The coronavirus pandemic hit Europe hard, but as we begin to exit what for many of us has been a third lockdown, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Many business schools have welcomed students back to campus, and more plan to do so by fall 2021.
Schools have largely maintained a hybrid model of teaching, with students splitting their time between the physical and virtual classrooms. That seems to be the plan for most schools going forward.
Here, we highlight the latest COVID-19 campus updates for Europe’s top business schools. This page is regularly updated with the latest campus reopening plans for MBA students, and more schools will be added as updates are released.
COVID-19 Campus Updates: Europe
Business Schools with Multiple Campuses
ESCP Business School
- Berlin campus
As of May 20th, restrictions have been gradually loosened in Berlin. However, classes at ESCP remain online, with students not yet allowed to return to campus due to current restrictions from the Berlin Senate—according to a statement on ESCP’s website.
From June 10th the school’s campus library has been open for on-site use. Students can book a table to work, browse the library, and ask questions at the help desk.
A negative test result is required to work or study on-site. As is wearing a mask through your entire stay on campus. The rest of the campus remains closed.
- London campus
From May 17th COVID-19 restrictions in England eased further. This allowed for the restart of in-person teaching at higher education institutions.
In-person teaching has resumed on ESCP’s London campus, along with student access to campus services.
Students returning to campus are expected to self-test for COVID-19 twice weekly. This applies to students who are safely in England and able to travel to campus.
There are still measures in place in England meaning if international students are travelling from a ‘green’, ‘amber’, or ‘red’ listed country, they will have to complete the necessary quarantine period upon arrival and provide a negative COVID-19 test.
There are remote campus services available for those who cannot attend in-person.
- Madrid campus
ESCP developed a new teaching model to adapt to the demands of the pandemic: Adaptive Model Blended Learning. The model is a hybrid methodology, and is flexible to allow the school to transition between fully in-person, fully online, or blended learning, depending on the circumstances.
The school is currently using a hybrid model of teaching. Recruiting events are also still mostly virtual, as are student events—although a few have started happening in person.
- Turin campus
This year ESCP’s Turin campus is offering a hybrid teaching format to students, with a part of the school’s lessons held online and a part of them in class.
For the next academic year, the school is planning to continue with this hybrid method, with most of the lessons held onsite with some asynchronous online classes.
The expectation is that student events will also be in person, but ESCP is ready to switch them online if needed.
The same applies for recruiting events, which have been organized online during 2020/2021. These can be in-person for students living near Turin and online for international students and candidates.
UK Business Schools
Alliance Manchester Business School
The Alliance Manchester Business School (AMBS) campus is open with COVID-19-secure measures in place.
The school’s full-time MBA students have returned to campus for a hybrid model of teaching. There’s some face-to-face lectures while other sessions remain online.
Upcoming Global Part-Time MBA workshops scheduled for July will continue to take place online due to ongoing travel restrictions. Students who live locally will have the option to attend the virtual workshops on campus in small, socially distanced groups.
From September 2021, Alliance Manchester Business School plans to welcome the new full-time MBA class to campus for their three-week induction period, core modules, and not-for-profit project. There will also be frequent socials and MBA+ and careers activities.
The school also hopes to reintroduce face-to-face teaching for the Global Part-Time MBA September workshops. Due to the highly international composition of the cohort though, the school is closely monitoring government travel advice.
AMBS is delivering Executive Education Open Programmes on campus in line with current government advice relating to social distancing.
Cambridge Judge Business School
At Cambridge Judge Business School all student events are currently online, and the school’s campus visit program is suspended.
In line with government guidance from Monday May 17th, university students have been allowed to return to in-person teaching. For students on courses where teaching would normally be taking place at this point in the academic year, in-person small-group University and College teaching can resume.
There is a hybrid teaching model in place, in which the MBA will be delivered in person complemented by a wide range of digital resources and preparatory study. This will continue to be used for the incoming students in fall 2021—there is also no delay to the start of the new academic year.
