The MBA colleges in the United States on the other hand, faced a nearly 7% decline, including a 1.8% dip in domestic application volume—and a 10.5% drop in international volume across all program types.
The survey revealed that the overall demand for graduate management education is stable in 2018, as compared to 2017. In the B-schools program types– MBA, business masters and PhD programmes received more applications—most in Asia-Pacific, Canada and Europe. The Canadian and European region growth is attributed due to the increase in international applications, while domestic growth is fuelling an increase in Asia-Pacific.
Strong growth in application volume across all program types was offset by declines in the United States. In Asia-Pacific, programmes had an 8.9% increase, Canada at 7.7% growth and Europe had a 3.2% increase in application demand across all types of programmes.
Sangeet Chowfla, GMAC president and CEO stated, “Non-US programs continue to thrive, highlighting the continued emergence of enhanced educational and professional opportunities outside the United States.”
Factors that were attributed to help explain the lag in the US business school demand were: low unemployment rats, disruptive American political environment and the emergence of educational and professional opportunities abroad, stated Chowfla.
The ability to attract top international talent continues to be a critical detriment to programs’ overall application volumes. This year, 65% of Canadian programs and 63% of European programs reported an increase in international applications over 2017
“Access is a critical issue facing higher education,” stated 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,” he stated.
Full-time, two-year MBA programs still remained the most in-demand program type. Overall though, MBA and business master’s programs reported a similar volume of applications in 2018.