07 Mar 2020 16:31 IST

Covid-19 causes widespread travel cancellations for MBAs

Trips have been scrapped, delegations recalled and on-campus events delayed since January

MBA students in the United States who had been looking forward to school-sponsored travel abroad this spring are feeling major disappointment as fears of a coronavirus pandemic lead to a wave of cancellations, curtailments, and outright travel moratoriums at top business schools. Since January, trips have been scrapped, delegations recalled, on-campus events that attract large international attendance delayed or cancelled, and other programs postponed or moved online as the virus known as COVID-19 — responsible for thousands of deaths globally, mostly in China, Italy, and Iran — spreads.

As the number of cases globally approaches 100,000 and the number of deaths exceeds 3,300, Stanford Graduate School of Business has cancelled the Seed Transformation Network Global Summit, all international MBA Global Study Trips (to Chile, Taiwan, Japan, and the Philippines), the MSx Seattle Study Trip, and the LEAD Me2We campus event. This comes after the school’s January cancellation of the Stanford-Tsinghua Exchange Program, or STEP, just after students from China’s Tsinghua University had checked into the Stanford Guest House on January 28 for their nine-day stay. “The school made the decision to cancel the program,” says spokesperson Kristin Harlan, “given the changes in air travel to and from China and concern for the Tsinghua students’ ability to get home.”

Stanford GSB issued a statement on Thursday (March 5) that it is “actively monitoring the status of COVID-19, also called novel coronavirus, with the health and well-being of our students, faculty, and staff firmly in mind.” The school will continue to follow the guidance of the federal Centers for Disease Control as it evaluates conditions, and its statement about dealing with the virus is being updated daily on the Stanford University website, Harlan tells Poets&Quants. Read the full story here.