All students of the business school are required to follow the health and safety protocols in place, pending further government changes. These include mask wearing, social distancing, checking your temperature on entering the building, and following the one-way system that is in place.
London Business School
London Business School is open for students and staff. The fresh air supply is on in lecture theatres, and the additional units that recirculate air are turned off for safety.
Students, participants, staff, and faculty can collect free, at-home, lateral flow antigen testing kits from the school—the same tests that are available online or for collection from local pharmacies or test centers. Students attending lectures on campus are expected to self-test twice per week.
You must wear a face covering while in any indoor space on campus except single person offices. Face coverings may only be removed while eating or drinking or in spaces where social distancing can be followed.
The school’s current lecture theatre occupancy is set at 50% capacity, and faculty are wearing personal protective visors while teaching. Lecture theatres are cleaned before each teaching session, and for those who can’t attend classes in person, Zoom is being used for virtual teaching.
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Business Schools in France / Monaco
Since September 2020, the French government has authorized in-person teaching at universities, with strict regulations including social distancing and mandatory mask wearing.
HEC Paris has since offered students a blended learning format consisting of in-person courses with reduced capacity, and online teaching. Students who do not wish to attend any in-person courses are offered the possibility of attending remotely.
All career fairs will remain virtual until the end of 2021. There is a possibility that smaller student/recruiter events might take place in person before then.
With the progressive deployment of the vaccination campaign, the school expects courses to fully return to normal in September 2021, with full classroom capacity. Though should that not be possible, the model already deployed will guarantee academic continuity.
If borders are open in September 2021, and it is safe to do so, the school plans to also resume full academic and research activities in person and on campus.
EDHEC Business School’s Lille and Nice campuses are open. Wearing a mask is required at all times on campus, and the required health and safety measures are in place on site—hand sanitizing stations, social distancing, and temperature checks, for example.
Classes are in person, and the school plans to keep this in place for the upcoming 2021-22 academic year. The plan is for students to be able to benefit from the full range of on-campus services, including career support, catering, sports facilities, and student life.
International University of Monaco
For the 2020-2021 academic year the International University of Monaco set up a new teaching method that allowed students to safely be on campus. On campus and classroom capacity has been reduced, and mask wearing is mandatory across the premises.
The new model of onsite/online teaching has become the norm. For the 2021-2022 academic year, the school plans to continue with this teaching method, with learning being split 80% on-site and 20% online.
Business Schools in Denmark
Restrictions are being reduced to normal or to a basic level at all Danish educational institutions.
From June 14th, all buildings will reopen with admission and opening hours as normal. Students are no longer required to use face masks or shields. The one-to-two meter social distancing requirement is being removed, and physical attendance for staff on campus will be increased to 50%.
Then from August 1st, students are no longer required to produce a negative test result as a requirement for campus access. CBS will no longer provide a testing facility for staff and students, and all staff may return to campus.
Business Schools in Germany
ESMT Berlin welcomed its first group of students back to campus in April 2021.
The school is currently teaching a mix of hybrid and face-to-face classes. Half of the class is face-to-face, and the other half join online. To make this happen, ESMT invested over $600K to ensure lecture halls are able to deliver an optimum learning experience whether you are in the room or remote.
Health and safety measures in place include testing, mandatory masks, social distancing, cleaning schedules, and contact tracing.
For the new academic year starting in fall 2021, the school currently plans to operate with the same hybrid model of teaching, so students can choose the option they prefer.
Frankfurt School of Finance and Management
Since May 14th, Frankfurt School of Finance & Management has been offering students an elective model of teaching, where they choose whether to attend classes from campus or online.
Students can be on campus only if they provide a negative test no older than 48 hours, and face coverings are mandatory across all public areas of campus.
HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management launched HHL Promise, the school’s commitment to reopening campus for students enrolling in fall 2021. The school intends to open campus and have in-person lectures.
Social distancing and hygiene measures will be followed. Students are expected to wear mandatory face coverings, regularly wash hands, and use hand sanitizer.
