Big Increase in MBA Applications in Asia

For the past 3 years, from 2009 to 2011, many business schools have reported a slowdown in the number of applicants to their MBA programs - more specifically, their 2 year full time courses. During this period, 78% of business schools in the Asia Pacific region reported a decline in growth.

However, 2012 looks to be a better year for business schools, as according to the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), the number of people applying for MBA programs are starting to grow again, with the biggest growth coming from online and distance-learning programs, and non-U.S. MBA programs.

46% MBA programs experienced an increase in application numbers in 2012, up 10% from 2011. GMAC commented that interest and applications for MBA programs are recovering from the recent downward trends.

Although things appear to be looking up for business schools and their MBA and post graduate programs, not every school is experiencing growth or recovery. Much of the growth in MBA program applications is actually coming from the Asia Pacific and Central Asia, where 79% and 80% of schools surveyed reported increases in program applications respectively. Most of the applicants for the programs are locals.

In contrast, 62% of MBA programs in the U.S. reported decline in applications, with 2 year full time programs being the most affected.

GMAC's CEO, David Wilson, commented that on a whole, many more people are looking for flexibility and specialisation when it comes to their business education, they feel that this is needed if they want to remain competitive in the complex global business space.

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