Business School

An alliance between business schools in the UK, USA and Australia will use the power of education to strengthen international cooperation on defence and space.

The University of Exeter Business School (UK), Tepper Business School at Carnegie Mellon University (USA) and the University of South Australia (UniSA) Business School have joined forces to deliver a unique MBA programme designed to bolster the AUKUS tripartite security pact.

The Global Executive MBA in Defence and Space programme (GEMBA) will see the three academic institutions across three nations work together to develop visionary leaders who are equipped with the skills to navigate complex geopolitical relationships across different cultural and institutional contexts, and ready to face the challenges of both defence and space exploration.

Tailored for military personnel and employees from defence companies, government and adjacent industries, the 18-month programme will support the AUKUS security pact between the three countries by improving workforce skills, knowledge and cooperation in defence and space.

The AUKUS security alliance consists of two ‘pillars’: the first is to develop technical skills to build submarine infrastructure, sustainment and construction, while the second pillar aims to develop advanced cooperation and share technology between the three armed forces, including cyber capabilities, artificial intelligence and quantum technologies.

The Global Executive MBA focuses on ‘pillar two’ of AUKUS, aiming to develop leaders who are capable of working on multi-decade defence projects that require technical understanding as well as future-focused capabilities such as communication, teamwork and problem solving.

The programme comprises a two week residency in each of the AUKUS nations, complemented by ongoing high quality online delivery, ensuring a truly international and flexible MBA offering.

A recent two-week London residential featured internationally recognised industry speakers, policy-makers and other prominent figures in the defence and space industries.

Alongside that residential, academic experts and senior administrative representatives from all three partner universities met to discuss future directions and enhancements for the programme with key industry representatives.

Dr Deborah Goodwin OBE, Programme Director for GEMBA at the University of Exeter Business School, said: “This is an exciting and innovative opportunity for Defence and Space sector professionals to meet, study, and build their networks as long-term practitioners in these industries. We look forward to delivering our contribution to the GEMBA Partnership, and welcoming students to the UK and Exeter.”  

Dr Stuart Robinson, Associate Dean for Business Engagement at the University of Exeter Business School, said: “Our aim is for the University’s interdisciplinary work on defence and security to have significant impact on innovation in the sector.  GEMBA is a great vehicle for this, bringing us close to high potential managers as they build their industry careers.”

The Global Executive MBA programme gives students the opportunity to develop and extend their knowledge in fields such as space systems, defence procurement, global security and digital disruption, providing insights which are immediately applicable to their careers.

The inaugural cohort are senior leaders from organisations spanning Defence Primes, Defence Industry, Space Agencies and Space Industry from Australia, USA, the UK, Europe and Asia.

The residential study in the US, UK and Australia, allows students to expand their intellectual horizons, appreciate a variety of perspectives and build invaluable global networks.

The University of South Australia is offering a number of partial scholarships to participants from across the AUKUS nations in defence, space and related sectors. These scholarships will encourage participation from a diverse cohort of experienced leaders, ensuring a rich experience for all students across the 18-month program and beyond.

Visit here for more information on the Global Executive MBA in Defence and Space.