HAS COVID19 REALLY IMPACTED MBA RANKINGS FOR 2020 AND 2021? WELL, YES AND NO :-)
Updated: Nov 23, 2022
Dec 27 2020
MBA rankings have always been a staple of prestige, academic and social excellence and the benchmark for measuring an institution's dominance, or lack thereof, in the world. University faculty, esteemed alumni, cash donors, and eager students are usually glued to when the definitive rankings are released by the most respected ranking publications: US News, Bloomberg Businessweek, Forbes, The Financial Times, etc.
However, due to COVID19 in 2020, this is NO LONGER the case...
In May of 2020, Bloomberg Businessweek decided to SUSPEND its annual MBA ranking publication, opting instead for student surveys of the MBA experience. WOW!
In addition to this, the League of Extraordinary Gentlem....sorry, the League of Magnificent 7 Schools, aptly named the M7*, has decided to totally BOYCOTT The Economist MBA Ranking publication for 2020. WOW AGAIN!
Early 2021 dockets the release of The Financial Times MBA Rankings - however, even they don't know if the M7* will SKIP them too. TRIPLE WOW!
Actually, the ONLY major publication that has listed its 2021 MBA Rankings is the US News, the platinum standard for definitive M7* & MBA Rankings.
[*M7/Magnificent 7: Stanford GSB, UPenn Wharton, Northwestern Kellogg, MIT Sloan, Harvad Business, Columbia GSB, Chicago Booth]
So what is going on? Well, to put it simply, COVID19 has made it very tricky for the top MBA programs to fully categorize and disclose key information in 2020 about the b-school's ability to adapt to these crazy times (the remote experience and general tension). This is of no fault of the Ranking Publications themselves...just that it's hard to get the needed data for a potentially 'upgrade-in-progress' MBA ranking methodology.
Despite the raging pandemic that has taken >320,000 people in the United States alone, the M7 and all other MBA programs have done their level best to maintain a community of academic excellence and complete community safety in 2020. But the challenges have been immense. How do you maintain an in-person learning environment with hundreds of students expecting to study on campus all through distance learning? YOU CAN'T. YOU JUST MAKE THE BEST OF WHAT YOU ARE GIVEN - technology shortcuts (B-School Online Platforms, Zoom, Google Docs, DropBox, etc.).