This article is being regularly updated.
On January 30th, WHO Director-General declared the 2019 COVID outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. On March 11th, the World Health Organization characterized it as a pandemic. During the past few weeks, students raised many questions and concerns. EDUopinions will cover what COVID-19 is, how to prevent it, and what actions universities around Europe took and continue to take during this difficult time of uncertainty.
CoVid-19: What is it
Reporting from the World Health Organization, Coronaviruses are a large group of viruses that can cause from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).
COVID-19 is a new type of coronavirus that was discovered in 2019 and that was never identified in humans before. This group type of viruses transmits from animals to people, and vice versa.
Symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, the infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and even death.
In order to prevent infection spread, regularly wash your hands, cover your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cook meat and eggs. In addition, avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.
Open Courses by the WHO
For those of you interested to know more about the virus, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has released a bunch of open courses, one of them being an introduction to COVID-19. People can enrol for free at any time, given the fact that it is self-paced.
Actions taken by Universities & Business Schools in Europe
Many universities and business schools worldwide took action to protect their students. Here are some actions that are taken in Europe:
- ESCP Europe: By March 16th, all ESCP campuses ceased classroom teaching. Turin Campus closed on February 24. Madrid Campus on 9 March, the Warsaw campus and the Berlin campus on March 11. Most of the courses will be available online. In addition, EMBA students created a centralised submission platform called Help for Heroes. It’s a resource for hospitals in Belgium to manage the flow, of volunteers. This is ready to scale up into the countries where ESCP is present.
- Montpellier Business School: Classes were interrupted between March 16th to March 20th. They will be delivered online starting March 23rd. Students will also be able to take tests remotely. Entrance exams are maintained until further notice. Furthermore, MBS is also organizing special webinars. As of today, September intake remains scheduled.
- The International School of Management: All in-person classes have been cancelled until the end of the academic year, however, students will be able to progress online. The Paris Headquarters is temporarily closed and the staff will be working remotely to assist the students.
- CBS International Business School: As of March 26th, all lectures and seminars will be converted to digital teaching formats. Open Campus Days have been suspended, however, CBS will be offering its study consultations by telephone or video call.
- ALBA Graduate Business School: The campus is currently closed and all events are suspended until further notice.
- Porto Business School: On March 8th, PBS activated a contingency plan. The institution cancelled all public events until the end of the month. Classes at PBS shifted from on-campus to online delivery mode as access at the premises has been limited.
- Nova School of Business and Economics: As of March 20th, NOVA SBE held 38 of the 55 MSc exams scheduled online. It is currently helping its students abroad to return home and held 14 counselling sessions. Classes and exams are going to be online until the end of the semester. The campus will be open again only when public authorities will allow it. Nova SBE is currently cleaning up its facilities and hopes to reopen as soon as possible. The IT team is also working to address issues that may come up during virtual sessions.
- Geneva Business School: All campuses are closed and all classes will continue online. Staff and students have been introduced to Google Hangouts Meet. In addition, the Geneva Business School Board of Management has decided that it will accept students even if they are unable to obtain their high school diplomas due to the pandemic. However, grade transcripts, English level, and school recommendations should be of the high level it expects from applicants worldwide. Students admitted without TOEFL/IELTS or high school diplomas will be granted one additional academic year, from the time they join the school, to provide the missing documents.
- GBSB Global Business School: The institution has paused its on-campus April Intake 2020. However, the GBSB online campus will continue to run as usual.
- IE University: Classes will be delivered online until April 14th. IE also provided students with health support via their infirmary, medical call centre, and counselling services. All academic trips are also cancelled or postponed.
- EU Business School: Distance teaching is something EU Business School is not new to. In fact, its Online MBA programme has been ranked #1 worldwide by CEO Magazine 2020.
- Radboud University: On-campus lectures and exams are suspended until June 1st. Exams may take place through alternate methods or may be postponed.
- Rotterdam School of Management – RSM: Campus has closed. All courses, lectures and workshops will be online and it’s likely to continue until the end of this academic year.
- London Business School – LBS has taken drastic precautions to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. All of their courses are now available online.
- Apsley Business School: The institution has not yet closed classroom teaching, however, students who wish to self-isolate can access online classes and progress from home.
Advice for Prospective Students
Based on the current situation, do you have doubts about applying to your preferred university or business school? Or do you need help making a decision on where to apply? Contact EDUopinions and get quick personalised advice.
4 ways COVID-19 could change how we educate future generations. World Economic Forum, March 30.
UK Government set to cap university admissions amid COVID-19 chaos. TheGuardian, March 29.
Five years to recover global mobility. UniversityWorldNews, March 26.
How to Stay Motivated and Busy while Self-Isolating. EDUopinions, March 26.
Unis Must Stop Unconditional Offers in Virus Confusion. BBC, March 24.
International and Study Abroad Students See Major Disruptions. IHE, March 20.
Study Abroad Health and Safety Tips. EDUopinions, March 19.
Coronavirus Impact on GMAT Testing. EDUopinions, March 17.
Universities Having to Adapt Fast to Coronavirus. The Guardian, March 17.
Why Coronavirus Will Cause an EdTech Boom. TopMBA, March 11.