Africa.
Of course, the students managed to fit in some purely fun time! Highlights were watching Manchester City playing a match at the famous Manchester City Football Club – Etihad Stadium, visiting Manchester United Football Club – Old Trafford and a walking tour of the industrial history of Manchester and the university colleges of Cambridge.
The students returned with their minds expanded, renewed appreciation of the potential of industry in South Africa and were inspired to lead sustainable industrialisation in the digital age of global connectedness.
They sent thanks to their United Kingdom hosts who were incredibly generous with their time and insights and to the faculty team, Justin Barnes and Robyn Green, who made this trip possible.