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The Business Proofing of Business Schools Webinar Series

Presented by XOLAS, GBSN, EFMD Global Network, and Other Partner Organizations

“The world will be different after COVID-19!” You certainly heard this statement repeatedly in recent weeks. And you and your colleagues were probably left wondering to what extent it will apply to the business school sector as a whole and your institution specifically. Around the globe, colleagues are currently celebrating the successes of switching into online instruction with ease. Business schools have demonstrated tremendous agility in the face of adversity. Equally noteworthy is the strong display of a culture of sharing best practice in our community that helped to ease the transition of many institutions into online delivery.

These remarkable positives can however not make us overlook the financial burden that COVID-19 is imposing on business schools. Many institutions have suffered heavy losses in tuition and executive education revenues that may end up being a structural level-change rather than a temporary blip. Negative economic growth in many countries will reinforce the persistence of revenue drops.

We must further assume that COVID-19 will act as an accelerator for stackability, micro-credentialing and other drivers of institutional unbundling. Technology will make more rapid inroads into business school operations, to the benefit of stakeholders, but also with tangible impact on the underlying economics of delivering management education.

The writing is on the wall: The “business of business schools” will not be “business as usual” anymore.

This webinar series will provide guidance on how to adjust most effectively to this new environment. Sector and topical experts will get at the core of key issues and suggest a way forward. As a participant, you can challenge your own thinking and contribute to the debate.

The series will initially consist of five webinars. The first two webinars will deal with the most challenging financial issues facing business schools right now, how to cushion the downturn of executive education (#1) and how to cope with the drop of tuition revenues from international enrollments (#2). #3 will explore how business schools can become more resilient (i.e. strengthen their ability to “bounce back”). #4 will take a critical look at risk management practices in business schools (and their parent institutions); it will examine how risk management can be moved beyond compliance thinking to serve as a strategic decision-making tool. Finally, #5 will address funding issues that may present themselves nowadays in an exacerbated form, especially for stand-alone business schools or institutions transitioning into a semi-public status with enhanced financial autonomy.

We kindly request that you register for the webinars individually. Participation is free of charge.


Moving Executive Education Online: How Much and for How Long?
1 JULY 2020, 14:00 CEST – 8AM EDT
GBSN, EFMD Global Network, ESMT Berlin, XOLAS

Moderator: Ulrich Hommel, Founding Partner of XOLAS

Panelists: Martin Möhrle, Director Corporate Services, EFMD Global Network, Belgium
Jörg Rocholl, President, ESMT Berlin, Germany
Dominique Turpin, Former President & Dean of External Relations, IMD Business School, Switzerland

Executive education is treated by many companies as discretionary spending that gets cut back in bad times and the reactions to COVID-19 seem to confirm this conjecture. Business schools are currently challenged to fulfill existing commitments in times of social distancing. In addition, they are struggling to refill their pipeline with new contracts. A range of questions needs to be addressed in this context: How can business schools maintain their attractiveness as an education provider in recessionary times? How can executive education be delivered effectively in virtual learning space and how can clients be convinced of its value-added? And, most importantly, will COVID-19 ultimately change the role of executive training provided in an academic setting?

Participants will be able to explore these issues with a panel of executive education and talent management experts.


How to Reposition International Student Recruitment After COVID-19?

8 JULY 2020, 14:00 CEST – 8:00AM EDT

Partners: EFMD Global Network, GBSN, studyportals, XOLAS

Moderator: Ulrich Hommel, Founding Partner of XOLAS
Panelists: Andrea Longaretti, Global Head of Recruitment & Admissions, IE University, Spain
Jerker Moodysson, Dean, JIBS, Jönköping University
Thijs van Vugt, Director Analytics/Consulting Team, studyportals, Netherlands

The University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign, prophetically purchased a 3-year insurance against a drop in Chinese enrollment with a coverage of USD 60 million and a premium of USD 424K. Many other universities (and their business schools) were left “holding the bag” and the reported losses are staggering. Most of them identified the diversification of student intake as a priority item of their risk registers, but it was not followed up by tangible action. The future certainly has to be different.

This webinar will look at international student recruitment from a business perspective by putting the focus on recruitment cycles and international study motives. How much international diversification is desirable and needed? And how can international recruitment and diversification targets be effectively balanced?


How to Make Business Schools More Resilient?
26 AUGUST 2020,  11:00 AM CEST
Partners: EFMD Global Network, GBSN, studyportals, XOLAS


Ulrich Hommel, Founding Partner of XOLAS


Robina Xavier, Deputy Vice Chancellor and Vice President (Education), Queensland University of Technology (QUT), former Executive Dean, QUT Business School
John Vargo, Resilient Organisations NZ
Baback Yazdani, Dean of Nottingham Business School, Nottingham Trent University

COVID-19 lets the future appear ever more uncertain. Will there be a second or third infection wave and, if so, will it trigger another lock-down? To what extent will the pandemic crisis shift learning behavior and, in the process, accelerate the switch to online provision? And finally, how will the impending economic recession impact demand for business schools and will displacement pressures by higher-ranked institutions seeking new revenue sources play an important role in this context?

Under the guidance of an expert panel, participants will explore the benefits of a proactive posture when dealing with these environmental uncertainties. Should it involve the deliberate build-up of resilience (ability to “bounce back”) or even anti-fragility (ability to profit from uncertainty)? What does this concretely imply in terms of pricing policies, degree delivery choices, etc?

More Details->

Reconfiguring Risk Management of Business Schools: How to Move Beyond Registers and Other Compliance Rituals


How to Manage the Institutional Funding Gap