Gies Announces Strategic Shift:
Gies College of Business at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign announced today that – pending University approval – it will shift investments away from its residential full-time and part-time MBA programs. Instead the College will focus its investments on its rapidly growing online iMBA as well as a suite of specialized master’s programs, undergraduate education, and lifelong learning. The College plans to stop enrolling new students in the full-time and part-time residential programs.
“The iMBA is the right format for the times – providing a powerful learning experience with anytime/anywhere accessibility at an affordable cost,” said Jeffrey Brown, Dean of Gies College of Business. “Given the global reach and accessibility of this program, we are creating what I call the world’s MBA. With this and with our innovation in undergrad, specialized masters, and lifelong learning, we are playing to our competitive advantages and positioning ourselves for tremendous impact and steady growth. These moves will focus our investment in ways that will make us unquestionably one of a handful of the world’s very best and most innovative business schools.”
Applications to the iMBA have nearly tripled – from 1,100 in 2016, when the program was lauched, to a projected 3,200 in 2019. The program is revolutionary in its delivery, stackable structure, concentrations, immersions, accessibility, and career-curated content. It combines material in ways that professionals use it in the real world, not in traditional academic silos. iMBA students earn the same MBA that on-campus students have been earning for decades. At a total cost of less than $22,000, the program is designed to be affordable at a time when MBAs can easily cost $80,000 or more.
“Our iMBA is the most innovative, highest-value MBA of any kind anywhere in the world,” said Brown. “Because it is online and offered at an affordable cost, it creates access to a high-quality, high-impact business education for larger numbers of talented people. It fulfills our land-grant mission and serves our state spectacularly well. At the same time, by being fully online, it extends and deepens our reach as a global player — ensuring a worldwide reach for our College and alumni network.”
Inside Higher Ed, Illinois Will End Residential M.B.A