Indian students lead rush for foreign MBA courses

New Delhi: India contributes the highest number of foreign applicants to full-time MBA programmes. This comes despite the dip in overall number of applications to full-time foreign B-Schools for the third consecutive year.

Around 61 per cent of MBA programmes rank India as their top source of foreign talent. However, applications from Indian and Chinese students, make up the highest number of foreign applications for full-time programmes around the world.

As per the 2011 Application Trends Survey, conducted by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), a non-profit education organisation of leading graduate business schools worldwide, 39 per cent of programmes also reported that India is their fastest growing source of foreign applicants. Meanwhile, the number of applicants from China looking to study abroad has also increased. The percentage of programmes reporting that China is their largest growing source of foreign applicants increased to 39 per cent of two-year full-time programmes in 2011. This makes India and China single largest market for these B-Schools.

“India and China are the leading Asia Pacific countries contributing to the influx of applications for full-time MBA programmes. The overwhelming response clearly indicates the value placed on quality graduate management education by candidates from this region,” said regional director, South Asia, GMAC, Ashish Bhardwaj.

A total of 649 programmes from 331 B-schools and faculties worldwide, representing 45 countries, 42 states in the US and the District of Columbia, participated in the annual study. The survey has been an annual feature since 2000.

Some of the key findings of the survey has been that more than two-thirds of participating two-year full-time MBA programmes reported a decline in application volume in 2011 compared with 2010, continuing a trend that began in 2009.

More than half of one-year full-time MBA programs received fewer applications than the previous year. The decline was most prevalent among non-US programmes.

However, specialized master’s programmes reported an increase in application volume over the last year. Master of Finance programmes led the trend with 83 per cent reporting an increase, followed by Master in Management programmes at 69 per cent and Master of Accounting programmes at 51 per cent.

Though the majority of MBA programmes saw a decline in applications, the survey showed that the quality of applicants and their academic credentials were higher in 2011 than for applicants in 2010.