Historic Dutch Business School To Bridge MBA Divide With Affordable Online MBA

Maastricht School of Management will launch its first online MBA in Spring 2017

Maastricht School of Management (MSM) is set to propel itself firmly into the digital era with the launch of its first online MBA program in Spring 2017.

MSM’s online program delivers the basic fundamental features of an MBA like accounting, finance, economics, marketing and strategy. The online curriculum stands out with an overarching commitment to entrepreneurship, especially in the emerging market environment.

“The MBA is increasing in value as a degree, but also becoming more expensive, more difficult to access, and leaving a so-to-speak MBA divide between advanced and emerging economies,” says the school’s Dean Wim Naudé.

“Staying true to our mission to bridge countries and cultures, we wish to plough back our expertise, experience and investments to ensure that there is affordable access, across the world but particularly in developing and emerging economies.”

A third of MSM’s full-time MBA students tend to come from Africa, but its online MBA aims to cast an even wider net. It’s 100% online. It costs € 30,500, substantially less than most US-based online MBAs. And its admissions requirements are tailored towards inclusivity. As an alternative to the GMAT, MSM provides its own pre-entry levelling courses designed to prepare students for the Online MBA.

“We’ve moved away from the GMAT as our primary screening tool for new students,” explains Oliver Olson, Director of Global Education at MSM. “In emerging markets, the GMAT is often hard to access, or its cost is prohibitive.”

MSM’s online MBA provides a flexible learning environment that can be catered to the differing needs of its students. Particularly for those juggling families and jobs, MSM’s online program offers this flexibility without compromising on the quality of education.

“The biggest draw-back to full-time MBA programs, is the opportunity cost,” Oliver continues. “Students have to quit their jobs for a year. With online MBAs, students don’t miss out on opportunities in the offline world.”

In the past, the level of interactivity offered on online programs has been called into question. But with advanced virtual communication tools, students on MSM’s online MBA will be able to interact with each other seamlessly and build up a network of connections globally.

“In some ways, online MBAs offer a higher level of interactivity than the full-time courses,” says Oliver. “There’s no limit to how much you can interact; you’re not confined to a three-hour classroom session.”


At MSM, the online MBA is presented as a direct, credible alternative to the full-time program. Although it’s offered 100% online, optional offline segments enable students to jump out into a physical location.

Ethics and corporate responsibility are woven throughout the curriculum, as one would expect from a School that is an advanced signatory to the PRME and the UN Global Compact. The mandatory final project is the same. Students either write up an academic thesis, create a business plan or engage in a consulting project.

Over the years, MSM has garnered a global reputation as a school that provides access to high-quality education no matter where students are based. Programs in China, Peru, Vietnam and Egypt speak for this inclusivity. MSM’s Online MBA is NVAO accredited and international accreditations by ACBSP, IACBE and AMBA are in progress. In 2014, MSM was nominated as a finalist for AMBA’s Innovation Award for bringing the MBA to emerging and developing economies. The online MBA is a continuation of this trend.

For Oliver, MSM’s efforts are all geared towards one goal. “Our job as a business school is to create graduates that the business community wants to hire,” he says.

The application deadline for the intake starting in May 2017 is 1 April 2017. If you want to make use of the Early Bird deadline then you have to apply before 1 March 2017. Visit the program page of the Online MBA for more information about the program, the admission requirements and the scholarship opportunities and to apply.  

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