A majority of MBA programs in higher education institutes world-over see a surge in applications from India for the academic year 2020-21 according to a survey by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), a global association of leading graduate business schools.
Data for the annual 2021 Application Trends Survey was gathered between July 8 and August 23, 2021, and garnered responses from 967 programs at 269 business schools worldwide analyzing differences by programs and regions for the 2020-2021 admissions season (incoming class of 2021). This survey data was collected between July 8 and August 23, 2021, and garnered responses from 967 programs at 269 business schools worldwide.
“With the ease in application processed and lockdown restrictions, majority of MBA programs reported an exponential rise in the volume of applications from India. All the MBA programs witnessed the greatest number of international applications from India. Interestingly, there was the greatest increase in the number of Indian applicants compared to last year across majority of the MBA programs. The friendly visa policies, two-year work visa, upliftment of lockdown restrictions as well as changed perception of the US under Biden are cited as the major reasons behind the surge,” the surveyors have said.
Sustaining the elevated demand for MBA courses since the global pandemic set in 2020, nearly a thousand MBA and business master’s programs found that in 2021, the volume of applications for graduate business school programs grew 0.4 percent from the year before.
This survey reflects trends in admissions, recruitment, and marketing professionals in understanding the candidate pipeline and informing their future strategies and focuses on global demand for GME and analyzes differences by programs and regions for the 2020-2021 admissions season (incoming class of 2021).
“Candidates looked for alternative career options during the COVID induced recession and business schools introduced more flexible admissions policies, resulting in soaring application volumes last year,” said Sangeet Chowfla, president and CEO of GMAC. “The question was whether this was a fleeting event caused by the pandemic or the start of a new uptick in applications. In this context, the 2021 application cycle indicates that the surging demand for graduate business education is not a passing fad but has staying power beyond 2020.”
Full-time options sought: Meanwhile, full-time MBA programs continued gaining traction in 2021. On the contrary, professional MBA programs such as part-time MBA, executive MBA, and online MBA programs, those targeting the working professionals saw application growth at the lowest level since 2017.
Women opt to learn in-person: Three in five (60%) full-time two-year MBA programs reported an increase in applications from female candidates compared to two in five (43%) programs reporting growth from male candidates. A much smaller share of online MBA programs (42%) reported growth in applications from female candidates, indicating women’s preference to return to in-person, full-time learning.