Another business school ends its traditional MBA in favour of its online programme

More business schools favour online and part-time programmes over the traditional MBA. The Gies College of Business at the University of Illinois is the newest school to halt its full-time and part-time programmes. The focus from now on will be on its online MBA – the so called iMBA programme.

The move is symptomatic for the whole business school industry. In 2014, Wake Forest ended its two-year full-time programme. In 2018, the University of Iowa’s Tippie College of Business also declared a halt to its full-time MBA programme and the University of Wisconsin followed shortly after. These are just a few examples of schools that have changed their offerings either in favour of shorter and more specialised programmes or online programmes.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign was tempted to cancel its residential programmes in favour of its online programmes because applications to the iMBA programme have tripled from 1,100 when the programme started in 2016.

Apart from the growing online iMBA the Gies College of Business wants to direct investments to a suite of specialised master’s programmes, undergraduate education, and lifelong learning.

“The iMBA is the right format for the times – providing a powerful learning experience with anytime/anywhere accessibility at an affordable cost,” said Jeffrey Brown, Dean of Gies College of Business. According to the business school, iMBA students earn the same MBA that on-campus students have been earning for decades. However, at a total cost of less than $22,000, the programme is much more affordable compared to the $80,000 that a full-time MBA can cost.

Market demand for traditional formats has been declining nationwide according to Brown. “Meanwhile, demand, as well as the needs of businesses and individuals, is growing in these other areas,” the Dean said. “We believe in innovating and staying ahead of trends in business education and on top of the needs of business and society.”

Read more on www.insidehighered.com

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