5 Business Education Trends to Watch in 2022

5 Business Education Trends to Watch in 2022

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1. Rise of the Virtual Campus

In 2022, hybrid learning will become increasingly fluid as new technologies are introduced to enable learners to switch seamlessly between face-to-face study and an immersive virtual world.  Some deans are even talking about a metaverse for business education!

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2. Climate Consciousness

Each year, BusinessBecause asks business school deans to predict how business education will change in the year ahead. In 2022, the climate crisis is top of the agenda. ESSEC Business School in France, for example, is aiming to reduce its program-related carbon emissions by 25 percent this year.

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2. Climate Consciousness

ESSEC has eliminated all long-haul international travel, canceling trips to destinations like the U.S. and China.  Instead, students on international field trips travel by train to neighboring European countries and use VR headsets to join international conferences and company networking events.

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2. Climate Consciousness

Elsewhere, topics like sustainability and “green” finance are becoming a mainstay of the business school curriculum. Schools are also transforming themselves to become more environmentally friendly. Columbia’s new campus is the first neighborhood development in New York City 

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2. Climate Consciousness

to earn the prestigious LEED-ND Platinum designation, based on a rating system for green buildings from the U.S. Green Building Council. The new Columbia Climate School will be built next to the business school, and Columbia reportedly plans to co-launch an MS in climate finance by 2024.

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3. Stackability

Credentials, certificates, and stackable degree programs—we’ll see business schools offer ever more flexible ways of learning in 2022. Indeed, over 70 percent of business school leaders responding to a recent MBA Roundtable survey said alternative credentials are a required part of a business school’s strategy. For many schools, stackable 

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3. Stackability

microcredentials will become a useful recruiting tool.  These are typically lower-cost, online, credit-bearing courses, meaning participating students gain credits that count toward a formal degree program. By offering microcredentials, schools can therefore build brand awareness, showcase their expertise, and attract a 

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3. Stackability

wider candidate audience, while providing a strong incentive for learners to pursue their full degree programs in the future.

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4. Interdisciplinarity

Business schools in 2022 are no longer gilded outposts on the edge of the university campus. Instead, schools are collaborating with other departments, integrating the insights from diverse fields—humanities, political science, natural sciences, and design—into the curriculum. As schools take an interdisciplinary approach, MBA 

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4. Interdisciplinarity

and business master’s students study coding and sustainable finance, and they focus more on the intersection between business and healthcare and between business and the environment. In September 2022, University College London will open the world’s first business school solely dedicated to healthcare. UCL’s Global Business School 

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4. Interdisciplinarity

for Health will train future healthcare leaders and will offer a Health MBA plus specialized master’s programs in biotech and pharmaceutical management, global healthcare management, and digital health and entrepreneurship.

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5. Return of the International Candidate

COVID will continue to impact the plans of some business school candidates looking to study abroad in 2022. In China, travel and visa restrictions mean that schools are struggling to recruit international students. But, in general, this year will see more international students arriving on business school campuses, as international 

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5. Return of the International Candidate

applications continue to recover from the hit they took at the start of the pandemic. The Graduate Management Admission Council’s Application Trends Survey, which serves as a good barometer for the year ahead, found that the total volume of international applications to graduate programs rose by 4.1 percent in 2021, while 44 

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5. Return of the International Candidate

percent of MBA programs saw an increase in international applications.    More women are also applying to two-year MBAs (60 percent of programs reported application growth from women in 2021), with the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania enrolling its first majority-female MBA class in its history

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