Live Updates: Coronavirus Impact On Business Schools

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


Latest features:

Industry Bodies Demand Delay To Business School Rankings

April 22 Roundup

B-school bodies request rankings delay

Top business school industry bodies—GMAC, AACSB and EFMD—have requested a collaborative discussion with business school rankings organizations as COVID-19 continues to impact business education. 

In the letter to top MBA and b-school rankings providers—including the Financial Times, US News, the Economist, Forbes, and Bloomberg—industry leaders highlight how the current environment could alter key metrics that rankings institutions rely on to produce their respective data sets. 

Best online MBA programs

One ranking that has gone ahead is that of QS which released its ranking of the best online MBA programs in the world with Spain’s IE Business School coming out on top. 

IE Business School’s 18-month program costs $55,636. The remaining top five include Imperial College Business School (2nd), Warwick Business School (3rd), AGSM (4th), and MIP Politecnico di Milano (5th).

With coronavirus closing schools and social distancing measures putting a halt to campus education, interest in online MBA programs looks set to peak.

Read our full report:

best online mba programs qs

GMAT Online Exam: Using the Digital Whiteboard

One question mark over the new GMAT Online Exam is that you can’t use a pen and paper to take notes during the test. This is a security measure to ensure the test cannot be cheated. 

The only alternative you have is to use your mouse to write on an online whiteboard integrated into the online GMAT test.

If you’re taking the GMAT Online exam, then read our step-by-step guide to mastering the digital whiteboard.

gmat online exam whiteboard tips

5 ways MBA programs are changing

MBA programs were changing even before the coronavirus crisis, with new topics on the curriculum and new ways of learning. Read the full article.

top mba programs changing

Calculate your readiness for an MBA program

It’s Wednesday, but you can still take’s test of MBA program readiness.

Association Of MBAs Launches Coronavirus Fundraising Campaign

April 21 Roundup

Sharing valuable business lessons to raise money for coronavirus relief

As coronavirus relief efforts continue in earnest, the UK-based accreditation body, Association of MBAs (AMBA), is jumping to action with a new fundraising initiative—the MBA Challenge.

AMBA is asking graduates from around the world to share the five most valuable lessons they learned at business school.

For each lesson learned, participants are asked to donate £1 ($1.23) towards AMBA’s COVID-19 Relief Fund, which supports vital charities like Doctors without Borders and Actionaid. 

AMBA hopes the lessons graduates share will raise awareness of the importance of graduate management education during global challenges, as well as directly raising money to tackle coronavirus head-on.

Coronavirus & MBA Admissions: 4 Common Questions Answered

If you’re currently applying to business school, you’re probably wondering what the coronavirus pandemic means for your application.

BusinessBecause asked Scott Edinburgh, founder of admissions consultancy Personal MBA Coach, to answer four of the most common questions that applicants currently have.

Scott revealed that online GMAT testing, virtual campus tours, and remote seminars mean that many applicants can continue their process as usual.

However, other candidates might want to reconsider their application strategy, as schools add rounds and push back application deadlines. 

Coronavirus: MBA admissions questions answered by Scott Edinburgh, Personal MBA Coach founder

Online MBA at Imperial Business School opens for applications

London’s Imperial Business School has just opened applications to its Global Online MBA program, which will begin in January 2021. 

The 24-month program is currently number one in the UK, according to the QS online MBA rankings, and costs £37,600 ($46,285). 

Potential applicants can attend ‘virtual drop-in sessions’ in April and May to find out more. 

As more candidates than ever consider an online MBA due to the travel limitations imposed by coronavirus, we can expect the program to retain its popularity.

 App records your cough to study coronavirus and other diseases

At Nazarbayev University in Kazakhstan, Dr Martin Lukac (below) is working with researchers at the School of Engineering and Digital Sciences to build a Cough Analyzer. Cough Analyzer gathers data for study

The analyzer will act as a diagnostic tool to pick up on diseases like pneumonia, tuberculosis, and now COVID-19.

Researchers are currently gathering a database of coughs, recorded through a mobile app that anyone can download. 

Along with a five second clip, app users will be asked to provide any diagnoses they have had, and posed questions about the nature of their cough—such as whether it is dry or wet, and how long they have had it.

With a large enough data set, it is hoped that the project will lead to improved understanding and diagnosis of coronavirus. 

GMAT Exam: Online Whiteboard How-to

April 20 Roundup

Get familiar with the GMAT Online Exam’s online whiteboard

Last week, we announced the launch of the new Online GMAT Exam, along with online GMAT test prep tips and a Q&A with one of the test’s creators

For security reasons, you cannot take physical notes using pen and paper during the GMAT Online exam and instead need to use an online whiteboard provided onscreen when working our your quant calculations, for example.

This is something new for a lot of candidates used to jotting down complex calculations on a physical notepad. With this in mind, Stacey Koprince, from Manhattan Prep, explains how to best use the online whiteboard and practice ahead of time.

