What is the impact of coronavirus on business schools? We bring you the latest updates including campus closures, changes to MBA admission requirements, and more

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Cases Of Coronavirus At Business Schools

March 20 Roundup


Cases of coronavirus at business schools 

Spain’s IE Business School recently announced three of its students had tested positive for COVID-19, with one requiring hospitalization. Two more IE students on the Madrid campus have also been diagnosed.  

Coronavirus cases have been confirmed at three schools in ChicagoDePaul University, Chicago Booth, and Columbia College Chicago. Each school is implementing measures to prevent the spread, including self-isolation and remote learning. 

INSEAD dean Ilian Mihov has also tested positive for COVID-19. INSEAD has suspended cross-campus travel until the end of the April and all teaching has been suspended.


GMAT test-taking suspended across Europe, USA & India

GMAT testing in France, Germany, Greece, and the UK has now been suspended until further notice. GMAT testing in the USA has been suspended in multiple locations. From today, GMAT testing has also been suspended across multiple locations in India.

See the latest GMAT testing updates.


Business schools share pretty campus pics on Twitter

As Texas enters lockdown, the Naveen Jindal School of Management of The University of Texas at Dallas has started sharing images of its campus on Twitter, and other schools are doing the same. Check out our list of the prettiest business school campuses.


MBA student adds to India’s coronavirus cases

Returning home from his MBA in Dublin, Ireland, an Indian student has become the third registered case of coronavirus in Tamil Nadu. India has over 220 positive cases so far—with 6,700 additional people who potentially came into contact with them under surveillance—and business schools are taking the necessary precautions.

The Indian School of Business has closed its campuses in Hyderabad and Mohali and students who can are returning home. The Indian Institute of Managements in Ahmedabad and Bangalore have cancelled their graduation ceremonies.


CFA postpones June exams 

Considering CFA vs MBAThe Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute has announced it will be postponing its June 2020 CFA Program Exam administrations until December or later due to COVID-19. 



“We cannot overstate the profound effects that coronavirus is having on families, communities, businesses, the financial markets, and the global economy,” says CFA Institute CEO and President, Margaret Franklin. 

Candidates registered for the June exams will be transferred to exam administrations at a later date––the soonest of these dates is in December 2020 for all levels. 


Global Business School Network urges business schools to support one another 

Non-profit organization, The Global Business School Network (GBSN), has launched a LinkedIn group designed for business schools around the world to join in order to share resources in the face of the Novel Coronavirus. 




As the outbreak worsens now is the time to share ideas and learn from one another,” the group says. “The Global Business School Network is committed to providing platforms for digital information sharing and learning across our industry.”    

Real Coronavirus Stories: Vlerick Business School

Coronavirus forced Robert Boute, professor of Operations Management at Belgium’s Vlerick Business School, to switch his Supply Chain Bootcamp to an online version this week. Part of the bootcamp includes a real-life business case with European rail & logistics company Lineas. 


robert boute vlerick professor talks coronavirus


"There were considerations of cancelling the project, but we felt we could successfully complete this online through Zoom, and we did! Students were able to continue as normal, having virtual lunch meetings, continuing intermediate reporting and working in (virtual) breakout rooms – in a very similar way to offline. And, today students will be presenting their results to the CEO, COO and Chief Finance & Accounting of Lineas online.

"I must admit it has been much more demanding and energy consuming than regular teaching. I’m not sure why, but I think the dependency on technology working gives extra stress. However, I have been able to continue teaching in the exact way I do in the classroom—just online—and the bootcamp and company project has proven to be incredibly successful with students."

Coronavirus: Full-Time MBAs Want Compensation For Shift Online

March 19th Roundup


MBAs on Reddit voice concerns

Reddit is buzzing with coronavirus chat. Candidates and current students are concerned about having to pay for high-cost, full-time MBA programs which are currently being delivered online. However, some Reddit-users are now considering going to business school as the global economy and jobs take a hit.


MBA loans provider Prodigy Finance offers flexible terms

Prodigy Finance says student borrowers should get in contact if they need to pause loan repayments. Other flexible measures include: Free quotes without committing to a loan or signing a contract; You only need to sign final loan agreement when you’ve safely reached campus; Graduates only need to start repaying loans six months after course completion.


GMAC CEO issues response to COVID-19


New Master’s course helps professionals manage pandemics like coronavirus

Aston Business School launches its MSc in Crisis and Disaster Management as more businesses demand professionals trained to coordinate their response to disasters.   


Crowdsourced list of US universities closed by coronavirus

A list of universities in the United States closed by coronavirus is being regularly updated and is available online. Various business schools are closing campuses and moving classes online. Check it out to find out if your target business school is affected.


Coronavirus: Video Explainer from MBA Tube


Harvard extend 2+2 MBA admission deadline

Harvard’s 2+2 is a deferred admission process for current students, who are either in college or a full-time master’s degree program. Students pursue at least two years of professional work experience (maximum of four years) followed by two years on the HBS MBA. Instead of April 2, 2020, the new 2+2 new application deadline is June 1, 2020 at noon Eastern time.



