A new survey from the global accreditation agency Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business shows that fears expressed by business schools at the start of the coronavirus pandemic have largely not materialized, with enrollments in graduate programs. ‘graduate and undergraduate education this fall robust or, at worst, unchanged across the world.
The new survey, released today (November 12), shows that in most B schools around the world, enrollments for the 2020-2021 school year exceeded austere expectations in May, when the virus was still a phenomenon. relatively new and its longevity and impact unknown. According to the AACSB, 46% of schools responding in the spring expected a decrease, and only 13% thought they would see an increase in enrollment – but in the new survey, conducted in October, 77% of master’s programs and 82% of undergraduate programs report either an increase or no change from the previous year.
âIn 2008, with uncertain labor markets in many countries due to the recession, business schools performed well in terms of enrollment, with many learners opting for business training to upgrade and secure their ability. to be hired, or delaying entry into the workforce until the labor market becomes more secure â, writing Elliot Davis, Director of Research at AACSB International. âSimilar responses can occur with Covid, as companies freeze hiring due to uncertain conditions, sending potential employees back to school. The increase in the availability of online education may also have increased access for some students to earn a business degree, when geographic constraints may have previously kept the pursuit out of reach.
PERCENTAGE OF CHANGE IN ENROLLMENTS FROM THE PREVIOUS YEAR
22% OF B SCHOOLS DECLARE 20% OR MORE REGISTRATION IN MASTERS
A total of 316 institutions participated in the new AACSB rapid survey, representing 52 countries – 186 in the Americas; 84 in Europe, the Middle East and Africa; and 46 in Asia-Pacific.
For master’s program enrollments, 43% of schools reported an increase of less than 10% or about the same. However, a larger percentage of schools reported significant gains in master’s degree program enrollment than in undergraduate program enrollment. For 34% of schools, the increase in master’s program enrollment was over 9%, and in 22% of schools, the increase was over 20%.
For undergraduate programs, AACSB found that the largest percentage of schools reporting increased enrollment were in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. â82% of undergraduate programs in the EMEA region reported an increase (of any amount) in enrollment, compared to 65% in the Americas and 71% in Asia-Pacific,â Davis writes. âAlthough many Schools reported increases in enrollment, these increases were quite small: In all regions, 53% of reported increases were between 1% and 4%, and 65% were between 1% and 19%.
âOverall, the turnout was encouraging. Compared to previous predictions of how business schools might attract students, the survey results show a more positive picture. “
DELIVERY METHOD BY DIPLME LEVEL OF COURSES TYPICALLY OFFERED FACE TO FACE LAST YEAR
B SCHOOLS IN THE AMERICAS SHOWED THE WAY VIRTUALLY
Similar to the expected decline in enrollment, expectations regarding course delivery were also low. In May, 87% of AACSB survey respondents were preparing to use a hybrid content delivery system – a mix of virtual and in-person learning. Only 11% of schools surveyed six months ago were preparing to deliver their courses entirely online. However, this fall – with the pandemic still raging and cases increasing in many countries, including the United States – most schools have moved to a fully virtual format. For the terms starting in September and October, 37% of master’s courses (and 31% of undergraduate courses) that were delivered face-to-face before the pandemic are now delivered entirely online.
The regional differences are striking. Schools in the Americas have chosen to deliver their courses entirely online at the highest rate for master’s programs (41%), almost doubling the rate for master’s courses in EMEA (27%). âIt should be noted,â Davis writes, âthat schools in the United States included the most respondents for the Americas (with 167 of 186 total responses in that region). For undergraduate courses, schools in the EMEA region and the Americas (at 29% and 33%, respectively) provide education entirely online more often than in Asia-Pacific (20%).
âAlthough the delivery of training primarily or entirely face-to-face is not as common, it has been reported at a higher percentage for undergraduate programs in Asia-Pacific (40% of total) and masters programs. in Asia-Pacific (36% of the total).
PERCENTAGE OF LESSONS GENERALLY FACE-TO-FACE NOW AVAILABLE FULLY ONLINE, BY REGION
DON’T MISS HALF OF B SCHOOLS EXPECT ENROLLMENT DROP IN 2020