How Will Fall Semester 2020 Begin?
Plans largely depend on the severity of the pandemic.
Business schools are working on different alternatives regarding the start of the fall semester. Here is an overview of how schools plan to go forward in these unusual circumstances.
Uncertainties about format
Given the current situation many schools find it difficult to predict whether they will be able to resume face-to-face classes in a safe environment. In Spain, one of the countries hardest hit by the coronavirus, IE University has guaranteed that the academic year will start as planned in fall, but there are uncertainties about the format. Some universities believe they will not be able to return to face-to-face instruction until January 2021 if the pandemic is still severe. Another option is to allow some students on campus while others take online classes.
Delays are still rare and affected mainly programmes originally scheduled to kick off in spring 2020. In general, programmes starting in the fall are still not subject to delays. The Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto (Canada) said it does not expect students to be prevented from enrolling in fall and has no plans to rescind or defer offers. Hult International Business School (US) plans to start its MBA programme in person, adding that it is monitoring the situation closely to be able to adapt to any scenario. Hult has four campuses around the world and expects to be able to open them in September.
It is becoming increasingly likely that the reopening of the campuses will happen gradually and cautiously. “Opening is not going to be an event, it will be a process; it will take a couple of years to find a new normal,” Ted Mitchell, president of the American Council on Education, told the Wall Street Journal. The on-campus experience, which is based on the premise of students living together and engaging in group activities, will certainly change.
Flexible application process
Schools have taken various steps to make the application process as easy as possible for prospective students. Here are some of the measures:
· Extended deadlines
· Extra application rounds
· Shift to rolling application
· Application without test results
· Possibility of remote testing
· Increased number of online information events
The situation is fluid and many of these plans may change. Schools are advised to monitor developments closely and provide frequent updates to their communities.