Online GMAT vs GRE

ClearAdmit have made a side-by-side comparison of the online GMAT and GRE tests including cost and technology requirements.

online gmat vs gre

Screenshot from ClearAdmit

Is Udemy worth it?

There’s never been a better time to do an online course. Along with Coursera, Udemy is one of the biggest providers of online courses with 50 million students enrolled on Udemy courses globally. But is doing a Udemy course really worth it? Read the full article.

udemy worth it

Business school deans speak out on coronavirus

We asked deans from Stanford, Oxford Saïd, Cambridge Judge and six other top business schools, to explain the business implications of the coronavirus pandemic.

GMAT and GRE test center closures

Remember you can keep up to date with the latest on testing suspensions, test center closures, and resumptions via our live feeds:

GMAT test center updates

GRE test center closures

3 Ways Coronavirus Impacts MBA Programs

The coronavirus pandemic is disrupting business schools and MBA programs globally. We spoke to industry experts who consider three ways COVID-19 could impact MBA programs and your MBA experience.

1. The attractiveness of the MBA

Coronavirus could impact how many people are willing to pursue MBA programs.

MBA applications tend to move counter to the markets. Historically, demand has risen in times of turmoil, including during the financial crisis of 2007-08, as workers facing redundancy sought to upskill, ready to hit the labor market for when the recovery kicked in. 

With America shedding 701,000 jobs in early March and unemployment spiraling, the economic outlook looks dismal. However, the COVID-19 crisis is unprecedented, and the full extent of the economic damage is unknown, making decisions difficult for prospective students. 

It’s also unclear whether business school campuses will be open for the start of the fall semester. With questions over whether online instruction can match the quality of in person education, and concerns about MBA jobs prospects, some may consider the MBA a devalued asset. 

Schools are already reporting requests for tuition fee refunds and application deferrals to 2021 when prospects hope for a clearer picture of the situation. 

Nevertheless, David White, founding partner of Menlo Coaching, an admissions consulting firm in the Netherlands, expects MBA applications to increase. Menlo Coaching has seen more inquiries than usual lately, he says. 

“Although applicants have legitimate concerns about fall 2020 programming being held virtually, they also recognize that Covid-19 is causing major disruptions in the job market. 

“The MBA remains equally attractive, maybe even more attractive, if compared to an economic scenario where bonuses, promotions and job switching is much less likely. Students may also estimate that a recovery would begin by the time they graduate in 2022.” 

2. MBA student diversity

Schools are expecting a less diverse class for the fall semester. Embassies and consulates are closed, so visa processing has ground to a halt. Airplanes remain grounded across the globe, meaning study trips, a major component of an MBA, are also cancelled. 

Eric Cornuel, president of the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD) in Brussels, says: “Many schools will turn back to national and regional students to compensate for the disruption to global mobility.”  

However, schools are taking action to hedge their bets. Harvard Business School has a longer wait-list this year, a list of applicants who may be offered a place in future if space in the class becomes available. The idea is to keep a larger number of domestic applicants available to enroll if overseas students cannot get visas to come to Boston in the fall. 

Business schools face the challenge of adapting their admissions policy to account for the coronavirus crisis while striving to maintain entrance standards.  

Many have launched an extra admissions round or are extending current rounds by two or three months to give themselves and students more time to complete the admissions process. Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business launched a one-off fourth round of applications, adding an extra 60 days to the cycle. 

With admissions test centers temporarily closed around the world, several schools are being more flexible in their admissions policy and accepting applicants without standardized test scores, including INSEAD, London Business School and the Rotterdam School of Management in Europe. 

However, the GRE test can now be taken online and the GMAT should be online by mid-April

3. A shift online

Will Dawes, research and insight manager at the Association of MBAs (AMBA) in London, expects a rise in applications for online courses as more people are forced to work from home because of COVID-19. They may therefore feel more confident in studying virtually. 

“Business schools, like all organizations, are having to find innovative ways to adapt,” he says. 

Eric too says the accelerated switch to online instruction after years of slow uptake among schools and students is a “silver living in [a] dire situation”.

However, the crisis has raised questions over whether online instruction can match the in-person experience. Cultivating a professional network, sitting cheek by jowl with classmates from around the world, is a hallmark of an MBA. The consensus is that online learning has not replicated this. 

“Schools are eager to return to in-person programming, and I expect them to do so as soon as this is a responsible option,” says David from Menlo Coaching. “Schools know that full-time students prefer in-person experiences.” 

Short-term, much will depend on whether schools can successfully adapt teaching and operations online. Already, the whole MBA application process has gone digital, with schools conducting video interviews and virtual campus tours.

Looking forward, the coronavirus crisis will stretch the finances of some business schools, with job losses and even closures being predicted. However, Eric from EFMD says that if business schools are flexible and innovative with their MBA programs, they will survive.

Read our coronavirus coverage:

Live updates: Coronavirus impact on business schools

Live: GMAT testing updates

2020 MBA Application Deadlines

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