Hybrid study options will be available for international students who can’t yet make it to Germany. If the situation changes before the new academic year, the school is also prepared to begin with online courses during the first few weeks of the semester, opening when it’s safe to do so.
WHU Otto Beisheim School of Management
Teaching is taking place mostly in hybrid form at WHU. BSc and MSc students are currently not on campus as term is over and it’s internship season.
The school’s EMBA conducted two hybrid modules in May 2021, welcoming the first students back to campus. Since June 7th, the school’s full-time and part-time MBA programs have also been offered in hybrid form.
For both campuses in Düsseldorf and Vallendar, state regulations allow students to join classes in person again based on a strict hygiene concept implemented by the school. That includes social distancing, capacity limits for classrooms, hygiene regulations, and testing.
Where regulations allow, WHU has started organizing events in hybrid form or in-person. The majority of events are still taking place online though.
The expectation is that from September 2021, when the new term begins, larger events will be able to be held on campus. Should everything be safe, BSc and MSc students will return to campus for the new academic year.
All classes should take place in person again, with a hybrid model continuing to be used where necessary.
Business Schools in Italy
MIP Politecnico di Milano
MIP is starting a lot of programs online in fall 2021 before shifting students to on-campus teaching. The International Masters in Big Data and the Full-Time MBA start online at the end of September 2021. The school’s International Masters in Sustainability, and International Masters in Cybersecurity Management start online at the start of October 2021.
There are a suite of business master’s programs then resuming on campus at MIP later in the fall. They include the fintech, finance, and digital innovation program, the financial risk management masters, and the international masters in big data—all starting on campus October 2021.
The school’s international masters in sustainability, cybersecurity management masters, and full-time MBA are set to resume on campus at the start of November 2021.
The Career Development Center will continue to operate virtually, providing students with virtual career fairs, remote consultancy projects, online career workshops and company presentations, and one-to-one consultancy.
Italy began to reopen from May 18th 2021, and an update on MIP’s website confirms the Lombardy region has been designated a white zone from June 21st 2021. That means curfew has been lifted, and movement is allowed between white and yellow regions with no restrictions.
Face coverings must still be worn in all public spaces, outdoors and indoors, and on public transport. Social distancing is also still in place.
SDA Bocconi School of Management
In compliance with safety and health rules, SDA Bocconi is using a hybrid teaching model. The school is open, and Master’s and Executive Open Programs students are splitting their time between the classroom and online.
Business Schools in Spain
ESADE Business School
Esade Business School has invested over $3 million in its facilities and systems to guarantee students the same standard of education across all delivery methods: fully in-person, hybrid, or 100% online.
“If something has become clear in the field of university education during this crisis, it is the need to combine different methodologies to develop and strengthen the essential knowledge and skills of every professional,” explains Joan Rodon, vice dean for faculty and research at Esade.
The school is recognized by SGS—the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing, and certification company—as a completely safe space against COVID-19. All classrooms are set up to deliver in-person and virtual teaching. Cleaning and disinfection are carried out daily.
From fall 2021, the school plans to combine online and face-to-face teaching and provide students with more control over their own learning, giving them the option to learn online or on campus, depending on their safety preference.
IE Business School’s campus has been open since July 2020. The school has since developed a comprehensive action plan that involves daily testing of all IE community members, and each classroom being closely monitored for COVID-19 outbreaks.
The school expects all programs to start on their expected dates, and don’t foresee any delays to the new academic year in 2021.
Besides face-to-face teaching, the school’s new Liquid Learning method allows students to follow their studies remotely if circumstances require them to do so.
IESE Business School
IESE Business School is running in-person classes at reduced capacity on its Barcelona campus. All students who are unable to return to the classroom for health reasons or because of travel restrictions can continue with online classes.
The school has also created an online platform for campus access. Students complete a simple questionnaire, and a QR code attached to the platform is used to access campus buildings.
Temperature control cameras have been installed at the campus entrance, and all used rooms are fully disinfected at the end of each day. Standard COVID-19 health and safety regulations are in place across campus.
This article was last updated Monday June 21st 2021