Out now: QS Online MBA Rankings 2022 | TopMBA.com

Out now: QS Online MBA Rankings 2022

By Craig O

Updated March 9, 2022 Updated March 9, 2022
  • Biggest-ever QS Online MBA Rankings, with more than 70 schools featured
  • European schools facing high levels of interest from international applicants
  • Online MBA programmes frequently more diverse than their on-campus equivalent

Released on 9 March, the QS Online MBA Rankings 2022 is our biggest-ever ranking of online MBA programmes, featuring more than 70 business schools from around the world. 

IE Business School has retained its place at the top of the rankings, with Imperial College Business School close behind in second place.  

Responding to news of their number one ranking, Lee Newman, Dean at IE Business School, said: "This is certainly a wonderful recognition of the very early commitment IE’s founders and my predecessors made to education in the digital world - despite the early naysayers.  

“Now, although online education is well-accepted, it’s critical to keep innovating as the online MBA demanded by the market in the near future will likely be very different than what we see in the market today." 

Earlier this week we took a closer look at some of the ways the online MBA is innovating, but how else is the online MBA changing? We surveyed over 150 admissions officers to learn more about how schools currently view the online MBA and how the shift to online learning has impacted MBA admissions. 

European business schools are seeing a rise in international applications to their online MBA 

42 percent of European schools said they predict an increase in international applications to their online MBA programmes over the next few years, with many schools saying that the pandemic has already resulted in more applications from younger, less experienced international applicants. 

By contrast, although North American business schools have confidence that domestic applications will increase, there is less certainty when it comes to international applicants, with nearly half of schools expecting the number of international applications to stay the same or decrease. 

One reason given for a lack of interest in online programmes offered by US business schools is that an online MBA doesn’t allow an international student to apply for an F-1 visa. Many students are interested in being located within the US so that they can qualify for the visa and potentially work in the US after graduation. 

The online MBA is getting more diverse 

Schools clearly feel that their online MBA programme is able to attract students who would typically not consider a full-time MBA. As well as seeing more women and minorities applying, schools have also reported a wider diversity in age, work experience and background.  

The pandemic has also contributed to this, with some applicants that would normally study in-person choosing to opt for an online programme instead. 

Online programmes still need an in-person element 

When speaking to schools that don’t currently offer an online MBA, one of the key concerns they said students have about online learning is the loss of networking and on-campus experience and a subsequent decrease in value for money. 

Many of the top online MBA programmes in this year’s ranking have tackled this concern by incorporating some in-person elements into their modules, allowing students to have an opportunity to build those vital connections. As the COVID-19 pandemic stabilises and the world continues to reopen, creating these opportunities will be an important way for online programmes to distinguish themselves. 

Explore the QS Online MBA Rankings 2022 in full and keep checking TopMBA.com all this month for additional insight and commentary into this year’s results. 

This article was originally published in March 2022 .

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