The MBA Designed Specifically For School Principals


Catholic Education Melbourne (CEM) and Australian Catholic University (ACU) have teamed up to offer a ground-breaking MBA (Executive) program designed to equip principals with the skills required to run modern schools – the first qualification of its kind in Australia.

CEM Executive Director Stephen Elder said principals overseeing multi-million budgets and managing medium to large organisations need to have the business grounding to make the best decisions for their schools.

“We too easily forget principals are heading multi-million dollar enterprises, while at the same time demonstrating their accountability to school communities and governments by delivering the best value for money,” Mr Elder said.

“The people who are leading our schools need to be business minded. Governments are demanding more of us and our communities are demanding more of us as managers and leaders, so we have created this tailored MBA program.”.

“We can now be confident our principals not only have a deep understanding of education, but also the skills and knowledge to contribute to successfully running their schools.”

The first group of 28 graduates from the course were recognised in April by the Victorian Education Minister James Merlino, with the second class of graduates excepted at the end of 2016, swelling to more than 50 principals.


Principal at St Margaret’s Primary School Maribyrnong Gavin Brennan, one of the first graduates, said he expected MBA qualifications to become the industry standard.

“I do see a time very soon when to be a principal an MBA will be essential,” Mr Brennan said.

“Going back 10 to 15 years ago a principal was a teacher who had higher responsibilities, but the role is significantly different now. This sees the principal spend less time involved in shaping the curriculum and more time managing the organisation, overseeing budgets and ensuring interdepartmental communication.”

The MBA (Executive) is a three-year course delivered through intensive week-long seminars at Melbourne’s Catholic Leadership Centre by ACU Executive Education.


For more information on ACU Executive Education’s MBA and other business-related offerings visit:

Ben Ready
Ben Ready founded MBA News in 2014 and is the Managing Editor. He is a former business and finance journalist with Australian Associated Press (AAP) and Dow Jones Newswires in London. Ben completed his MBA in 2012 and was awarded the QUT GMAA Entrepreneurship Prize. He is also the founder and Managing Director of RGC Media & Mktng (