Studying an MBA in the UK as an International Student

The UK is the most preferred destination for international education, reveals the latest Business of Branding study conducted by marketing consultant Carrington Crisp in association with The European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD).

In a study of 3,004 business school students from over 20 countries, 40 per cent selected the UK ahead of the US (35 per cent), European Union (26 per cent), Canada and India (both 19 per cent).

“The UK has always been a popular destination, but recent factors lead to its number one position,” commented the author of the study, Andrew Crisp. “The return of the two-year post-study work visa, the UK’s prominent Covid vaccination programme, and its strong range of business schools have all contributed to its positive perception globally.”

The study on business education in the UK also points to the growing popularity of India as a study destination – in part related to ongoing issues in China. “India and China are the two major business education players in Asia. However, China’s pursuit of a zero covid infection strategy is making international student mobility very difficult. India is a viable alternative and is benefitting as a result,” noted the Carrington Crisp co-founder.

The study also analysed student perceptions of what aspects of business schools are the most valuable. International study opportunities (30 per cent) were viewed as the most valuable followed by business start-up/small business accelerator programmes (29 per cent), working on live consulting projects with businesses (26 per cent), and tackling society’s grand challenges such as climate change and poverty (22 per cent).

“Aspects that support a student’s career are viewed, not surprisingly, as valuable. However, there is strong demand from students for business schools to offer opportunities to help wider society to tackle global issues such as climate change, as well as more local charitable and voluntary causes. Students want and expect business schools to be able to make a difference,” added Crisp.

A key consideration for business schools in attracting students is the various annual rankings. The study looked at student perceptions of rankings and found that the most valuable aspect was the number of high-quality research papers published by faculty (31 per cent) followed by two career-based aspects: namely, the percentage of students having an internship/placement longer than a month during a degree (29 per cent) and the percentage of students employed within six months of graduation (28 per cent).

“Our study shows that students are judging business schools on a diverse range of aspects, including career support, social responsibility, and academic quality, to name a few. Students do not view schools simply as places of study – this is both a complex challenge and a wonderful opportunity for business schools,” concluded Crisp.

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