Business schools braced for sharp decline in MBA students (UK)

By Sam Creighton

Business schools are facing a 10-15 per cent drop in applications for MBA programmes, new figures suggest. The Financial Times reports that, on the 16 full-time MBA programmes participating in its 2012 rankings, enrolment of overseas students is down 10 per cent on this time last year while the decrease in UK students is higher still at 15 per cent.

The paper suggests that the fall is down in part to the withdrawal of the automatic right for MBA graduates to remain in the UK to work for two years after the end of their course, a change that is part of wider reforms to immigration controls by the government. The London Business School and Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge, the two top ranked MBA providers in the UK, have said they are bracing for a fall in the number of full-time students enrolled on their courses.

The financial impact of this trend could be severe if it continues. While there is no data relating to MBA programmes specifically, research by the UK’s Association of Business Schools says that these institutions generate £2 billion for the economy. John Colley, director of MBA programmes at Nottingham University Business School, told the FT that the change in application numbers may be the result of a larger shift in the market.  He added that this may result in “causalities” as not all business schools will be able to adapt.

Source: Times Higher Education