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Just one fourth applications to Indian business schools come from women

November 15, 2022
Reshma Ravishanker

Three-fourth the total applications to Indian business schools this year were from men even as the number of applications from women continued to stay insignificant, a recent survey has found.

“As has historically been the case, most applications to Indian business schools this year were from men (75%). Applications from women were down year-on-year at 67 percent of programs, while 28 percent saw increased applications from women,” the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) which was released on Monday said. GMAC is a global, mission-driven association of leading graduate business schools.

The GMAC 2022 Application Trends Survey was conducted between July and September with application figures submitted by 950 programs of 264 business schools in 33 countries worldwide. The survey aims to examine the rapidly shifting landscape of demand for graduate management education (GME) programs. An annual survey in its 24th year, the 2022 study reflects perhaps the end of the pandemic- disrupted years and offers insight into how the post-pandemic market may take shape.

In contrast, however, most programs in Europe and Asia grew or maintained women’s representation in applicant pools. A majority of responding programs in Europe (58%) and Asia (57%) grew or sustained the number of applications received from women. In addition, more than half of US programs maintained or grew applications from underrepresented populations (URP), particularly Master of Data analytics (66%) and master’s in management (65%).

World-over, this annual survey also reported that international applications to business schools soared back as domestic demand softened. “Total applications to graduate business schools dipped from the pandemic-level spikes, slipping 3.4 percent year-on-year among a matched sample of programs,” according to the survey.

Like programs in Greater China, the pandemic boom in applications did not come in 2020 for responding Indian programs, but instead came one year later in 2021, when 69 percent of programs reported total application growth compared with the year prior.

Among the other countries most US programs reported international application increases, especially full-time two-year MBA programs (80% of programs) and STEM-designated programs (61%). Similarly in Europe, most MBA programs either saw stability or more applications from abroad this year.

Other Key Findings

  • Applications to business master’s programs ticked up
  • Global applications to business master’s programs—including master’s in management, master of finance, and master of data analytics—grew year-on-year by 3.2 percent.
  • Asia retained more talent in-region while Canada experienced a reverse in application trend
  • Canadian programs saw significant drops in both domestic and international applications
  • High first time rejections for Indian and Nigerian students 
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