Are you planning on studying abroad? Maybe you’re having second thoughts, looking at how things are panning out globally. At the time of writing this article, the coronavirus pandemic is growing, resulting in restricted mobility, people denied entry into certain countries and many institutions temporarily shutting down to prevent the spreading of COVID-19. So, how are the top b-schools around the world dealing with this pandemic? What steps are they taking, and what could be the repercussions of the same?
- Every b-school mentioned in this article, except CEIBS, has a dedicated COVID-19 page on their website to regularly share updates.
- All b schools have either already begun, or are currently in the process of setting up online/virtual classes to avoid in-person lectures and keep the students’ courses running.
- Students and faculty are advised to restrict their mobility to avoid further spreading the virus. Not only has this been shared by news outlets, but by guidelines on almost every b school website.
- Apart from guidelines, preventive measures, etc. it appears that every b school is utilising this crisis as a learning opportunity. Many articles and stories analysing the situation globally are being published regularly on their websites and community page.
- Wharton seems to be at the forefront of taking advantage, with its introduction of a brand new course, ‘Epidemics, Natural Disasters, and Geopolitics: Managing Global Business and Financial Uncertainty’.
Harvard Business School
Harvard Business School is ranked as the no. 1 b school by the Financial Times in the year 2020. Being no. 1 doesn’t just mean excellent acads, but also responsibly dealing with situations like the one the world is currently facing. Here are a few things that Harvard Business School is doing to fight the risk of infection.
- In lieu of the growing pandemic, Harvard Business School has decided to cancel its FGI course. FGI (FIELD Global Immersion) is a highly anticipated course, where students are partnered with a global partner company, and have to travel to that location to understand local consumer behaviour. The cancellation of this course comes from the health risks that arise from travelling in a group to distant locations, as there is a risk of infection when travelling.
- Not just that, even the admissions process at Harvard is seeing the effects of the global pandemic. While Round 1 of the admissions remains unchanged, the interview rounds have been postponed, and the admissions team at Harvard is looking at conducting interviews virtually to avoid gathering too many people in one place.
- Campus tours have been cancelled until further notice.
- Classes are being conducted via a virtual platform to allow students to continue their courses without risk of congregating in a room and exposing themselves to the risk of infection.
- Harvard Business School has set up an entire page where they regularly share updates. You can find it here.
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University of Pennsylvania: Wharton
University of Pennsylvania: Wharton is looking at the coronavirus alert as a learning opportunity, having launched a brand new course called ‘Epidemics, Natural Disasters, and Geopolitics: Managing Global Business and Financial Uncertainty’. Here’s a few noteworthy things about this:
- The course is offered remotely, so students need not go to university and sit in class.
- Over 450 students have already expressed interest, with several pre-registrations.
- They have lessons like “Leading amid Unpredictable Rapidly Changing Events with Contested Facts,” “Financial Market Reactions to the Coronavirus and Disaster Risk,” “Emotional Contagion and Epidemics,” “U.S.-China Relations after the Trade Wars and the Coronavirus” and more.
- This course aims at studying situations like the coronavirus pandemic in real time and get insights. If you want to read about the course, click here.
A few members of the University of Pennsylvania were tested positive for COVID-19. Having released a statement regarding this exposure, University of Pennsylvania has taken the following steps:
- Classes and exams will be moved to a virtual platform to ensure that students continue to learn and graduate without much delay.
- Students who were out of the city for Spring Break have been advised to not return, so as to avoid infection.
- On the other hand, students who stayed back in the campus housing during Spring Break have been asked to move out.
- Since there is a lot of confusion, and several students have questions that need to be answered, they have set up a page on their website addressing all these queries, as well as providing updates.
Also read - Coronavirus And Its Impact On Global Economy
Stanford Graduate School Of Business
Stanford Graduate School of Business has stated that the health and safety of its community is their top priority. Keeping that in mind, they have set up a page on their website to update their community with the latest developments. So far, the steps they have taken are:
- In-person classes are being moved to a virtual platform for the last two weeks of the winter quarter and during the spring quarter. This will continue until further notice.
- Travel restrictions and guidance have been implemented.
- Gatherings of 35 people or more are prohibited.
- Resources are made available for remote instruction and remote work.
- All academic programs are making adjustments to ensure the health and safety of its community.
- In-person programs scheduled through 16th May have been cancelled until further notice.
- All upcoming events have either been postponed or cancelled.
The dean of INSEAD Singapore has tested positive for COVID-19. So far, INSEAD has published one press release stating that the dean has been put in isolation at a hospital in Singapore. Their Knowledge (blog) section of the website has a bunch of articles analysing the ongoing crisis and its repercussions. As safety measures, INSEAD has done the following:
- The Europe Campus is in full shutdown owing to the strict regulations put forth by the French Government, in addition to the dean of the Asia Campus being tested positive.
- During this shutdown, only staff members are allowed to enter the campus to retrieve items from the lockers.
- Asian Campus students are advised not to come to campus. Only employees due to work are asked to come on campus, but in split shifts.
- Classes are being postponed or rescheduled.
- All community members arriving in Singapore from France as well as Spain, Germany and other affected European countries must complete a mandatory 14-day Leave of Absence from the date of their arrival in Singapore.
- The Middle East Campus has called off all events and activities for 4 weeks, starting from 8th March.
- All Campus Residencies will continue to function as usual, but the Europe Campus Residency has been closed until further notice.
All updates are available here.
Being situated in the heart of the crisis*, CEIBS should have been affected the most, yet there seems to be little coverage regarding the pandemic on the CEIBS website. Unlike the other schools mentioned in this article, the CEIBS website seems to be lacking clear guidelines as to what students should do. They do have a video podcast with their students sharing their experience in this time of crises.
Perhaps this lack of guidelines might be due to the Chinese government’s strict regulations that were implemented rapidly and all over China. Instead of guidelines, you will find a bunch of stories by faculty or students on their community page analysing the coronavirus crisis and its impact on the global economy, digital economy and more. The lack of guidelines is replaced by very insightful stories that might be beneficial to students and professionals alike.
While CEIBS has followed similar guidelines as all other b schools, right from conducting online classes, to restricted mobility, self-quarantine, etc. there don’t seem to be special mention of the same, except in articles written in the community/news section.
*While the pandemic began in China, the high number of recovered cases has shifted the epicenter of the pandemic to Italy, which (at the time of writing this article) has the highest number of active cases.