Business leader gifts $500,000 to support Waikato business degree

Prominent New Zealand businessman and philanthropist Tony Falkenstein (ONZM) has pledged a half-million dollar donation to enable students at the University of Waikato’s Management School to travel overseas and gain hands-on exposure to global business innovation.

The overseas study tour is part of a new capstone paper in Waikato’s well-regarded four-year Bachelor of Management Studies with Honours degree.

A media release from the university says that in their final year, all BMS(Hons) students will take the paper ‘Understanding Global Business Practice’ “so they can discover the practical challenges of operating a business in offshore markets and learn more about global strategic thinking and cutting-edge business innovations”.

As part of the overseas study tour, students will visit one or more countries and have the opportunity to visit a number of successful businesses.

The revised BMS(Hons) degree programme will be offered from February 2019.

Tony Falkenstein is the founder and chief executive of Just Water International Ltd, a pioneering NZX-listed company that supplies drinking water coolers and filters to workplaces across New Zealand.

A member of Waikato Management School’s business advisory board, Falkenstein is an outspoken champion of innovation and entrepreneurship in business, having been inducted to the New Zealand Business Hall of Fame in 2008.

Professor Tim Coltman, Dean of Waikato Management School, says Tony Falkenstein’s $500,000 donation is the largest of its kind to directly benefit students since the school was founded in 1972.

“We feel privileged to be working with Tony, who is one of New Zealand’s most successful entrepreneurs. We are extremely grateful for Tony’s generous financial support, which will go a long way towards enriching our students’ educational experience.

“The overseas study tour will bring classroom learning to life and ensure our students graduate with an advanced understanding of global business practice. It will also lift their aspirations beyond the ordinary and inspire them to become business leaders on a global scale. We believe this collaboration with business and refresh of the renowned BMS(Hons) degree will also excite our next generation of learners.”

Tony Falkenstein says, “As an advisory board member I am delighted to see Waikato Management School thinking outside the square and providing refreshed business courses that will enhance the success of today’s students.

“For a long time I have been a passionate supporter of business education as being the key to New Zealand’s future economic and social prosperity. A course which allows students to ‘open their eyes’ to global business opportunities through overseas travel is something I would like to see as the standard in every student’s education.”

Waikato Management School is ranked in the top 1 percent of all business schools globally, having held the prestigious Triple Crown accreditation from EQUIS, AMBA and AACSB since 2005. Waikato is also ranked in the world’s top 200 universities for Accounting & Finance and Business & Management Studies in the QS World University Subject Rankings 2018.

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