MBA Student Interview

Vanessa, current MBA student, shares her experience of the Ducere MBA project work in this interview.

(There is no video, just audio)




Our Industry Projects are a Ground-Breaking Innovation

The concept of MBA industry partners and the industry project model implemented by Dūcere Business School is a ground-breaking innovation. Nowhere else in the world is there an MBA delivering such a project focus. For a long time academics have been trying to figure out how they can better align real experience with the academic experience in a business course.

Our MBA industry partners include a number of national and multi-national organisations across the corporate, public and not-for-profit sectors. These partners provide real current challenges and opportunities that are facing the organisation. MBA student teams of around six individuals collaborate and work on these projects for these industry partners and senior stakeholders from these organisations. The outcomes of the projects go directly to the industry partners to be potentially actioned in part or whole. This means that projects are not added on, but integrated into the course. This is not just an ordinary industry placement that bolts on to the traditional modular business course. These projects are really at the core of the student’s experience.

Save the Children Team


As a Dūcere MBA candidate, you deliver three industry projects throughout the MBA, each lasting about four months. While completing those projects you also undertake academic assignments which are aligned to different milestones of those projects. You deliver real outcomes to the industry partners which will potentially impact these organisations’ bottom lines. In completing the three projects you get through the different nine academic divisions of your MBA namely Leadership, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, People and Culture, Ethics and Sustainability, Strategy and Risk, Finance and Administration, Information and Systems, Marketing and Communication and Operations Management.

It is our belief that the traditional siloed approach to business courses which is modular, (for example you study finance this month and people and culture next month, strategy the month after) is actually not reflective of the modern working world. There is no such business project  that is purely a “finance project”. You need to be able to consider all of these business problems holistically. You need to be thinking about all of the different elements and how they interplay in order to solve any problem. By focusing on real current challenges that industry partners are facing, we ensure that the curriculum is a live curriculum. These are the most pressing and significant strategic issues that are out there in the market today rather than an academic curriculum which is historically defined by University and is being rolled purely as an exercise.

Additionally any business concept you learn is discovered in the context of a real problem and those learnings are directly applied. Rather than learning simply how to approach building a strategic plan for example, you actually delivering a strategic plan to an organisation. You are then getting direct feedback from really high calibre professionals. They will be letting you know, when bench-marked against their high standards, how successfully you are achieving those outcomes. Receiving that kind of direct feedback from really significant industry players is a unique offering of this course.

If you would like to know more about the Dūcere and UC MBA- Innovation and Leadership you may contact us at

Next event is February 5, 2016



The Dūcere and University of Canberra partnership.

Dūcere Business School is focused on business education from diploma through to MBA  and we continually strive to be innovative and aim to bridge the gap between academia and industry. Dūcere Business School has selectively targeted and meticulously interviewed some of the world’s most successful individuals on a range of subjects specific to the courses we offer. Our Global Leaders Faculty is comprised of presidents, prime ministers, Nobel Prize winners, government ministers, entrepreneurs, scientists, academics, and the CEOs of some of the world’s largest companies. Our vision is to offer a different approach through these courses to bring extraordinary value in your experiences as a student.

UC Event

It is our belief that many traditional approaches to the MBA offerings do provide a lot of value to students, but they are overly focused on principally theoretical or academic elements. Through our partnership with University of Canberra, we really deconstructed that experience and we went back to the drawing board asking what an MBA should offer, what student outcomes we should be trying to achieve and what the student experience should really be.

So while the academic experience and academic rigour that underpins it remain absolutely crucial, what we wanted to do was provide a more industry-integrated experience. This allows students to really focus on real-life projects. Importantly, we wanted to develop a curriculum that would be the most relevant in industry today and give students the opportunity to learn academic concepts in the context of real and current experiences.

Dūcere is a business education content provider. We never accredit any of the courses ourselves. We always partner with an established public institution in order to provide accreditation. In the case of our Australian Bachelors of Applied Business and MBA we have chosen University of Canberra and graduates come away with a degree awarded by the University of Canberra.

