SCU Business School wins regional competition

Published 15 July 2003

A team of MBA students from Southern Cross University’s (SCU) Graduate College of Management has won the Queensland heat of Australia’s most prestigious business contest, the Boston Consulting Group Business Strategy Competition, defeating teams from Bond University, University of Queensland, Southern and Central Queensland Universities and the Queensland University of Technology.

The six students from SCU’s Tweed/Gold Coast campus included five from overseas and one Australian: Kerry Weale (Australia), Andre Coetze (South Africa), Graeme Dustow (New Zealand), Masoud Kolahdouzan (Iran), Paul Schatzle (USA) and Carmen Windhaber (Austria).

They were locked in a room with three text-books of choice and one calculator and then asked to solve a tricky business problem nominated by Boston Consulting Group from an actual case study. Three hours later they had to produce a written report and deliver a ten minute verbal report.

Team coach, former Boston Consulting Group competition judge and Professor of Management at SCU’s Tweed/Gold Coast campus, Professor Robert Waldersee, described the competition win as important.

“This is the single biggest business contest in Australia,” Prof. Waldersee said.

“It reflects that our people were the most talented on the day. Our team also reflects our success at attracting a high calibre of enthusiastic student from overseas. We are obviously a very attractive destination for further business study internationally,” he said.

The SCU team travels to Sydney for the finals against four other regional winners, including one from New Zealand.

Southern Cross University’s Graduate College of Management has the largest enrolment of business graduates in Australia.

The MBA program currently has 900 students on campus, off shore and via distance education, while there are 195 students enrolled in the Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) program, with over 30 supervisors in a variety of Business Research areas. More than 90 students have graduated with their Doctorates since the program began in 1996. The DBA program attracts students from twenty countries studying both on campus and by distance education. By 2004 the DBA program at SCU will be delivered out of four countries, through partnerships between SCU and other educational institutions.

“90 per cent of our students are already employed, but desire an MBA or DBA to enhance their employment prospects,” Graduate College of Management Director, Professor Sandra Speedy said.

“While we are a smaller college than some city-based business schools, we offer specialised supervision and hands-on professional courses. Our completion rates are high and we are attracting students from around Australia and the world who are switching from business degrees in other institutions to ours,” Professor Speedy said. “We are in a position now where other graduate schools of management are emulating us.”

SCU contest team leader Kerry Weale was a licensed builder who wanted a career change when he went shopping for his MBA. As part of his research into study opportunities he did a comparison test of business colleges.

“When it comes to selecting a suitable university to study for an MBA, there is an enormous amount of information to digest,” Mr Weale said. “To simplify matters, I created a 'broadsheet comparison chart' for students covering: tuition fees, location, content, networking, campus facilities, Internet facilities etc. Of all the institutions I researched, in most areas, Southern Cross University was the most favourable. Remarkably, except for SCU, not one institution followed
through on my enquiries. SCU has provided the vehicle and I am at the wheel.”

Media contact: Sara Crowe or Kath Duncan in the SCU media liaison unit, Ph: 6620 3144.