4 May 2021 Share


Covid-19 Hastens the Growth in Online MBAs in Europe

Source: | | Author: Sab Murray

The pandemic has convinced a clutch of locked-down institutions to launch Online MBA programs, especially in Europe. The trend looks set to continue

While many academic institutions across Asia are resuming face-to-face teaching, those in Europe are having to introduce tighter restrictions because of rising coronavirus cases and fresh national lockdowns.

The pandemic has convinced a clutch of locked-down European institutions to launch Online MBA programs in the past 12 months. The trend looks set to continue, as the Otto Beisheim School of Management recently announced plans for an Online MBA, with classes starting in August this year.

In Germany, where the school is based, infection numbers are rising from a third wave of coronavirus.

For Rebecca Winkelmann, director of the school’s new Online MBA, the pandemic crystallized the choice to go viral, which was made before Covid-19 struck.

She brought forward the launch of the program from 2022. “The main reason was the shift to digital teaching for all degree programs right at the beginning of the global crisis,” Winkelmann says. “We strongly felt we had everything in place to launch the program much quicker than initially planned.” […]

The trend looks set to continue, as the research group Carrington Crisp’s Tomorrow’s MBA Study from late 2020 showed that 78 percent of applicants are more likely to pursue a degree that gives them greater flexibility. “It’s likely that market acceptance of online learning has grown significantly over the past 12 months,” says Barniville. ESMT, for example, announced a new Online MBA in March this year, with sessions starting in September.

The forerunner to ESMT’s course is the Online MBA offered by MIP Politecnico di Milano in Italy, which launched back in 2014. The school’s dean, Federico Frattini, thinks the pandemic has changed perceptions among applicants and companies, and opened their minds to the possibilities of remote teaching.

“Something has changed,” he says. “The pandemic forced people to get used to online meetings. Thus, candidates are now more aware of the potential of digital education. The same applies to recruiters, who now perceive online learning to be as good as on-campus programs.”

On the other hand, some potential applicants are experiencing “Zoom fatigue”, which has only strengthened their belief in the value of campus teaching. “Those who already preferred on-campus programs are now even more” entrenched in that belief, says Frattini. […]

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