School of Business and Trade (SoBaT)

School of Business and Trade (SoBaT)

This post will take a look at the School of Business and Trade and a free online education which ultimately leads to a Graduate Diploma in Business Studies.


Introduction to SoBaT

School of Business and Trade (SoBaT) - business english success - sobat

The School of Business and Trade (SoBaT) was established in 2013 “to promote education without boundaries and background“.

According to their website Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states, everyone has the right to education and it shall be equally accessible. SoBaT currently offers several qualifications to suit everyone interested in higher education.

In addition to the obvious benefit of obtaining a free education in Business Studies, advanced English learners can gain an additional benefit of improving their general English and Business English vocabulary and understanding. Even if you decide not to take any exams, the material is still a great learning resource.


What is SoBaT?

SoBaT in an online institute that offers a self-study, quality online education. The courses are flexible and you can start at any time. Instead of the traditional way of studying for several years, you can study at your own pace.

The courses are open to students from all over the world.


How does SoBaT work?

There are six courses offered, each one leading on to the next. Unfortunately, you do have to start at the beginning. However, you can go straight to the exam if you think you don’t need to learn for a particular course.

This graphic shows the six courses, together with an overview of their respective contents.

School of Business and Trade (SoBaT) - business english success - sobat program

Click to enlarge image

Each module starts with an introductory video, followed by some extensive reading material. You will get lots of reading practice!

Whenever you feel like it, you can take the test. You can do this as many times as you like and your best score is used for your certification.

Once you have successfully completed one set of exams, you have achieved that particular diploma and can start the next course.


Who benefits from SoBaT?

As I mentioned earlier, this requires quite a high level of English language ability. For native speakers who want to study these business topics at their own pace, this is ideal.

As we’re more concerned with learning Business English here, this offer has an additional learning potential in terms of business understanding and vocabulary. You learn useful things and gain valuable information from the first diploma material, even if you have no intention of taking the exam.

Of course, passing the exam and moving on to the next diploma provides a much larger benefit, but the decision is yours.


What does SoBaT cost?

Currently, there is no tuition fee applicable and a computer generated course completion certificate can be downloaded from the course area free of charge after achieving the required grades.

However, if you wish to obtain a printed certificate of the qualification, there is a fee of £25 plus £10 for postage. This covers the manual admin work required.


School of Business and Trade – Summary

School of Business and Trade (SoBaT) - business english success - sobat logoSoBaT are doing something really cool. They believe in a free education and are actually doing something about it.

This isn’t a shoddy course, thrown together quickly – it’s a quality offering that beats many paid courses hands down.

A word of warning: although there is no time limit to complete anything, if you don’t log in for six months, you will be removed from the system. This isn’t really a negative, but I wanted to mention it. It would be a shame to lose all your progress due to being busy.

School of Business and Trade (SoBaT) - business english success

Does this interest you? Or have you been an active participant at SoBaT?

Please use the comments section to tell us about it.

28 Comments

  1. Ross

    I already had a very good MBA and undergrad qualifications. My MBA was over 20 years old, and I wanted to refresh my skills so I did SoBaT. I managed to get the old Advanced Diploma of Finance and Accounting in before they changed the course, then did the BSc. I am currently completing the MSc.

    These are online non-traditional courses, but they certainly are not a diploma mill. I found them to be hard work and it forced me to read textbooks and learn new concepts and ideas. The free online textbooks are excellent and the multiple choice exams are a challenge.

    Pros
    The courses are free – there is just a nominal charge to get your marks added to the registration database.
    The content is excellent – if you want to learn something or refresh your knowledge, it is ideal. It would also be a good precursor to a traditional educational degree.

    Cons
    They are not accredited, and you will struggle to get them recognised for further study or Recognition of Prior Learning.
    They won’t get you membership of professional bodies like accounting CPA, ACCA etc. Don’t even try.

    It all depends what you do it for.

  2. Mattoy

    Hello I’m seriously thinking of enrolling in SoBaT but I’m worried if the school us really valid? I’ve gone over their website and it doesn’t say anywhere that they are a degree granting institution. It just has an address in Switzerland. It does say they’re not dependent on any external organization which means they’re not accredited. I’m ok with that but my question is, can they really grant this degrees and are they valid or will I just waste my time? 🙁

    • Hi,
      That is a really good question. I don’t represent the school, so I can’t answer directly.
      You could contact them and ask them this same question. Alternatively, if you have access to a potential (or actual) employer, you could see if they have any opinion one way or the other.
      Would be interested in the responses in both cases.
      The main reason for including the school here is to give learners a free way to improve English. The fact that this is also in a business context is an added bonus.
      If you take their courses with the aim of improving your English, then I would not consider that a waste of time.
      However, if your main objective is to get a qualification that will get you a good job, I’m sure there are other options.
      Like I said, good question. Thanks!

      • Mattoy

        Thanks very much for the insight. I did some digging and found out that non-accredited private institutions are allowed to issue degrees in Switzerland on unregulated professions so the degrees may be valid themselves. Either way, free knowledge is always a good thing. May I also suggest to your readers to check out the free courses on The Open University UK. Lots of interesting free courses to improve their English plus you get a nice certificate after finishing each one. http://www.open.edu/openlearn/

        • Interesting information – thanks for sharing.
          I’ll be sure to check out the OU. To be honest, I didn’t have them on the radar, even though they have been around for ever (when there were postal courses!).
          Thanks for reminding me about them.

        • Ross

          I agree re the Open Learning free courses – excellent content and totally free. I did about 30 of the free courses, obtaining a Statement of Completion for each one.

          Again they are non accredited – you cannot use them as credit towards a BSc or whatever. (although some professional bodies will accept them as continuous professional development and you may be able to use them as secondary support for Recognition of Prior Learning).

          Well worth doing.

      • Mo

        Hi,

        I have completed everything but I think that you have to pay for the course now as there is no option to retrieve the certificate after you finish everything.

        • Grats on completing the course – well done.
          I’ve just checked their website and I can’t see anything about a change like this. It still states that the courses are free and that the certificate requires payment.
          If you’re having trouble getting your certificate I can only suggest contacting them to sort it out.

    • I’m not sure – I suppose that would depend on where you want to take your PhD.
      Best bet would be to just ask them if this would be an acceptable qualification.

    • Hi,
      As far as I know, there isn’t a shortcut through the qualification ‘ladder’.
      Having said that, you can take the exam without doing the course, so if the course content is familiar to you, just do the exam.
      I think this is the only way to shorten the whole thing.

  3. Alvin

    Currently Sobat offers Bachelor of Science in Business. It has lots of good stuff to read and it’s free. Am half way through. Glad i can transfer credits from the old Sobat website. Love this!!

  4. David

    Great explanation of how the system of SoBaT works – it has a serious advantage than it is open to everyone in the world as you say. Costs are seriously reasonable also, I am not a member yet but this is something that can definitely help me in the future – thanks

  5. alham

    I really would love to study business courses and that also when you can do it at your own pace thanks for sharing this article.

  6. Rosa

    Hi Derek,

    Most online courses usually charge you a fee. This is ideal for anyone who is interested in this type of training with very limited income.

    Thanks for sharing.

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