Business school enrolments stay stable despite global turbulence

Globally, applications and enrolments for MBA programmes at AMBA-accredited business schools remained steady between 2020 and 2021, in spite of difficult external circumstances brought on by the continuing effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. The average number of applications per business school was unchanged in this timeframe and there was no change in the average number of enrolments per business school.

The AMBA Application and Enrolment Report 2022 also highlights the global trend towards hybrid learning. In 2020, only 13 per cent of programmes were intended to be taught using a blended mode of delivery, but this jumped to 19 per cent in 2021.

Key findings

Changes to MBA demand among AMBA-accredited business schools, 2020-21 (217 participating schools)

Trends towards hybrid 

·        The results highlight the global trend towards hybrid learning. In 2020, only 13 per cent of MBA programmes were intended to be taught using a blended mode of delivery, but this jumped to 19 per cent in 2021.

·        In 2020, 76 per cent of MBA programmes were intended to be taught in a classroom, but only 25 per cent were delivered primarily this way. In 2021, 73 per cent of programmes were intended to be classroom-based and 34 per cent were indeed taught this way, narrowing the gap between intention and reality by 12 percentage points.

MBA student recruitment  

·        Globally, applications and enrolments for MBA programmes at AMBA-accredited business schools remained steady between 2020 and 2021, in spite of difficult external circumstances brought on by the continuing effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. The average change in the number of applications per business school was unchanged in this timeframe and there was just a slight decrease of five per cent in applications to individual programmes. Similarly, there was no change in the average number of enrolments per business school and a slight drop of six per cent in the average number of enrolments per individual programme. This could be due to the increased number of programmes in 2021.

Diversity in MBA programmes 

·        Globally, the proportion of women applying to MBA programmes rose to reach an average of 39 per cent in 2021. This is an increase of one percentage point on the equivalent figure in 2020 and shows that MBA programmes are still moving in the right direction for gender equality.

MBA programmes in the AMBA-accredited network in 2021 (247 participating schools)

How courses are taught  

·        Globally, MBA programmes were most likely to be delivered in a part-time format, (64 per cent) followed by full-time (21 per cent) and then modular (15 per cent). India was the region with the most courses taught in a full-time format (48 per cent).

·        74 per cent of all MBA programmes, worldwide, were intended to be taught in the classroom, but only 37 per cent of courses were actually carried out this way.

·        18 per cent of MBA programmes were intended to be taught in a blended mode and eight per cent were intended to be delivered fully online. However, ultimately, 35 per cent were taught using a blended method, and 25 per cent were taught online.

MBA student recruitment

·        The global conversion rate among AMBA-accredited business schools in 2021 was 31 per cent.

·        Globally, the acceptance rate was 44 per cent.  

·        The global average yield for AMBA-accredited business schools was 71 per cent.

Diversity in MBA programmes  

·        Globally, 40 per cent of applicants to MBA programmes in 2021, and 39 per cent of those who ultimately enrolled, were female.

·        35 per cent of those applying to AMBA-accredited MBA programmes in 2021, worldwide, are defined as international applicants, while 27 per cent of those who enrolled are classified as international students.

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