India's B-schools witness drop in applications from women in 67% of MBA programmes for 2022 : GMAC

As has historically been the case, most applications to Indian business schools for 2022 were from men at 75%.

Abhishek NairUpdated: Tuesday, November 15, 2022, 07:57 PM IST
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Though the numbers signify a drop in women applicants, the report states that 28% of the programmes saw increased applications from women. | shuttershock

Mumbai: A study by Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), which serves as an association leading graduate business schools around the globe shows that applications from women to India's B-schools were down for 67% of business programmes as compared to 2021. 

Though the numbers signify a drop in women applicants, the report states that 28% of the programmes saw increased applications from women.

As has historically been the case, most applications to Indian business schools for 2022 were from men at 75%.

Women applicants have dipped for 67% of the programmes in Indian B schools/ GMAC

Indian B-schools see an overall dip in applications

Overall, 2022 was not entirely a good year for Indian B schools as compared to 2021, when 69 percent of programs reported total application growth compared with the year prior. In 2022, application volumes moderated as 56 percent of programs reported decline in total applications.

Among programs that responded to each of the last two years’ surveys, total applications were down 2.9 percent, driven chiefly by a 2.9 percent drop in domestic applications, which accounts for the vast majority of submitted applications (81%). Off an already small base of international applications in 2021, the volume also fell by about half in 2022 (54%), according to the study by GMAC.

Only 4% of the applicants for the surveyed B-schools were from a foreign origin, compared to 96% of them being from India.

B-schools see declining no. of applications globally

The survey also found out that there has been an overall decline, globally, among applications from the pandemic-level spike. In 2022, applications for management studies across 33 countries, including India, dipped to 3.4%. Application volumes increased 2.4 percent year-on-year in 2020 amid the start of the pandemic and sustained that level of demand in 2021, when schools reported a 0.4 percent year-on-year increase.

3.4% drop in Management studies across the globe IN 2022/ GMAC

US, Europe remain popular for international applicants

US and Europe, which have traditionally been the strongholds for MBA and other business-related programmes, remained significant for people who wish to study management education as most US programmes reported international application increases, especially full-time two-year MBA programmes (80% of programmes) and STEM-designated programs (61%), while Europe also witnessed stability and more applications from abroad in 2022, the region saw a decline in domestic demand in 66% of the programmes.

Fifty-three percent of responding programs in the United Kingdom reported application volume growth in 2022 with a majority of UK programs saying that they received more international applications this year than last year (54%).

While Europe also witnessed stability and more applications from abroad in 2022, the region saw a decline in domestic demand in 66% of the programmes/ GMAC

Asia, Europe perform well on women representation

Notably, most programs in Europe and Asia grew or maintained women’s representation in applicant pools. A majority of responding programmes in Europe (58%) and Asia (57%) grew or sustained the number of applications received from women. In addition, more than half of US programs maintained or grew applications from underrepresented populations (URP), particularly master of data analytics (66%) and master in management (65%).

US leaves behind Canada in 2022

When it came to specialised degrees, the US aced with international applications for master of supply chain management (93%), master in marketing (76%), and master of data analytics (61%).

Canadian programs, on the other hand, saw significant drops in both domestic and international applications. Among Canadian programmes that responded to each of the last two years’ surveys, total applications were down 23 percent year-on-year, with 75 percent of programs reporting declines in domestic applications and 68 percent reporting declines in international applications. This reversal comes after years of consistently positive outcomes for Canadian schools dating back to 2017, coinciding with the reduction of visa availability in the US.

Applicants want more flexibility with their degrees

Remarking that great resignation proved a serious threat to the viability of a workforce, Maite Salazar, chief marketing officer at GMAC said that "it is no surprise that programs offering the most flexibility were the most attractive to working professionals, especially women." Most professional MBA programs in the US received fewer applications this year, including online MBA (76% of programs), part-time MBA (75%), and executive MBA (67%). In fact, US online MBA programs saw a second consecutive year of application declines after a 2020 pandemic boom.

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