The University of Canberra is a fantastic partner for us as they are very entrepreneurially-minded and they are very student-focused. So they were happy to write a new play book with us and really look at what we should provide to students and how to design a course which;

  • best provided a relevant and engaging student experience,
  • drove the outcomes the students wanted from and MBA and,
  • produced the kind of MBA graduates that industry is crying out for.

Our partnership with the University means that we can deliver the industry focus, and unique business-world resources that Dūcere has access to, plus the academic rigour which is provided by a university featuring in the top 5% of universities worldwide.

If you would like to know more about the Dūcere and UC MBA- Innovation and Leadership you may contact us at



Patrick Loke

Ducere MBA Administration


Promoting and Supporting Innovation and Leadership

As the name of the course makes clear, the focus of the Dūcere MBA is Innovation and Leadership. While these are currently buzzwords and you may be seeing them consistently in the current education media and also in industry, we wanted to make sure that they weren’t just buzzwords to us.

In the Dūcere MBA students are learning advanced business concepts in a real-world context and that gives them the opportunity to really focus on innovative, blue sky thinking about real-world innovative solutions to  problems faced by major organisations.

A supportive environment is provided to encourage innovation. So rather than a commercial situation which is high risk, students are given the opportunity to take chances and really come up with something creative and different. So when they deliver the project to the industry partner they may be able to present something interesting and new that the organisation had not previously thought about. The partner organisation, in turn, gets to work with a dynamic MBA group from diverse backgrounds, drawing on varied experiences to provide ideas and solutions that are very different to a typical consultancy group.

Clearly the innovation element is extremely important and students are encouraged to reflect on how they are thinking and how they are approaching these problems innovatively throughout the course. This is done throughout the course via journaling reflections on the industry deliverables, each time they produce something for an industry partner.

With regard to the other aspect of the specialisation; Leadership, again there are a number of courses available claiming to be focused on leadership. However we don’t believe that you can simply learn theoretically about leadership. In our view fostering leadership requires an experiential learning approach. You can learn theories about leadership, but you really need to apply them to understand what works for you.

Project progression

The linear progression throughout the course is in three stages. You progress from Learner, to Manager to Leader. This means that in your first project you enter at the bottom of your project team in terms of hierarchy. You also have the mentorship of those in the team with more course experience. These are the Managers and Leaders in their second and third projects. You in then move through each stage, managing and eventually leading a project group. By your third project you have learned about various management and leadership theories and witnessed a range of approaches and skills. You are now ready for your opportunity to lead your group and undertake engagement with the client and manage the students who have joined the course at later stages.

If you would like to know more about the Dūcere and UC MBA- Innovation and Leadership you may contact us at


Photo credit:  Follow the Leader Vinoth Chandar CC 2012


The Extraordinary Power of Ducere’s Industry Projects

Studying for an MBA is now more accessible than ever before due to the proliferation of online course providers and moves from some providers to lower eligibility criteria for entry. This means that there are thousands of MBA graduates each year in Australia vying for the most desirable roles.

So why choose Ducere Business School over another provider? On first glance the Ducere MBA format might seem a little interesting and a little quirky. You may notice that the Ducere MBA has a faculty of global leaders. You might have noticed that there are no exams and perhaps that appeals to you.

What a lot of people seem to miss however is the extraordinary power of the industry based projects and what that means for getting noticed in the business world.

Think about this: You have the opportunity to complete projects for real companies with real commercial outcomes and the opportunity to receive an invaluable reference for your CV, all the while supported by peers, expert academics, mentors and learning resources.

Projects are completed through online collaboration in small teams of five or six people. There is no need to go on-site, and the MBA may be completed 100% online outside of business hours. The majority of the Ducere MBA candidates complete the course whilst working full-time.

You have an opportunity through the Ducere MBA to gain experience and references that you are probably not going to get through any other means. Project partners include KPMG, National Australia Bank, Seek, PwC, Save the Children Australia, the Australian Treasury and Linfox.

While there is no guarantee that you will excel, you will be completing these projects in a highly supportive environment. This is a way to get experience in high level corporate project work and build vital business skill-sets with minimal professional risk.

