Full-time two-year MBA programmes in the US have seen a decline in application volume since 2014, according to the findings of the Applications Trend Survey Report 2017 released by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC). Only 32% of these programmes reported an increase in applications while the rest reported a decline since 2014. Full-time two-year programmes also reported a 75% decline in international applicant intake. However, master’s in data analytics and part-time lockstep MBA programmes continue to be popular with a growth of 74% and 54%, respectively.

On the other hand, UK continues to be a popular destination as 75% of full-time one-year MBA programmes reported an increase in application volume.

In Canada, 74% MBA programmes and 67% business master’s reported a growth in application volume. International candidates in the two programmes stand at 64% and 88%, respectively, with India and China being the two major sources of international candidates.

MBA programmes in Europe and Asia have reported growth in applications, particularly from international applicants. About 76% of full-time one-year MBA European (non-UK) programmes reported an increase in application volume. Other European (non-UK) programmes reporting growth include executive MBA (77%) and Master’s in Management (79%). International students are the key drivers of the European MBA market as they constitute 90% of the candidate pool.

Similar growth is evident in Southeast Asia where full-time one-year (77%) and two-year (58%) MBA programmes have witnessed an increase in application volume.

In India, where only 20 graduate business programmes participated in the 2017 survey, 85% programmes reported growth. Indian MBA programmes continue to be competitive while receiving an average of 40.3 applications per seat as compared to the US where full-time two-year MBA programmes received 4.7 applications per seat. Less than 1% of these programmes received any international candidates. While men continue to dominate the class composition, 74% of these programmes indicated an increase in the number of women candidates. Globally, 42% applications were by women candidates.

GMAC conducted the annual Application Trends Survey which saw the participation of 965 business programmes across 351 B-schools worldwide from early June to mid-July 2017. The survey questionnaire contained approximately two dozen questions and was administered online. The responses spanned across 573 MBA programmes, 369 business master’s programmes, and 23 doctoral programmes in 45 countries.

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