The Best Schools to Make a Social Impact

a Social Impact

Social causes have a significant impact on society and the earth in general. Increasingly society is getting involved in the solutions of the issues. Issues related to environmental sustainability, social equality (gender equality), and hunger and poverty encounter are only some points of the extensive list of problems. Many universities are making a great effort to collaborate and unfold these riddles. 

Applying for a degree does not only suppose finding a college with high educational programs and professional staff. Things go beyond mere didactic and instructive teaching and learning processes. Students nowadays are aware of the social impact that educational institutions can cause. They make their choice by measuring this effect.

Every day more and more colleges undertake clear actions and focus on their community. Colleges as institutions that host you and you as a student create these communities. The comfort that you should feel like a member of that small society and your implication in problem-solving must be balanced. Both undergraduate degrees and MBAs are committed to the impact that some situations can cause, which can be vital not only for society but also for our planet. 

Thus How Do We Measure a College’s Social Impact?

Are there clear clues to understand up to which extent colleges are immersed in the social impact issues? There is probably no clear list of that. However, some evidence makes these colleges be more or less global problem-solving institutions.

  1. Attention to Diversity – one of the most discussed, argued and deliberated issues of 21-century society. Most of the colleges offer this attention to Diversity and individual differences. Education is not the same as it was some decades ago. It has changed and is constantly adjusting to the necessities of our community. Colleges offer Diversity and enhance through it the cultural and educational experiences. Many of these colleges make great communities by connecting people with different backgrounds and teaching them to collaborate and create a big network.
  1. Financial Aid – You know that getting a good undergraduate degree and a high-quality MBA or Master’s degree is not an inexpensive pleasure. Sometimes college fees are unaffordable for a student. Colleges that consider financial aid an important part of the students’ application are likely to be more committed to the social impact. However, there is also the other side of the situation. The majority of the colleges accept scholarships from local students. In the case of international students’ applications, there are still universities that do not consider the scholarship option. Are these institutions more or less Social Impact friendly? Let’s leave this question open…
  1. Sustainability – Climate change has had a great impact on the planet. Many colleges have started paying attention to these global changes and try to make modifications in the installations of the university. For instance, the College of the Atlantic is actively involved in the creation of green construction of their campus accommodations and equipment. 
  1. Sustainability-Centered Courses – Colleges with a commitment to social impact should offer sustainability-centered courses. The college community can have all the will to collaborate and cooperate in the projects and create a sustainable environment for their studies and work. But if they do not have proper training, all these efforts may be in vain. 

There are more points to consider the college’s commitment to the social impact, such as the interest in taking care of the students’ mental health, emergency funding, equal treatment, and more. 

What about MBAs? Where Can You Study For A Social Impact MBA?

Social Impact MBA sounds strange. If you are interested in making this world better, how can you do it by studying business? MBA does not sound like a very optimal option, does it?

Nevertheless, the commitment of MBAs to the social impact can be broader than you can imagine. The concept of CSR (corporate and social responsibility) is highly promoted in MBA programs. This approach is applied in teaching and prepares qualified and adapted professionals to work hand in hand with the community and create a sustainable environment. Moreover, the Business roundtable imposed certain rules that MBA programs comply with. MBAs do not only teach you business and management techniques, but they also guide you through the needs and possibilities of upgrading global needs, such as sustainability at work, sustainable curriculum creation, and more. If you are looking for a social impact commitment and want your MBA degree to be highly involved in social impact issues, you should attend admissions consultant meetings. Admissions consultants are updated professionals with clear objectives. If you have doubts about the choice of MBAs and the magnitude of involvement of these institutions in the social impact, a qualified consultant can help you. 

Social Impact Inside and Outside the Classroom

In education, social impact is one of the central points. Teaching is based on Diversity and individual differences. Students with different cultural heritage and diverse backgrounds make the classroom an area of serious collaboration and cooperation. Contrastive opinions make students develop analytical and critical viewpoints.

Moreover, courses dedicated to social impact prepare the students to ascertain and offer solutions to different situations. 

Outside the classroom, social impact can be focused on by online courses. These courses or extracurricular activities are also a way to center on Diversity, prepare students to be nature friendly, and create a sustainable learning and working environment. 

