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6 Trends That Will Change Business Education In 2017 — According To Deans

Deans’ well-informed predictions about the topics that will shape business education in 2017

Tue Jan 24 2017

BusinessBecause
Our Deans were more right than wrong about 2016 — one-year degree programs proliferated; technology swept through campus, enhancing the classroom experience; consulting firms muscled into the business education market.

Some predictions stand out. Andrea Masini at HEC Paris was prescient on the divide between top-tier and second-run business schools; Ivan Bofarull at ESADE Business School nailed the transferability of online course credits with campus-based degree programs.

But they missed the big ones. The election to the US presidency of Donald Trump, Brexit and the rhetoric surrounding immigration mean universities face turbulence and uncertainty on an unprecedented scale in 2017.

Some might argue then that predictions are a waste of breath. Perhaps. But there is value in our annual forecasts. Each conjecture below is what a seasoned academic thinks are the pivotal issues for the year ahead, and how they will impact their institutions, for better or for worse. Those that disagree can have a go at their own prognostications in our comments box.

There Will Be Digital Disruption

In 2017, there will be more blended learning and more flipped classrooms. The way young people, the Millennials, are learning is changing. Innovation is crucial. We have to change the way we are educating students. And the role of the professor in the classroom has to change with it. Digital platforms are very important, but students also need to be together in a classroom in order to be challenged by the professors and each other. The classroom is where they capture the value of diversity.

Eugenia Bieto, Director-General, ESADE Business School

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Learning Will Become Experiential

We can expect to see the expansion, and even next generation of experiential learning. In 2017, we will be building new action-based learning programs that position the school on the leading edge of innovation in education. This is where the real point of differentiation among business schools will take place. Finally, I expect more schools to introduce fully online degrees and expand the number of non-degree certificate programs offered online. It's time we stop asking if online education will happen; it has happened. Online education will enhance the in-person, residential experience for students on-campus, with access course materials online that accelerate the learning-by-doing model.”

Scott DeRue, Dean, University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business

Courses Will Be Tailored To Individual Needs

First digital learning. This is really exciting, giving the opportunity for us to do so much before, during and after a program. But increasing experience around the world shows there are real issues of learning quality, if digital is simply substituted for personal interactive experience. 2017 will see a more sophisticated approach to what is possible and desirable. Second, flexibility. Programs will need to be better tailored to individual needs while maintaining program coherence. Here at LBS, we have introduced more ways of meeting individual needs on our MBA through course length, specialization and content. 

Andrew Likierman, Dean, London Business School

MBA Programs Will Shut Their Doors

With massive changes in the drivers of business growth, in how consumers behave, and in digital technologies and information, business education is transforming. Some schools won’t or can’t change, and we’ll see more business schools shrink or shutter their full-time MBA programs. Some will invest elsewhere to become more relevant to the lifelong needs of learners — through specialized master’s degrees, certificate programs, or short targeted courses. More of these offerings will be delivered online or in hybrid formats in response to students’ needs and constraints at different career stages. Action learning, to enable immediate application of concepts, will become even more critical. 

Judy Olian, Dean, UCLA Anderson School of Management

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Degrees Will Become Specialized

We’ll continue to see a trend toward more specialized MBA degrees like the Kelley School's MBA for Educators and our Business of Medicine MBA. The career climate is increasingly entrepreneurial, and professionals in disciplines that once were not thought of in the traditional business sense are looking for ways to operate more efficiently and get ahead of the competition. Really, everything is a business — from a single freelance musician to a medium-sized non-profit to a large medical practice. A good business foundation, the ability to navigate change and other business tools can be valuable for anyone trying to earn a living.

Idalene “Idie” Kesner, Dean of the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University

Big Data Will Get Bigger

Data analytics is becoming increasingly important. Some schools are launching programs to try and meet demand for people who can sort through massive amounts of data to identify key insights. I’m excited we’ll welcome our first class in our Master of Quantitative Management program in July. These students will be training in not only how to interpret big data, but how to communicate key findings to shape business functions, strategy and operations.

Bill Boulding, Dean, Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business

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Student Reviews

Duke University Fuqua School of Business

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31/10/2023

On Campus

Supportive atmosphere

The professors at Duke university exhibit exceptional commitment to the success and well-being of their students by ensuring their academic growth and fostering a supportive social atmosphere. Moreover, the entire community is recognized for its amicability and inclusiveness.

Maxwell

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30/03/2023

On Campus

Diversity

The people or the students are without a doubt Duke's greatest asset. While all students are driven to succeed, they are also enthusiastic about a variety of hobbies. You run across a huge lot of diversity. It is the ideal example of a school with well-rounded students and the ideal balance of campus life in a metropolis.

Anabelle

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27/02/2023

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Happy to school

All I could ever hope for is Duke University. That really epitomizes the "work hard, play hard" philosophy that elite colleges frequently pursue. Even though you'll have a lot of schooling to complete over the week, it's simple to keep focused because all of your friends are putting in similar amounts of effort. Many events taking place on and around campus on the weekends provide a great way to unwind. The combination of demanding academics and traditional college fun strikes the perfect balance.

Monica

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27/02/2023

On Campus

Good schooling

Living, eating, learning, and developing who you want to be as an adult are all fantastic at Duke. I participated in student athletics, and I couldn't have asked for a better interaction with the faculty and other students. I appreciate all of the help I get from the Duke community more than anything. Furthermore, the teachers take the time to get to know you, and the lectures are diverse and demanding (if you do the same). I'd give it a 10 out of 10.

Aline

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26/11/2022

On Campus

Beautiful School, Nice Classes

DU remains one the greatest and best universities that I have ever stepped in. The school is beautiful and neat. The classes are spacious and also very nice. I enjoyed attending my Lectures in those lecture halls. I also loved the Lecturers because of the good work they did. The university also has very good dorms that are given to students on first come first serve basis and they are affordable

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29/06/2022

Blended

Amazing experience

I received my B.S. in Biology and B.A. in Global Health with a minor in Chemistry from Duke University. I was able to grow as a student, scientist, and global health advocate with the help of my friends, professors, and other mentors I met along the way. A lot to learn if you look and ask, a great place to learn for those who want to learn.

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29/06/2022

Blended

whirlwind of growth and change

An amazing 2 years, with covid and everything else happening Duke has been a place of growth for me. The courses , classes were one of a kind, online and on campus. But the valuable lessons learned in the classes are irreplicable. The students are amazing here, so much diversity , I had no problem fitting in. The teachers are down right brilliant and so helpful. Don't be afraid to ask them anything. Graduated with my MBA with Duke and now my future awaits.

Student

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29/06/2022

On Campus

One of the best for Business students

Graduated with an MBA. The classes were very insightful and engaging. The staff are very easy to deal with. The teachers and students, are truly amazing people. Grateful to all the people I've met along the way at Duke. I've learnt a great deal that will help me in my future endeavors. The campus itself is a marvel, it is beautiful.

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16/06/2022

On Campus

The university campus is awesome

I graduated with a masters degree in Religious Studies from Duke University. One thing I really liked about the university is its huge campus. It is spread in a large area with a lot of greenery and also have the facilities of reading rooms for single person also. My department building was very well taken care of. The library is immensely populated with books for all your needs. The faculty is very nice to students. The classes are equipped with latest technology to cater the needs of students. The University also provides room rentals for international students. They are very well maintained and priority is given to the International students for a comfortable stay there. There are weekly events conducted by the University as well as Student clubs for the entertainment of students. Anybody can take part in them and show their talents. I enjoyed my degree and I graduated in 2021 and was very happy that I had graduated from a reputed University.

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