Navigating sustainability the key challenge – Griffith MBA Director

Griffith University's Dr Nick Barter
Griffith University’s Dr Nick Barter

Equipping students with the leadership skills to navigate the big challenges of the 21st century remains the greatest challenge for business schools, according to Griffith University MBA Director Nick Barter.

Dr Barter said together with digital delivery, teaching students to lead sustainable organisations was the greatest challenge for business schools and MBA providers.

“Sustainability is about being able to meet the challenges of the 21st century – climate change, water scarcity and the impact of inequality in economies,” he said. “Tackling those things will drive a new wave of innovation for organisations.”

“We need to be able to equip our students to have the thinking skills to navigate an organisation through those challenges.”

The Griffith MBA distinguishes itself from others in Australia through a commitment to developing graduates with a strong sense of responsible leadership, sustainable business practices and an understanding of business in the Asia-Pacific region. It has been designed for middle to senior level managers as an advanced general management degree.

Dr Barter believes getting the balance right between digital off-campus delivery and experiential, in-class teaching was the next great challenge for business schools, particularly in the wake of the emergence of massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).

“We really got very excited about MOOCs in 2013. However, all that buzz and excitement has gone nobody is terribly interested in MOOCs anymore.”

However, he believes the buzz around MOOCs helped universities to address how they deliver teaching in a digital world.

“What (MOOCs) really have done in terms of shaping the higher education industry is forcing universities to think about how they deliver courses digitally. I think their key impact will be making us be more digitally focussed.”

He said Griffith University was going down the path of video conferencing to provide students with the necessary interaction with lecturers to assist learning in a remote environment.

“We are all getting much more used to video conferencing,” he said. “My experience has been getting better and lecturers are getting better at delivering in that format… it will improve even more in the future.”

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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 (rgcmm.com.au).