The number of MBA applications around the world is growing constantly. According to a new AMBA report, in the last three years, the average number of applications per program has grown by 10%, and the average number of student enrolments has increased by a whopping 24%.
Compared with the 2009 and 2014 reports, it’s a huge increase: during that period, applications had fallen by an astonishing 44%, while enrolments had diminished by 8%.
According to P&Q, 223 business schools around the world have been surveyed.
Apps For MBA Programs Are Growing
According to the recent study, during the last two years, the number of applications and enrolments from female aspiring students has grown: in 2017, there were 4% more apps from women compared to 2013. Currently, females attest for 35% of applicants who enroll in business schools. This shows that the chances of a male and a female candidate of getting into a business school are almost equal now.
Still, in some countries, there are overwhelmingly more male MBA students: for instance, 90% of Indian MBA applicants are male. Additionally, there are more male applicants in countries like the UK, Europe, Latin America, Africa and Oceania.
In the Middle Eastern and Asian regions, the number of women applicants has reached 33% and 40%, respectively; the closest to perfect balance are the following regions: North America, China and Hong Kong, where 44% of all applications are from female candidates, and among those enrolling to MBA programs there are 42% females.
The Bigger The School, The More Applicants
How has this unprecedented growth even happened? Apparently, it’s mainly due to large business schools. According to GMAC 2017 Application Trends Survey Report, the largest MBA programs had the biggest upsurge in apps from aspiring students.
Astoundingly, 73% of MBA programs with classes of 200 and more saw an increase in applications last year. Among smaller programs (50 and less), the increase was reported only by 39%.
Programs Are Changing Along With The Economy
During economic crises, many business schools rehashed their MBA programs to make them more appealing for prospective students. This may well have been the reason for the upsurge in applications.
Although most business schools had fallen on hard times due to economic instability, recently, the growth of interest from prospective students gave them the opportunity to become more developed, innovative and adaptive.
Many formerly traditional-only business schools now have flexible courses, like programs for students who choose not to drop their careers while getting an education. For instance, in the Middle East and Asia, 47% of all MBA programs were modular, which allowed students to pursue their careers and obtain a degree simultaneously.
Fewer International Students Are Coming To The US
According to GMAC, recently only 32% of American business schools had a growth in international applications. However, two years ago, in 2016, there were 49% of them. At the same time, European and Canadian MBA programs saw a large growth in applications from overseas students – in fact, twice more than the US. For instance, 77% of Canadian business schools had an increasing number of applications from international candidates. Even the UK, despite the political, social and economic aftermath of Brexit, saw an increase in international applications, reported by 65% of its business schools.
Most universities believe that Trump administration is to blame for the downfall in international candidates. This fact is causing business schools considerable concern, as many programs were proud of their diversity and multinationality.
However, there still might be a chance of a change in this trend, as British schools are not showing the same numbers. Only time will show whether it’s a threatening tendency or just a freak accident.
Join MBA25 events to learn more about business education!