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:
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.
As of April 3rd, the numbers of applicants and of admitted students are significantly higher compared to last year. In fact, the MBA programme turns out with the biggest growth of 45% in candidates, the bachelor programme with a growth of 35%, and MScs turn out with a rise of approximately 10%.
On May 4th, the Dean of ESCP communicated that it is important to prioritize health and safety, that digital learning has been proved successful and that staff continues to work remotely. Between March and April, lecturers at ESCP have taught more than 2,600 sessions online, all exam sessions are held in a remote mode, and Career Services are helping students with coaching sessions and job fairswith more than 200 companies.
Montpellier Business School
Classes at MBS 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. As of today, September intake remains scheduled.
Furthermore, MBS is also organizing special webinars. They had one in English on April 15th, during which prospective students were able to get information about the school and discuss its programmes with the team.
Montpellier Business School has donated more than 24000 masks to the staff of the Clinique du Parc.
In addition, the school created a specific email to address questions students may have on COVID-19: [email protected].
The International School of Management
All in-person classes have been cancelled at the ISM 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. All the CBS administrative staffs are reachable online and all questions will be attended normally.
In addition, the upcoming autumn semester is still scheduled for August 2020. CBS believes that there is still enough time to hope for the situation to improve between now and then.
ALBA Graduate Business School
The ALBA campus is currently closed and all events are suspended until further notice. Classes continued on Blackboard and other digital media until the end of the regular semester, which was April 10. Specific guidelines have been emailed to all students. Final exams were scheduled to start on April 27. Open registration for undergraduate summer classes began on April 1st.
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.
From April 1st, at 6.00 pm, NOVA SBE offered a series of free webinars by its faculty, partners, and international experts from Singularity University Portugal and other European business schools – all members of its knowledge community.
More than 60 students enrolled in the #roletoplay initiative to support small businesses in Cascais. Other students are beginning to propose new activities and projects, which may even turn to companies after the current crisis.
The campus opened to staff and students only on May 4th. However, authorities still recommend staying at home. Activities will take place slowly because everyone’s safety is still the number one priority. Exams and classes will still take place online, but students will be able to go to campus and find a quiet place to study, may they need one.
Geneva Business School
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.
The Geneva campus reopened on May 11th, however, classes continue to be taught online. Professors who wish to return to class can do so but only a maximum of 5 students are permitted in each classroom. The school will be open from 13.30 to 17.30. Food is not allowed on campus and students are required to bring their own face masks. Social distancing and strict hygiene rules apply to all individuals entering the premises.
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. In addition, GBSB opened the applications for their online summer intake 2020. You can start studying Fashion & Luxury Management, Hospitality & Tourism Management, Communications & Future Marketing, and Business Innovation from the comfort of your home. Not only you will accelerate your degree and save time, but also money. In fact, all students enrolled in Online Summer Intake 2020 get a special 50% discount on the first term and can transfer to campus during the second or third term.
Classes at IE University were delivered online until April 14th. IE provides students with health support via their infirmary, medical call centre, and counselling services. All academic trips are also cancelled or postponed. In addition, community members of IE University came up with initiatives such as feeding those in need, raising funds, providing medical equipment, and more.
EU Business School
Application deadlines have not changed. If you are unable to start your studies in September because of Coronavirus, you can cancel your application before September 1st to receive a full refund. On April 9th, it hosted a Virtual Open Day. The next Virtual Open Day for international students will take place in December 2020.
Rotterdam School of Management – RSM
The schedule for exams (which take place online) and resits was published on 1 May.
London Business School – LBS
Apsley Business School
Apsley 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.
Oxford University intends to teach face-to-face. Lectures at the University of Manchester and the University of Reading will be online-only for the next term. BBC News, May 27.
Cambridge University: All lectures to be online-only until the summer of 2021. BBC, May 19.
FT Executive Education Rankings 2020: analysis amid the pandemic. Financial Times, May 10.
The Guardian view on universities: a bailout is in all our interests. The Guardian, April 24.
UCL’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak. EDUopinions, April 13.
Outbreak Impact on Students Around the World. EDUopinions, April 10.
Symptom-trackers and doctor dorms: how universities are fighting COVID-19. The Guardian, April 9.
Should Schools Change How They Grade Students During the Pandemic? The New York Times, April 6.
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.
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