From Zero to One Hundred to a Digital University: Munich Business School Focuses on Online Teaching

MBS professors, students and employees are connected online vis Microsoft Teams

In order to ensure that students can continue their studies even in times of the corona crisis, Munich Business School (MBS) switched to online teaching within a few days and without a single interruption in teaching. Since March 16, MBS students and faculty have been learning and teaching digitally. In addition, the university is looking to the future and has already worked out further digital measures should the current situation last longer.

Since the beginning of the year, Munich Business School has been dealing with the worldwide spread of the coronavirus. While the initial focus was mainly on supporting students during their semesters abroad and improving sanitary facilities and measures, the option of switching to online teaching became increasingly tangible as the situation in Germany and Europe worsened. “Some students shared their fears and concerns with us, which is certainly also related to the high mobility and internationality of our students. In some cases, parents from abroad who wanted to bring their child home contacted us because they feared that their child would not be allowed to enter their home country at a later date,” reports Stefan Baldi, Dean of Munich Business School.

In order to meet these concerns at equal level and with respect and to ensure the ongoing semester operations, Munich Business School decided early on March 10 to conduct all classroom courses online. Within three days, students and lecturers were trained and introduced to the teaching and learning platform. On the following Monday, March 16, classes could then be continued seamlessly online. For the private university, which greatly appreciates the personal contact with students, the switch to online lectures is an unusual, albeit necessary, step. “The changeover has been positively and understandingly received by both the students and the professors at MBS. We experience great gratitude from the students. They are happy to be able to continue their studies so smoothly. This encourages us in our decision to have taken the right step,” says Baldi. “The continuation of the lectures really works great with Microsoft teams. I am impressed by the rapid implementation and the transparency with which MBS has been communicating from the very beginning. I know from friends at other universities that this cannot be taken for granted,” adds Isabell Buchner, student at Munich Business School.

Nobody can currently predict how long the corona crisis and the restriction of public life will continue. “Our university has 50% international students. For us, it is clear that the current developments will also have longer-term consequences,” is how the Dean of Munich Business School assesses the situation. In order to enable foreign applicants to study at Munich Business School despite travel restrictions, the university is offering first-year students for the winter term 2020/21 to start their studies online and to continue their studies in Germany at a later date when the situation has calmed down. The same applies to the Pre-Bachelor and Pre-Master programs, which already begin in May. “In this way, we do not lose any interested applicants who would like to study at MBS but cannot apply for visa or travel due to the current situation. Nevertheless, we are still holding on to attendance lectures, we do not intend to become a pure online university”, adds Nathalie von Seyfried, Chancellor of Munich Business School. All information events, counseling and application interviews currently take place exclusively online as webinars or by telephone.

Since 23 March, all members staff members and professors are working from home as well. Just like the students, they are connected via Microsoft Teams and sometimes even use the changed work situation to develop new creative formats. As a result, the first luncheon webinar will start on the first of April. During a shared lunch break, Munich Business School invites interested persons to get inspired on various topics – with and without corona reference – and to get to know the MBS lecturers. Nine webinars until mid-May are currently planned as part of this series – never lunch alone!