In the Ducere MBA program so far, the quality and value of the project deliverables has been consistently high. This shows that MBA candidates have been supported and educated to such an extent that they have been able to meet the demands of the industry projects and in most cases excel.

To date every single project delivered by Ducere MBA teams has been received favourably by industry partners. This means that all candidates have the potential for a positive written reference from the industry partner as well as a positive personal reference that they can convey anecdotally at any job interview or promotional review.

We all know that when we applying for a new role the interviewer is going to ask us to give an example of when we achieved a certain outcome or handled a certain challenge. They may also ask what value you can add as an MBA graduate. Ducere MBA graduates are at a distinct advantage here. While the typical MBA graduate may be able to relate a story from a case study in their assignment, or a concept from a book that they have read, the Ducere graduate has a real-world story, with the real-world outcome to convey.

Can you think of anywhere else in the world where you could get three references from three prestigious organisations within a 12 month period? Can you think of any other way you can get first-hand experience delivering important projects within corporate, government and not-for-profit organisations?

Most other MBAs, if they have an industry component at all will include an internship at the end of your studies. This is very different to the immersive experience that you get throughout the MBA course with Ducere.

Consider also the satisfaction of knowing that your MBA project will become a working document within the partner organisation, and not just another work of academic theory to gather dust.

To discuss further email Patrick Loke at

The views expressed here are those of the author, and not necessarily shared by Ducere Business School. 




Unique Insights from World Leaders

A quite astonishing and unique aspect of the Dūcere MBA is the Global Faculty of World Leaders. Dūcere have assembled an esteemed array of over 270 presidents, prime ministers, Nobel Prize winners, government ministers, entrepreneurs, scientists, academics, and the CEOs of some of the world’s largest companies to share their experience and insights with Dūcere students. This is no small achievement! Can you think of any other university that has come close to attracting input from so many respected public figures?

The Global Leaders Faculty is an asset shared and valued by Dūcere Business School and the Dūcere Foundation. The GLF came about through a group of exceptional minds who have excelled in their fields, generously giving time and support, to further the charitable cause of the Dūcere Foundation. Dūcere found that many industry leaders were wanting to participate in something that could support and promote the foundation. From there they began to participate in the education project as well. The Dūcere foundation does important work in a number of countries in Africa, building peace centres, schools and publishing houses.

At Dūcere we are focused on the union of education and philanthropic activities. Our charitable works are fully funded by proceeds generated by from the business courses we deliver.

Insights from the Global Leaders Faculty are integrated into the research and learning materials in our courses. In our MBA, while we believe is that it is absolutely crucial to be supported by our world-class academics in undertaking your Masters’ program, we also believe that in order to fully understand the business concepts that we are endeavouring to teach, it is hugely beneficial for students to hear from the most successful people in the world.

In order to take on academic theories, it is advantageous for the student to see theories be applied in a real-world context and demonstrated successfully. In the Dūcere MBA we break up your course offering and identify the key business concepts. We then find the most successful people worldwide achieving that business concept already, and garner their insights.

We do this through high quality production video interviews and case studies, which are then integrated into the course offerings and made available to you to the MBA portal.

The Global Leaders Faculty is a unique offering which is consistent throughout our Ducere courses, is completely proprietary and not accessible to any other business.

Dūcere programs have enabled children to change their lives and seek a brighter future, thanks the generosity of these world leaders. When you study your MBA with Dūcere Business School, you are not only receiving the most innovative business education the world currently has to offer. You are also contributing to peace, education and economic empowerment in underprivileged African nations.


Patrick Loke

Dūcere Business School, MBA Administration


The Dūcere MBA has No Exams. Here’s Why.

One aspect of the Dūcere MBA people are always interested to know about is how the work is assessed.

There are no exams in the Dūcere MBA Course. We do not believe that the best approach to business skill development and professional development is to learn a lot of material and then be examined under examination conditions.

In our approach students are encouraged to undertake reflective analysis throughout the course. At each milestone when students and teams deliver something to their industry sponsor, they will reflect on the process and reflect on the feedback that they receive from industry. Students consider what they have done well and what they do to better the next time and then dependent on which stage of the course they are in and which content division that focusing on, they may also have academic assignments which are linked to that particular milestone as well.

