Vlerick Business School Extends its Global Reach with New Online MBA

Vlerick Business School Extends its Global Reach with New Online MBA

This article is sponsored by Vlerick Business School. Learn more about its new online MBA.

Vlerick Business School has joined the increasing number of top institutions offering an online MBA program. Students of the Vlerick Online MBAwill be able to conduct their studies entirely remotely, extending the Belgian business school's cross continental reach, and enabling more students worldwide to have access to a reputable MBA degree.

One in five applicants consider doing an online MBA according to the QS TopMBA.com Applicant Survey, a number which will no doubt rise as this format of the qualification continues to gain recognition. Vlerick introduces its online MBA from a strong position – the business school has earned triple accreditation and is featured in the QS Global 250 listing of the world’s best business schools. The school is also ranked first in the Benelux region for the quality of its executive education by the Financial Times.

Speaking on the new course offering, Steve Muylle, partner at Vlerick Business School and academic director of the online MBA explains that, “This program has been crafted specifically for the international business leader who doesn’t want to travel for a campus-based course, but still wants to undertake a high-quality MBA to enhance his or her career. The world is increasingly digital and technology now allows us to deliver a 100% online MBA that is entirely aligned with participant needs and that provides the level of interaction with faculty and fellow participants expected of a top-quality MBA program.”

Steve Muylle

"We interview every online MBA applicant"

Applications for Vlerick's new online MBA are now open, and as with on-campus MBA applicants, the business school seeks to keep the application process rigorous, but also personal. "We interview every online MBA applicant," shares Muylle. Questions asked at interview aim to assess the extent of each candidates' business knowledge, whether they are team players, how they feel they can contribute to the program - in other words, are they a good fit? An online community that encompasses a diversity of backgrounds, functions and industries puts into play the dynamics of a globalized business world – a microcosm of reality top business schools look to create when they enroll new students.

A fine-tuned MBA that puts students in line for leadership

Vlerick Business School has streamlined its online MBA curriculum, leveraging the management education expertise it has built over 64 years to get down to the core essentials of business leadership.

The full-time faculty that has helped devise the program also teaches it, and students logging in remotely will be taught by the very same professors as those sitting in the second row of the lecture theatre. Professors on the program are not merely theorists either - the large majority have first-hand experience in how companies are run, and, when not lecturing, sit on company boards and are actively engaged in business assignments.

The MBA program runs 12 courses in total, taught over seven-week terms. Modules cover the essentials of business and leadership, including accounting, marketing and strategy, as well as stand-alone modules in innovation and entrepreneurship, and Vlerick has broken the mould by offering a full course in negotiation.

Digital strategy is another compulsory module offered on the Vlerick curriculum. "In a digital world, you need a digital strategy," writes the school website. Be it leveraging a business's success through big data, protecting it from cyber threats, or harnessing strategy through cognitive computing, newer modules which handle these areas arguably prepare students for the challenges many companies today aren't fully equipped to deal with.

Remote doesn't mean disconnected

Students of Vlerick Business School's online MBA will promptly adjust to working as part of a close-knit team.

There are three two-and-a-half hour long synchronous sessions per course, which see students log into a virtual classroom to unpack MBA theory (and practice) with their professors and peers. Outside compulsory class hours students are kept engaged in projects and tasks through the business school's online platform. Each module guides students through case-studies, real-life business challenges, simulations, video, online games and peer-to peer learning.

Testing the full scope of student teams' accumulated knowhow is the ‘Integrated Management Exercise (IMEx)’ at the end of the course. This is a computer simulation which sets up a dynamic and immersive business environment for the participants. Each online group represents a fictitious company and they are set a three-year timeline (within the simulation) to get their organization on its feet and make it a profitable enterprise. The performance of each company, and therefore of each team, is translated into an economic, environmental and social index – which you may recognize as the triple bottom line.

Marion Debruyne

Taking your online MBA to the workplace

The Vlerick Online MBA aims gets students up to speed with statistics, finance and accounting from the get go; the essential foundations for more advanced learning. This means that students are interpreting financial statements and balance sheets in their first weeks, enabling them to apply what they've learned in their workplace from the outset.

While the Integrated Management Exercise rounds up 12 units of study with an advanced simulation test, the 'Knowledge in Action' project gives students the opportunity to utilize everything they've learned to assess their own company or to devise their own business plan. For MBA candidates employed within an organization, this is a chance to make a difference which could get them noticed, and for budding entrepreneurs, it's an opportunity to get some traction on their startup plans. Throughout this last stage students have the comfort of second, and third opinions, as they will have the backing of faculty and peers.

Some final words from Vlerick Business School's dean

“We are excited to offer our MBA in a format that fits the life of busy professionals, wherever they may be in the world. At Vlerick, we make learning innovation a priority. And that means creating impactful learning journeys that transform people, whether they take place online or offline. Our new online MBA will give students the tools to thrive in today’s complex world by inspiring them to challenge the status quo, themselves and their peers. Ultimately, we want Vlerick graduates to emerge from this MBA ready to build a better future,” says Marion Debruyne, dean of Vlerick Business School.

This article is sponsored by Vlerick Business School.

Karen Turtle
Written by Karen Turtle

A content writer with a background in higher education, Karen holds an MA in modern languages from the University of St Andrews. Her interests include languages and literature, current affairs and film. ​

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