GMAT reminder

Any GMAT test taker who wants to reschedule their current appointment (either a different date or to a different test center) can do so without incurring any fees.


Ask your coronavirus questions

Ask our admissions experts anything you want to know about how coronavirus could impact your business school application.


ask your coronavirus questions on BusinessBecause

Latest on GMAT & GRE testing

More test centers close around the world as GMAT and GRE testing is disrupted by coronavirus. Check out our latest live updates on GMAT testing and GRE test center closures.


IE Business School professor studies impact on Corona beer!


Rotterdam School of Management offers GMAT waivers

As well as making conditional offers (pending submission of a GMAT or GRE score), RSM in the Netherlands are offering GMAT/GRE waivers to candidates with outstanding undergraduate GPAs and to PhD-holders. 

Instead of GMAT or GRE, candidates can also complete two Harvard online courses, the Mathematics for Management ($90 USD) and Quantitative Methods ($150 USD) courses, scoring over 75% on both.


Coronavirus: How To Manage Your Business In A Time Of Crisis

The current coronavirus pandemic has caused one of the most turbulent economic climates in decades. By mid-March, the Dow Jones had fallen 19 points and the FTSE has fallen 33 points. 

The crisis has already seen the collapse of commercial airline Flybe, while other large corporations seem on the brink of collapse. The biggest impact, it’s believed, will be on small-to-medium enterprises.

“When you have any kind of company, you have a risk,” explains Stella Despoudi, professor in operations and supply chain management at Aston Business School. 

It may have been hard to foresee the impact that coronavirus would have, failure, in these times of crisis, often comes down to lack of preparation. 

Here are some top tips on how best to prepare for a crisis:


1. Identify warning signals


It’s easy to spot crises when they’ve already happened. Whether these are financial crashes, cybersecurity attacks, or even natural disasters, hindsight is useful at seeing the full impact. 

But what’s not so easy is being able to predict how widespread or impactful the disaster will be in the first instance. Not every crisis will be catastrophic, but it’s equally important to treat each potential threat as though it may unfold into a disaster. 

“Companies need to constantly monitor internal and external signals to promote early detection of the signs of a crisis, and deal with it before it emerges,” insists Pavel Albores, director of the Centre for Research into Safety and Security (CRISIS) at Aston Business School. 

CRISIS conducts sophisticated research into why crises and disasters happen, and how to respond to them. Part of this is multi-disciplinary, multimethodology analysis of safety and security issues, including what early warning signals might indicate a crisis. 

Aston aims to impart this knowledge to students this fall, launching their new MSc in Crisis and Disaster Management, a response to the demand from businesses to have better trained professionals who are able to coordinate their response to disasters.  


2. Assess the threat to your business


Hundreds of crises—small or large—happen every single day. But not every one will affect your business. It’s important that companies take the time to consider the impact that a crisis will have on their three Ps—products, people, and processes. 

“In terms of products, it could be product or service failures, misuse, or damage to the consumers,” Pavel explains. 

“In terms of people, it could be unethical behaviour, industrial action or lack of training.”  

“In terms of processes, there could be disruptions to the supply chain, whether by natural or manmade causes, financial crises or overdependence on one customer or supplier.” 

This can demonstrate to businesses different steps they can take to shield their company, such as diversifying their supply chain to ensure they aren’t over reliant on a single geographic location.  


3. Create a crisis management plan 


You’ve identified what the various early warning signals, and you’ve identified what the potential risk might be to your business, but what next? 

Businesses have to create crisis management or contingency plan, so they know the effective steps to take in order to shield their business from a crisis. This is the most important step, Pavel believes, to weathering a disaster. 

The MSc is designed to give students the tools to build a crisis management plan at a business. This incorporates modules on decision-making, ethics in a crisis, and crisis technology and analytics, to ensure that students have a variety of perspectives and information for the plans they are building. 

There are some important lessons to be learned from the coronavirus outbreak with regards to what a plan should aim to do. 

“Plans need to be based around developing skills and behaviours to deal with a crisis, rather than focusing on a single, narrow scenario. The COVID-19 crisis is probably something that very few people would have predicted, let alone plan for,” Pavel insists. 


4. Practice implementing the plan


Practicing your plan is just as important as having it in the first place. 

“Organisations that have a crisis management plan and practice it regularly are better prepared to respond to disasters,” Pavel insists. 

Aston students can use simulation modelling software to recreate how disasters unfold, and how they can properly implement a crisis management plan  in practice. It’s the perfect opportunity to see the impact of decision making, without the risk of doing it in reality. 

More than anything, these simulations can teach students an important lesson about how to respond. 

“Decisions need to be taken in a calm, measured manner,” Pavel says. 


The MSc in crisis and disaster management is a response to a growing demand from a variety of sectors, including businesses, non-profits, and even governmental organizations. 

Overall, it hopes to cater to this demand from organizations to be better prepared in times of crisis. 

“This plans to equip the right people with the skills and competencies that they need to respond to this kind of event,” Stella insists.  

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