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US Business Schools Hit By the Trump Effect

After the US president Donald Trump signed an executive order forbidding people from several Islamic countries to enter the US borders, American business schools suffered a stain on their reputation, according to the Financial Times report from last February.

Recently, another Financial Times report showed that US business schools are being boycotted by foreign students. According to GMAC data, more than 66% of American business schools reported applications from foreign candidates going way down. At the same time, European and Asian schools saw a significant increase in applications.

In 2016, about 12 thousand students entered business schools in the US, and approximately 40% of them were international students. At some schools, like Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota, the number of foreign students was as low as 16%, while at others, like Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College, this number was as high as 82% (increasing by 15% from the previous year).

Most US international students are Chinese (13%) and Indian (25%). Asian students account for 58% of all foreign business school students. European (13%) and South American (12%) citizens are not far behind Asians.

How Can Trump Affect Forthcoming B-School Rankings

The most obvious result of the US presidents’ policies is the decreasing number of international students, which is an important part of all business school rankings. Additionally, due to the number of foreign students going down, diversity will suffer, dragging course quality and networking chances down with it. The overall student body quality may also be impacted.

Still, the top ranked 50 American business schools still have their brands and reputation going for them, representing only 10% of all American business universities. They won’t actually lose all their international reputation overnight, as even now there is no significant difference in the numbers of students enrolled.

Who Would Benefit From Trump Policies?

Surprisingly, the biggest benefactors of the new American policies won’t be the European business schools. Their percentages of foreign students are already the highest: in 2017, it was 90%. Chinese and Indian schools don’t usually admit that many foreign students, and if their citizens who would otherwise enroll in American schools stay home, they will admit even fewer of them.

A possible winner of this game could be Canada: nowadays, they can boast only about 60% of international students, and they could always welcome more. Hence, it’s possible that Canadian business schools might experience an increase in international applications.

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