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MBA applications dip in US, grow in Asia-Pacific, Europe

October 02, 2018 06:36 AM

COURTESY TOI OCT 2

MBA applications dip in US, grow in Asia-Pacific, Europe
Manash.Gohain@timesgroup.com

New Delhi:

B-schools in the US saw a decline in number of applicants while the numbers rose for those in Asia-Pacific, Canada and European regions, according to the annual trends survey of Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), which conducts the GMAT.


The survey revealed that the US experienced a nearly 7% decline, including a 1.8% decline in domestic application volume and a 10.5% drop in international volume across all management education programmes. However, the programmes in B-schools of Asia-Pacific region had an 8.9% increase, while Canada realised a 7.7% growth and Europe had a 3.2% increase in applications. These are based on responses from 1,087 graduate business programmes in 363 universities worldwide. Full-time two-year MBA programmes are still the most sought among the various courses.

With just 51 applications more than 2017, the overall, demand for graduate management education remains almost the same in 2018, according to the survey. Across graduate business school programme types — including MBA, and PhD programmes — most programmes in Asia-Pacific, Canada and Europe received more applications than last year. Growth in the Canadian and European regions derive largely from increase in international applications, while domestic growth is fuelling increase in Asia-Pacific.

GMAC President and CEO Sangeet Chowfla said: “There are significant regional variations. Non-US programmes continue to thrive, highlighting the continued emergence of enhanced educational and professional opportunities outside the United States. Several factors can help explain the lag in US business school demand. A low unemployment rate means young professionals have an increased opportunity cost of leaving their jobs in pursuit of an advanced degree. Combined with a disruptive American political environment and the emergence over the past decade of tremendous educational and professional opportunities abroad, one can begin to understand in part why demand in the US has dropped from previously record-high application volumes at some schools.” The ability to attract top international talent continues to be a critical determinant to overall application volumes in various programmes.

“Access is a critical issue facing higher education,” said Bill Boulding, dean of Duke University’s Fuqua School and chairperson of the GMAC board of directors. “Economic indicators in the US are strong, but if we are to maintain such growth and productivity, we need to make it possible for people from all different regions and backgrounds to study and work in the location they desire. If that doesn’t happen, we limit not only the possibility of an individual, but also continued economic prosperity in the US and growth around the world.”

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