MBA application volume grows across the world; top B schools prefer MBA aspirants from India - GMAC Survey

Thursday, October 27 2016, 03:25 AM
High growth in volume of MBA applications is recorded in 2016 with 70% of full-time 2 year MBA programs offering admission to international candidates especially from India, China and the U.S
With the competitive landscape changing, applicants have more options from which to choose, creating a mixed picture for business schools today Sangeet Chowfla, president and CEO, GMAC

B-schools, offering quality MBA programmes have received high growth in volume of applications in 2016 as compared to 2015. Nearly half of the B-schools have been able to fill classrooms with qualified candidates in all graduate business programs sorting the suitable students as they received more applications this year, reports GMAC survey on trend of applications to MBA programmes in B-schools.

The GMAC Global survey report  2016 finds that European programs across the board and the one-year full time MBA, executive MBA, and online MBA programs appear to be experiencing stronger application growth, whereas full-time two-year, part-time, and flexible MBA programs world- wide are indicating declines.

-- With the Business schools continuing to diversify their outreach and recruitment efforts to broaden their appeal to targeted candidate segments, 70% of full-time 2 year MBA programs offer admission to international candidates especially from India, China and the U.S.  These candidates are a priority for outreach and recruitment by a majority of full-time 1 year MBA programs and master’s programs in management and finance.

-- The most common form of tuition assistance that graduate management programs offer is merit scholarships. The majority of all program types offer financial aid, including 78% of full-time MBA programs. Two-thirds of programs – 68% report that the percentage of their incoming students receiving employer-based tuition reimbursement this year will be similar to 2015.

4.4 Lakhs MBA applications in 2016
GMAC conducted its 17th annual Application Trends Survey from early June to mid-July 2016. The survey findings are based on a record number of responses from 335 business schools and faculties worldwide representing 872 graduate management programs, including MBA, non-MBA business master’s, and doctoral-level programs. Participating programs received a combined total of 440,000 applications during the 2016 application cycle. 93% of all participating programs report that the applicants this year are similarly or more academically qualified than candidates last year.

MBA application trends
The program types experiencing application gains include the full-time  1 year MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, Master of Finance and the Master in Data Analytics, reports the Global Survey.According to the survey,  European full-time one-year MBA programs stand out in this year’s findings — nearly 3 in 4, 74% programs report year-on-year increases. Nearly half of U.S.-based programs,  43% and programs in East and Southeast Asia- 45% report volume growth in the full-time one-year MBA market. Key trends are – 

1 Year full time MBA: 57%
57% of the 1 year full time MBA programs report growing application volumes this year, building on the momentum of last year’s results when 51 percent reported growth.

Executive MBA: 51%
For the first time since 2008, a majority (51 percent) of executive MBA programs report growing volumes, eight percentage points higher than programs that reported growing volumes in 2015.

Online MBA: 57%
For the second consecutive year, a majority of 57 percent of online MBA programs report growing application volumes, up from 50 percent of programs that reported volume growth last year. Survey responses also show that 9 percent of online programs are new in 2017, signaling schools are implementing programs that are of high interest to prospective students.

Master of Finance: 65%
For the second year in a row, a majority of Master of Finance programs report growing volumes. More than half of the European, 65 percent and U.S.-based programs- 55 percent report growth this year.

Master in Data Analytics: 94%
One of the newest programs in the graduate management education space — Master in Data Analytics —continues to see growing demand.  94% of the 16 data analytics programs that submitted data comparing 2015 with this year report application volume growth in 2016. The survey also shows program growth in this area as 9 new programs will be beginning their classes this year.

Applications for 2 year MBA programme decline
The survey reports that for the first time since 2012, fewer than half of full-time two-year MBA programs, 43%   experienced year-on-year application growth this year. This is the second straight year that the share of programs reporting growth is down from a high of 61 percent in 2014.

“Business degrees continue to be one of the most sought-after educational credentials,” said Sangeet Chowfla, president and CEO of GMAC. “With the creation of more tailored business programs such as the Master in Data Analytics, the demand for entrance into business school is spreading across a growing supply of programs. With the competitive landscape changing, applicants have more options from which to choose, creating a mixed picture for business schools today.”

The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) is a nonprofit education organization of 216 graduate business schools and is the owner of the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT exam). GMAC is based in Reston, Virginia, and has regional offices in London, New Delhi and Hong Kong. GMAC owns and administers the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), used by more than 6,100 graduate programs worldwide, as well as the NMAT by GMAC exam, used for entrance into graduate management programs in NMIMS, XIMB and other B-schools and universities in India.

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