 Schools That Lead in Social Impact

According to surveys, many  students apply to an MBA online programtaking into account its commitment to social impact. These surveys also prove that in the future, these students seek companies that also undertake actions to not only make benefits but also do good to the environment. These inquiries revealed that professionals are ready to gain 15 per cent less but work in sustainable and socially impact committed companies. Some of the schools leading the social impact charge are:

  1. Yale School of Management – Yale School of Management started offering MBA in 1999. Yale University is creating professionals in the economic sector who can interact with private companies, the government, and non-profit associations and find points of collaboration. MBA/Master of Environmental Management (MEM) program offered by Yale University is a program that does research and works on case studies. Real cases are the centre of the attention of the students. This school also offers opportunities to its students to do their surveys directly in the target countries. For example, they carried out an inquiry in India about the literacy of the population and how it can impact the economic situation in the country. Social impact laboratories offer the students the possibility to undertake social impact issues even after the classes. Another interesting option students can consider is Yale’s Summer School.
  1. NYU Stern School of Business – In 2016, NYU Stern School of Business started a new campaign: Center for sustainable business. Tensie Whelan, a Clinical Professor of Business and Society, became the director of this center. Why is this fact relevant? 

Tensie Whelan was the president of the Rainforest Alliance, who was working hard to engage the business into sustainability and global problem-solving. NYU Stern School of Business offered its students trips to a foreign country to investigate the constantly changing global financial world and practice the issue. Outside the classroom, NYU Stern School of Business has created an MBA club called Social Impact and Sustainability Association (SISA). SISA organizes events that are strongly connected with social impact, environmental issues, and other similar problems. 

3.Haas a Heavy Hitter – UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business is actively involved in social impact issues and has a long list of activities and campaigns offered to their students. IBSI is the Institute for Business, and Social Impact offers meetings and courses to find the most optimal solutions to social and global problems. 

CSSL is the Center for Social Sector Leadership, the first to offer free online courses to encourage students to develop solutions to global problems. It also prepares leaders for non-profit organizations and teaches them fundraising strategies and approaches. 

The famous GSVC (Global Social Ventures Competition) competition is also hosted in HAAS. Groups from different parts of the world come together to offer ideas about how to fight serious global issues, such as environmental and sustainability problems. 

Global Reach

Social impact is everywhere. US colleges are not the only educational institutions with a serious and long-lasting commitment to these issues. Let’s have a look at European colleges. 

You may have heard about CUSISS. A group of students from Cambridge University for part of this hub. They work hard to raise awareness of the society about environmental, social, and governmental concerns. Anyone can join the CUSISS community and be part of the change.

Impact Lab is designated to the postgraduate students of Oxford University and MBA students at Saïd Business School. The Impact Lab created by the Oxford University community has as a perspective to investigate and understand social impact causing issues to offer co-curricular courses to their students in order to make them capable of giving solutions to the most complicated global matters. Impact careers are part of this lab project. Application deadlines are November 21, and the results are announced In December. 

Cambridge, Coventry, Northampton, and MICRA Project formed by eight Universities formed this Impact 12. Oxford University also joined the campaign of fundraising by collaborating with 11 universities. Teamwork is highly valued in these projects to achieve the desired goals. 

The World Through Business

The 21st century is labeled as an era of business and entrepreneurship. Global changes in environmental and social issues make the business sector flexible. Constantly changing the work market, hyperactivation of freelancers, social impact make businesses adjust their policy to global changes. Sometimes, the world is controlled by business, and we see everything through business. 

However, 21st-century entrepreneurship is not the classical business model we have experienced during decades. It is a challenging business committed to social issues and environmental problems, ready to offer and give solutions to life-changing matters. You can use your business to make changes. Colleges offer courses, MBAs create and compromise with the social impact. An example of a business that is actively involved in making a difference is the Nobel prize winner Malala Yousafzai and Shahid’s fund to help silenced women worldwide raise their voice for their rights of dignity and equality.

Business is a tool. If you are interested in getting into the core of the problem and finding a solution, the business can help you solve the issue.      

Final Thoughts

Life is changing with giant steps. We can be different in many things, but we all have something in common. We all share the EARTH. Global environmental changes have affected our planet negatively. On the other hand, racism, discrimination, extreme ideologies have created boundaries in society. However, our society is changing actively. Students seek colleges that make a social impact, and professionals seek jobs that change the world, universities research and create labs, companies create environments to give examples and make a big social impact. 

There are no clear and definitive hints or lists about making a social impact; nevertheless, there are tools and appliances to reach the final goal. The most important point in this complex process is to learn to collaborate.


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