WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management has launched its first MBA program that takes place almost fully online. The new format of teaching differs significantly from other online study programs offered by business schools in Germany: these normally envisage a number of on-campus events, usually organized over several weekends. "With it being mostly online, our program is open to students from all over the world who can't or don't wish to travel, especially during the current pandemic," Program Director Dr. Rebecca Winkelmann explains. "This affords international students an opportunity to benefit from one of the best MBA programs in Europe despite the pandemic." Participants only come together for a single week during the whole program at the WHU campus in Düsseldorf to get to know each other and their professors in person.
Financial Times ranked WHU as the best in class in Germany in its prestigious Global MBA Ranking, making WHU one of the top addresses for executive training. One of the business school's declared goals is excellence in research and teaching. Accredited by EQUIS AACSB, and FIBAA, WHU intends to keep up the same high standard of quality in its new online program.
The great advantage that the new Global Online MBA Program has to offer is its flexibility. Participants can work from home, adapt their studies to their individual circumstances, and choose whether they wish to finish their course in 18 or 36 months. For even more flexibility, participants can also opt for smaller units on the basis of certificates. To round off the program offer, students can benefit from personalized advice on how to achieve their goals from the career service.
Before the COVID crisis, hardly any of the top international business schools made significant efforts to tap into the market for online study programs, focusing instead on quality classroom teaching, close tutorship by renowned scholars, and networking between students and alumni. The latter, in particular, is highly valuable for participants in MBA and executive training programs, as it can provide an essential career boost. From a participant's perspective, it is not only the quality of teaching that tips the scales in favor of a specific provider, but also an institution's reputation. "I am convinced that holding an MBA from WHU is hugely advantageous when applying for a job, quite apart from the enormous advancement of participants' knowledge and methodological skills," Rebecca Winkelmann continues. Participants in the Global Online MBA program will benefit from all of this. The program management has even made sure to provide ample opportunities for networking.
For WHU, the Global Online MBA is a strategic next step into the future. As a relatively small player in the sharply competitive playing field of international business schools, WHU intends to continue its growth course, and the online market is one opportunity to do so. "The Corona crisis propelled us in this direction sooner than expected," Professor Markus Rudolf, Dean at WHU, explains. "We were the first university in Germany to switch to online teaching basically overnight. This way, we were able to continue courses and proceed with exams without interruptions and learned many a valuable lesson as we went along. We also realized that there is great interest in our online offers internationally, so we put our experience to good use."
The university has invested significantly in digitization and upgrading its technical equipment to make online tuition as attractive, varied, and interactive as possible. For instance, there is now a highly upgraded studio for video recordings and a so-called One-Button Studio (Video) where lecturers can record teaching sessions without assistance or communicate with their students via large video screens. Even the editing of the recorded material is quick and straightforward and does not require training. "I am really surprised how creative our lecturers are in developing new ideas for the format," says Dr. Rebecca Winkelmann. "The concepts for the different courses are varied and fun. This is also the feedback we are getting from our students."
“The Global Online MBA is WHU's response to the new demand situation, which has certainly been fueled by the current crisis," Dean Markus Rudolf concludes. "It is an excellent addition to our already wide portfolio of programs."