MIP Politecnico di Milano School of Management: Inside The QS Online MBA Rankings 2021 Programme | TopMBA.com

MIP Politecnico di Milano School of Management: Inside The QS Online MBA Rankings 2021 Programme

By Linda M

Updated April 28, 2021 Updated April 28, 2021

Here's what Federico Frattini, Dean at MIP Politecnico di Milano Graduate School of Business, had to say about the school's performance in the QS Online MBA Rankings 2021.

The QS Online MBA Rankings 2021 have been released, revealing the business schools setting the standard for online MBA offerings across the globe.

Now in its 10th year, the rankings analysed the offerings from 57 schools based on several indicators, including employability, class profile, class experience, and faculty and teaching.

One of the best-performing programmes this year was the iFlex Programme at MIP Politecnico di Milano School of Management, which ranked sixth worldwide and in the European region as well.

TopMBA caught up with MIP’s Dean Federico Frattini to discuss the school’s performance in the rankings, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on online MBA admissions, and future plans for digital learning.

TM: Given local and global restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the past year has been particularly challenging for business schools across the world, as many had to pivot towards remote learning even for in-person programmes. Have you seen a difference – whether positive or negative – in candidate interest for your online MBA offering? And did you implement any changes to the delivery of your programme to adapt to the ongoing pandemic?

FF: The business schools that were best prepared for this shift towards online learning had already demonstrated in the years prior to the pandemic that they understood that online teaching required educational models and approaches that are completely different from traditional methods – and at MIP Politecnico di Milano we were certainly prepared.

Because of this, we have definitely seen a positive impact on candidate interest for our online MBA offerings. Indeed, enrolment to the International Flex EMBA increased by about 50 percent in 2020 compared to the previous year, and there is no doubt that this is because we have such strong foundations in this area.

Of course, we did have to implement a few changes to the delivery of the programme. Even though most of the activities of our online MBA are held online, some elective courses were designed to be attended on campus. Because of the pandemic, when it was safer to do so, we offered them in a blended format, both on campus and online. This blended format worked well, encouraging continued collaboration, knowledge sharing and teamwork.

TM: What makes your online MBA programme unique and a top provider of online learning?

FF: Our online MBA programme is unique because we have been developing it for many years to suit the changing needs of our students. Even prior to COVID-19, at MIP Politecnico di Milano we recognised that there had already been an increasing demand from students for greater digitalisation, flexibility, and accessibility in learning.

We call our approach to online learning ‘Smart Learning’, and we have been using this in our master's and MBA programmes since 2014. This is an area where we have achieved great results, with over 550 students studying via our digital programmes since 2014, while our International Flex EMBA has been ranked as one of the top programmes in the world.

We pride ourselves in having the knowledge that through our online MBA students will become experts in dealing with intense situations, and will ultimately master not only hard skills, but also essential soft skills such as empathy, resilience and knowing how to motivate and manage teams in person and remotely. These are all crucial in today’s ever-changing business climate.

TM: Your programme scored particularly high for the class experience and faculty & teaching indicators. Why do you think that is?

FF: One of the biggest challenges schools face when switching to online teaching is keeping students engaged, motivated, and part of the school community. Therefore, even when teaching online, we make sure that we take the time needed to build and nurture personal relationships with students – even when we do not meet them face-to-face.

Our faculty engage with students via video calls, on online forums, and by involving them in virtual group work and live Q&A webinars. Beyond the teaching, we also make it essential to develop informal interactions between students. This has been especially crucial during the past, very difficult year when students may have been isolated from friends and family.

Through strong collaboration online with our faculty, students also learn how to communicate effectively with each other – even when working with peers across geographic boundaries and time zones. These skills are increasingly required to conduct business around the world and are therefore increasingly valued by employers.

Ultimately, being clear, keeping students updated, and being flexible in adapting to their needs has helped us to build trust with our student community even when they are studying online, which is why our students and faculty rate the class experience particularly high.

TM: What are your hopes for the future of your online MBA – from both an academic and student body perspective?

FF: My hope is that our online MBA can become a platform for collaboration with other business schools across the globe, to help them start-up and grow their online master delivery strategies and processes. We are very open and willing to pursue this opportunity because we believe that online learning is highly inclusive and can improve access to high-quality education programmes like MBAs to people from any angle in the world. Therefore, we really hope that through these partnerships we can engage students from many more countries than what we do today.

This article was originally published in April 2021 .

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Written by

Linda is Content Writer at TopMBA, creating content about students, courses, universities and businesses. She recently graduated in Journalism & Creative Writing with Politics and International Relations, and now enjoys writing for a student audience. 

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