Through this process the student builds a portfolio of work which is focused on how they’ve apply MBA concepts to the solution of these real industry problems. Again we encourage students to think about both the theory and also the practical application. It is our experience, and our view that this is a much more effective way of developing professional skills within students, as opposed to a traditional methodology of modular rote learning and examination.

At Dūcere Business School we are very much focused on how we can enhance people’s ability in the workplace and what they can take back to their current employers or businesses. This is a much better goal than seeing how successful are they are regurgitated information in exam conditions.

As I have mentioned in previous articles, industry projects are very much at the core of the course and these industry projects are all delivered in collaborative student groups. This focus on project work and group collaboration is reflected in the way students are assessed.

30% of the assessment is actually based on the industry deliverables produced by the groups so that means that there is a mark attached to that group collaborative effort. 70% is based on the industry deliverable reflections and academic assignments which are completed on an individual basis. This reflects our desire to both enable students to be extremely successful individually and engage those academic materials on an individual basis, but also we really want to be driving the problem solving and teamwork aspects of what we believe should be absolutely essential to any MBA offering.

This is about how well we work collaboratively in business managing teams and an engaging with peers to solve problems. That 30% assessment also incorporates direct feedback from our industry project sponsors allowing us to benchmark student outcomes against the highest industry standards.

Candidates will follow an assessment process comparable to that of any other business school delivering a masters program. This will include academic feedback, scores and gradings, represented on their academic transcript that is awarded by the University of Canberra. But that is not all.

Students can graduate from the course with not only a Master Degree, an impressive achievement itself, but also they can add the completed projects to their CVs and include the industry feedback provided by project sponsors exhibiting that they have delivered three different projects for three major organisations. They can show what they have delivered in projects for these organisations and provide the feedback about how effective the project was and its impact when implemented by the organisation. There is also the potential to achieve personal references from project sponsors as students work directly and closely with senior stakeholders at these major organisations.  We believe that receiving quality feedback direct from real industry adds significantly more value than just examination scores.


Patrick Loke

Dūcere Business School, MBA Administration

If you would like to know more about the Dūcere MBA- Innovation and Leadership you may contact us at


Infoxchange MBA Project

Hear from Ducere MBA students and Infoxchange’s Partnerships and Business Development Manager Brian MacLaughlin reflect on the value, challenges and discoveries they encountered through this Industry Project.

Why is Ducere not mentioned in TEQSA and ASQA?

Wondering why Ducere is not mentioned in TEQSA and ASQA? While Ducere is not listed on the Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency (TEQSA), or the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) we need to be compliant with both of these organisations in everything we do. The reason for this is our partnerships with registered public institutions, who depend on our compliance and high standards of education. Graduates receive their accreditation through registered providers. We would like to clear up some commonly raised issues about how Ducere operate in the education landscape.

Constitutional Reliability of Tamilnadu Council

As a private company, Ducere is not listed on TEQSA or ASQA, yet we partner with a number of public institutions that are registered.The official regulatory body for our Diploma courses is ASQA, who are the national regulator for vocational education and training. Our Diploma courses are all delivered through registered providers such as Holmesglen Institute (RTO Code 0416). You can find the registration status for all our Diploma partners here.

Ducere Partners

TEQSA is an independent statutory authority that regulates and assures the quality of Australia’s higher education sector. Essentially, all tertiary education providers must be registered and compliant with TEQSA in order to operate. Our Bachlors and MBA degrees are delivered through the University of Canberra, who are registered here (unless you are studying with our African University Partners). The University of Canberra is also registered on Universities Australia, the peak body for Universities in Australia.

University of Canberra

If you study our Bachelor’s or MBA you will get a qualification through the University of Canberra .

If you study a Diploma with us, your qualification is provided through your chosen TAFE provider.

We need to be compliant with TEQSA and ASQA in everything that we do because our public partners depend on it. This relationship drives our standards to deliver high quality business education.

By Ryan Thompson

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of Ducere

Originally posted