Impact of COVID – 19 on Admissions Cycle 2020 – India and Abroad B-Schools

The world is facing many struggles with the outbreak of COVID-19, which has recently been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. Higher education, particularly business education worldwide, has already started experiencing the limitations of the pandemic.

An outbreak in the midst of summer in India, when the majority of the entrance, college-level, and school board examinations are conducted, the management of the education system poses a great challenge for the relevant authorities. These circumstances will particularly affect the admissions cycles for business schools.

Popular schools, including Indian Institute of Management at many locations, Xavier School of Management Jamshedpur, and IFIM Business School, have reported some changes in their operations. Amid the lockdown, many of these institutes have either deferred or canceled their convocations events.

Additionally, classroom sessions in institutes countrywide have been canceled, and some universities are conducting online classes via conference applications, such as Zoom. Reportedly, some recruiting organizations have pulled back their job offers, which were provided to the upcoming graduates.

Concerning the admissions process, some of the institutes, such as IIM Kozhikode and Tiruchirappalli, have postponed their personal interview rounds until further notice for admissions to the 2020–2022 batch, whereas some other institutes have resorted to conducting online interviews, stating that such times call for advanced approaches of problem-solving.

However, what is of greater concern is the initiation of the new academic sessions, which are generally set to start in June or July each year. The uncertainty of the end of this epidemic raises questions regarding not only the commencement of the classes of the coming academic year but also the subsequent admissions and recruitment cycles even at established institutes.

Although technology has enabled us to utilize different tools in times of such crises, it cannot be denied that virtual learning curbs the experiential and hands-on learning opportunities for students, which may deter them from learning some essential skills in business such as communication and group-work strategies.

Recruiting organizations require business school graduates to possess and apply practical knowledge that can help the organizations grow in their respective fields. Unfortunately, virtual learning may not be able to facilitate this. This effect can potentially result in declined recruitments at business schools, which if continues, can reduce the applications and intake of the 2021 admission cycle in India.

In addition, many international business schools have made changes to their admission process. Please refer to the following table:

Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management Added a new application round with a deadline of May 15 for the 2020 intake
MIT Sloan School of Management Will consider 2020 round 3 applications without the test score
UChicago’s Booth School of Business Round 3 deadlines extended to May 31, 2020
Cornell’s Johnson School of Management GMAT and GRE scores will be accepted until June 1, 2020
UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business Added round 4 admissions deadline of May 4, 2020
Yale School of Management Round 3 deadline extended to May 27, 2020
Wharton Business School at UPenn Round 3 deadline extended to April 15, 2020
Foster School of Business at the University of Washington Added round 4 application deadline of May 19, 2020