After returning to in-person teaching, Harvard Business School says it is reverting portions of its MBA students to online-only classes for a period of time.
The change comes amidst a “substantial outbreak” in “breakthrough” Covid-19 cases, referring to a more virulent strain of Covid-19 that can sometimes cause severe infection even in vaccinated individuals. These outbreaks have happened despite academia usually being very strict about mandatory vaccines and mask requirements, particularly in the northeast and western parts of the country.
“With the support of Harvard University leaders, advised by city and state public health officials, we have decided to move all first-year MBA students and some in the second year, to remote learning for the week of 9/27 to 10/03,” said Mark Cautela, spokesman for Harvard Business School in a statement to CBS on Monday.
The changes come despite Cautela himself noting that “Contact tracers who have worked with positive cases highlight that transmission is not occurring in classrooms or other academic settings on campus. Nor is it occurring among individuals who are masked.”
According to Cautela, students are now tested 3 times a week. In addition, other guidance reminiscent of the beginning of the pandemic is being instituted. Students are being told to cease any unmasked indoor activities and to stop any interactions in person except in their immediate household, and to move all group activities online, as well as cancel all group travel.
The university can boast a vaccination level of 96 percent among its staff, and 95 percent amongst its undergraduates. All employees and students are required to get the vaccine, barring only a few exceptions for medical reasons, CBS reported. However, there were still 62 positive tests among graduate students and three in its undergraduate population for the week of September 19.
Despite the move to online-only, tuition will remain the same, approximately $73,000 per year, a policy that sparked an outcry back in 2020, and is still the subject of disdain:
Imagine paying US$73,000 for Harvard tuition, only to be told you’ll just be watching YouTube videos. https://t.co/PBpmSCVUnR
— Ezra Levant 🍁 (@ezralevant) September 27, 2021
If I was paying $150K for a Harvard MBA I would go apeshit on this. COVID is not school’s fault but you go to Uni/MBA for the human experience as well. If they can’t deliver tuition should be lower. Students shafted …
*HARVARD MBA STUDENTS MOVE ONLINE AS COVID CASES CLIMB
— Nelson Rangel (@nelsonrangel) September 27, 2021
Harvard Business School. $75K annual tuition.
Vaccines mandated. Testing 3x per week. Masks required indoors. Classes going online anyway..
“Our community can and must do better.” Nope, apparently, you can’t.https://t.co/9w1MO5cASL
— PLC (@Humble_Analysis) September 28, 2021
Harvard tuition… university of phoenix education. https://t.co/CH9nm6gkRq
— LaxLuther (@theLaxLuther) September 28, 2021
Although some felt that might be a blessing in disguise:
The students should be thankful they don’t get all the education they pay for.
— sb (@sb43043776) September 27, 2021
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