• Credit: University of South Australia
    Credit: University of South Australia

The University of South Australia (UniSA) has partnered with the University of Exeter (UK) and Carnegie Mellon University (USA) to launch the Global Executive MBA in Defence and Space, with the first cohort of students from UniSA having started the 18-month program this week.

The MBA will help address critical skills gaps in cyber security, space systems, geopolitics and defence procurement, and build the leadership capabilities required across the sectors. Students include executives and senior managers from defence contractors, senior members of the Australian Defence Force and allied countries, and civil servants.

“The AUKUS announcement presents significant opportunities for those directly in the sector and those servicing the sector. The complexities associated with the multi-decade projects require a range of skills and capabilities, ranging from technical skills through to project management and leadership capabilities,” said Professor Lan Snell, Dean of Programs (Postgraduate), UniSA Business.

"The defence and space sectors are a prime example of industries that require leaders who can navigate complex geopolitical relationships and work across different cultural and institutional contexts."

The Global Executive MBA is designed for uniformed and non-uniformed personnel from small and large defence companies, government, and adjacent industries from AUKUS and other allied nations to develop the workforce capabilities required for this new era.

The program features online study and intensive face-to-face residential teaching blocks in Adelaide, as well as in Washington D.C. and Pittsburgh with Carnegie Mellon University and in London with the University of Exeter. The inaugural cohort will commence their first intensive residential program in Adelaide from Monday 18 September to Friday 29 September.

“Being in the defence industry, I often find our sector can be at the centre of political and moral debate – dependent on either the product or the international relationships involved. Handling these deliberations with composure requires an individual to be adept at managing public relations, political pressures, and the ethical implications in the use of our products. I see the Global Executive MBA program as a way of helping me overcome some of these personal hurdles,” said Glen Gallagher, Operations Manager at Boeing Defence Australia and a participant in the MBA program.

“We must navigate the delicate balance between innovation, effectiveness and conscience. The Global Executive MBA will also help act as catalysts for those of us in the defence and space sector, to drive us forward to make informed decisions using the visionary leadership skills gained throughout the course." 

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