Covid-19 and rankings

What effect does the pandemic have on rankings? In this time of crisis, is it a priority for institutions to achieve rankings? Has their strategy changed in the last year? These issues were examined in an article in The Wall Street Journal in February 2021.

In the U.S. popular M.B.A rankings, several business schools did not participate this year. The article cites as examples that Harvard Business School, the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, Columbia Business School, and the Stanford Graduate School of Business were also missing from the Economist and Financial Times rankings. One reason for this was that the institutions did not take on the tasks of collecting the data needed for ranking, which was justified by the fact that it would have placed a heavy burden not only on institutional management but also on students and graduates. During the pandemic business schools focused more on the process of teaching and learning, and on the transformation to remote teaching. In addition, there were institutions that justified exclusion from the rankings due to lack of data. The fact that dominant business schools did not participate in the ranking meant that new M.B.A programs were added to the lists, and some programs were ranked higher this year.

In the case of M.B.A programs, also due to the high tuition fees of the trainings, the role of the rankings is especially decisive in the recruitment of students, in the decisions of the candidates, as well as in the feedback and opinions of the alumni members. Most business schools are aware of the weight of rankings, which is perhaps why some institutions have called for no rankings this year, as the crisis situation may skew the results. Knowing these issues and institutional strategies, it will be interesting to analyze how the rankings develop, which institutions are left out or put in a better or worse position as a result of the pandemic situation.

The full article from The Wall Street Journal is available here.

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