Most B-Schools Plan To Skip Some Rankings In 2021

The coronavirus pandemic is causing major disruptions to the MBA landscape, including in one traditionally controversial area, according to a new Kaplan survey of business schools across the United States. Of the programs surveyed, 10% say they don’t plan to participate in any of the business school rankings, long a mainstay of the MBA admissions process; 62% say they plan to participate in only some of the rankings; and 28% say they plan to participate in all the rankings.

Among the schools that have boycotted this year’s Economist ranking, out today (January 21), are all the M7 schools: Stanford, Harvard, MIT, Wharton, Chicago Booth, Northwestern Kellogg, and Columbia.

“The majority of business schools have made their admissions process more flexible, including making the GMAT or GRE optional, so many schools are lacking in test score data this year,” says Brian Carlidge, Kaplan’s vice president of admissions. “Another major data point that goes into the rankings is job placement rate, and with the economy struggling as it is, it’s likely that it wasn’t as easy for Class of 2020 graduates to find employment as it was for Class of 2019 graduates. While many business schools are still reporting this data point for transparency, it’s also likely that others are reluctant to publicize it.

“Absent reliable GMAT or GRE test scores and other complete pandemic-impacted data points, most business schools are opting out of full participation in this year’s rankings. One bright spot for business schools: most top MBA programs are reporting year-over-year growth in starting salaries, another key rankings data point.”

New research shows B-schools adjust mode of delivery while maintaining rigor and quality of curriculum

The MBA Roundtable, a global association of business schools whose mission is to advance graduate management education through curricular and co-curricular innovation, has released a new report, Current And Future Impact Of COVID-19 On The Business School Curriculum, on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic to the business school curriculum. The key findings of the report, which surveyed 155 deans, directors, and faculty at 118 graduate business schools in November and December 2020:

  • Nine in ten (88%) report that business schools adapted the delivery mode for the business school curriculum as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Most expect the change to continue in the spring of 2021.
  • While nearly all business schools adjusted their mode of delivery, fewer than half report COVID-19 as a negative force on the rigor or quality of the curriculum. Most also report that the ability of business schools to assess learning outcomes was not negatively impacted by COVID-19.
  • The move to virtual education challenged business schools in their effort to build community and engage students, however. Business schools responded by flipping the classroom and relying less on lectures.
  • Many business school courses used COVID-19 as a topic of discussion in the curriculum, but few created courses specific to the pandemic.

Royal Bank of Canada invests deeply in Toronto Rotman sustainable finance education

The Royal Bank of Canada last month pledged an additional $250,000 to the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management to support the Sustainable Finance Project for Students. The pledge follows a successful first year for the project, which the RBC also funded.

The purpose of the project is to provide Rotman MBA students with new extracurricular and curriculum opportunities to integrate sustainability education into their studies.

The new funds will be dispersed over three years, building upon $75,000 that the RBC had already invested on December 16, 2019 to initiate the project’s pilot year. The pilot was organized by the Rotman School’s Michael Lee-Chin Family Institute for Corporate Citizenship, which will continue to administer the new investment.


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