November 29, 2010
The London School of Business and Finance (LSBF) is offering a Global MBA program to students through a Facebook application.
According to a LSBF press release, the LSBF Global MBA, which is awarded by the University of Wales, will give students access to high quality MBA course material such as online lectures and panel discussions with industry leaders. However, unlike all other online MBA programs, LSBF's program will be offered to students free-of-charge. Students will only be required to pay if they decide to take the final exam.
This "try before you buy" approach is something no other school has done. LSBF is also the first to offer an internaitonally recognized MBA through a Facebook application, noted The New York Times.
When asked why Facebook, LSBF founder Aaron Etingen explained in the press release that the traditional business school platform is outdated and stale. He added, "There is immense potential in the market for online education. Facebook is a real part of people's lives and, owning a sense of social responsibility, we want to promote accessibility to knowledge."
Etingen also noted that this new approach allows people to test the quality of the program as well as their own interest before making any financial commitments, which he hopes will help reduce the high drop our rate among MBA students.
"The dirty secret of online education is the appallingly low completion rate," he said to The New York Times. "Fewer than one in four students who begin an online MBA ever graduate, and it didn't seem ethical to me to take someone's money up front, knowing that most of them won't finish."
The total cost of the MBA is 14,500 pounds, which is approximately $23,000--the same cost for London School of Business and Finance's campus-based and distance-learning MBA degrees. According to CIO, the program can take between six months to a year to complete as students can go at their own pace and work around their existing schedule. However, people can still access MBA classes even if they do not pursue formal accreditation.
"Even if people do not decide to go for formal accreditation, the LSBF Global MBA will, at no cost, better equip business students to deal with the global job market," said Etingen in the press release.
In order to join the Global MBA, interested students would need to give the application access to their name, profile picture, Facebook ID and list of friends--all requirements for any other Facebook application, reported The New York Times. Examples of courses include Strategic Planning, Organizational Behavior and Marketing Management. Each course is broken down into 10 modules and each module has a video lecture and Facebook discussion. All modules also include documents and case study material.
Although the program was only launched on October 28, more than 30,000 users have already begun accessing material. The school speculated that more than 500,000 users would join in the first year.
"The online world makes it hard to predict but what we do know, is that this is going to change education forever!" said Etingen in the press release.
Compiled by Heidi M. Agustin
"London School of Business puts whole MBA course on Facebook," CIO.co.uk, November 24, 2010, Anh Nguyen
"Poking, Tagging and Now Landing an M.B.A.," NYTimes.com, November 28, 2010, D.D. Guttenplan
"The London School of Business and Finance Offers Everyone Free MBA Classes Online," lsbf.org.uk, October 28, 2010