The University of Oxford is returning in-person classes for MBA students at least a month earlier than permitted. Prestigious students of Oxford will attend lessons at Saïd School of business starting this Monday after Oxford considers the course as practical, just like nursing or medical science course.
According to Erudera.com, the decision followed Government’s guidelines which state: “Students should not return to in-person teaching unless they study a practical course and require specialist facilities and equipment.”
The MBA qualification of Saïd School of Business prepares students with a set of skills in leadership, conflict management, strategy building, and negotiation, the official schools’ website cites.
Oxford’s resolution to qualify MBAs and other eight postgraduate courses as practical came after students claimed they are unhappy to pay £60,000 for online learning, the Guardian reports.
According to the Governments’ most recent guidelines, students that attend practical or practice-based courses requiring specialist equipment such as creative arts may return to campus starting March 8. Others, including undergraduates taking final exams, cannot return to campus until at least April 12.
“Providers should not ask students to return if their course can reasonably be continued online,” the latest government guidance states.
The University and College Union claimed Oxford’s decision to bring back MBA students as one of nine courses was proof of the university focusing on its finances over students and staff’s health and safety.
“Permitting the premature return of high fee paying, non-practical courses at the potential expense of health and safety is a clear breach of the spirit of government recommendations and shows that the decision is income driven, not educational,” the UCU’s general secretary, Jo Grady stated.
According to an email sent from the Saïd business school management, the university’s approval for MBA in-person teaching was considered “progress towards the more normal operation of the school,” The Guardian adds.
However, a spokesperson for the University of Oxford claimed that the decision is utterly following Government’s criteria.
“In accordance with government guidelines, nine taught postgraduates will resume in-person teaching from Monday, March 8. These include the MBA, which is an applied program with substantial practical elements to each module, particularly at this stage of the academic year,” the Oxford spokesperson claimed.
Further on, the spokesperson assured that students would come back to a COVID-19 cautious and safe environment. The university will require a two times COVID-19 test for newly arrived students as well as wearing masks accordingly with events and activity.
Oxford University had already planned to mark its student’s comeback by the beginning of this year’s spring quarter.