According to a QS TopMBA article, “European MBA applications increase dramatically,” European business schools are luring applicants away from MBA programs in the U.S. Both the QS TopMBA.com Applicant Survey 2010 and the Graduate Management Admissions Council’s (GMAC) World Geographic Trends Report show a sharp increase in European business school applications over the past five years.
The GMAC report finds that applications to European b-schools have increased by 90% since 2006, while the QS report shows that the number of applicants considering applying to U.S. MBA programs has decreased more than 20% in that same time period.
One reason for the boom in popularity among European MBA programs is the fact that most European programs run for one year, rather than two, the standard duration of an American MBA program.
Ross Geraghty of QS TopMBA provides other potential reasons for the increase in European b-school popularity and the decrease in that of the U.S.:
“Difficulty in accessing visas, uncertainty about being able to stay in the country after graduating from an MBA program, concern about the short term health of the US economy, some political and cultural concerns, particularly among Muslim applicants and an increasing trend towards returning home after an MBA combine with the global preference for shorter courses.”
In the GMAC article, “European Business Schools on the Rise,” Alex Chisholm, GMAC senior research analyst further explains that European programs attract more applicants as they gain international accreditation and climb the global rankings:
“The fact that all the schools represented on the Financial Times 2010 ranking of the top 100 MBA programs now also use the GMAT to evaluate applicants might correspond to European growth trends observed within the GMAT student pipeline. We know from GMAC survey research that rankings serve as a leading information source for mobile students, who often are simply looking to identify quality programmes far from home.”
The GMAC article provides more statistics on the phenomenon:
- 80% of GMAT scores sent to Europe were sent to Britain, France, the Netherlands, and Spain.
- 64% of GMAT scores sent to European b-schools were submitted by non-European test-takers, particularly by Indian and Chinese examinees.
- 37% of European GMAT scores were sent to U.S. schools.
- German citizens took the most GMAT exams of all Europeans, followed by French examinees. Russian citizens took the third place spot for the first time in the top three.
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