According to a press release from the Statistical Office of Rheinland-Palatinate (RLP), in the majority of schools and universities, the number of graduates decreased significantly in the summer semester of 2020. Numbers of graduates were reduced by approximately 5.1% in state universities, arguably due to COVID-19-based restrictions on educational institutions. WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management, however, goes against the grain in this regard by not only maintaining its number of graduates, but increasing it by 72.
There is no question that the Corona Pandemic has affected nearly every facet of life, and education is one of the most vastly affected areas to date. Digital classes rather than on-campus presence, limited examination possibilities, diminishing enrollment and graduation rates, the list goes on. In an interview with the Rhein Zeitung, WHU Dean Prof. Dr. Markus Rudolf explains why the private business school was able reverse this trend. He states that, “There are two reasons for this. The first is that through the rapid switch to digital teaching, we have been able to maintain educational quality. No one had to suffer a delay in their studies due to COVID-19. That's why just as many students graduated in 2020 as would have been the case without the global pandemic. The fact that there were even more graduates is due to the growing number of applications for our master's programs over the last several years and to the graduation of a newly developed master's program cohort in the spring of 2020.” He elaborates on how COVID-19-conform campus overhauls completed by June 2020 allowed for hybrid courses until the next lockdown in December 2020, and departments such as the Career Center went above and beyond to aid students in their search for mandatory internships to allow them to continue their studies in a timely manner. Dean Rudolf also highlights the strength of the WHU community in its ability to come together to thrive in the face of difficult times.
Read the Rhein Zeitung article in German here.
Read the article on graduation numbers in Rheinland-Palatinate here.