Asia-Pacific MBA Gains Popularity As Applications Grow

Australian Master of Business Administration programs are in higher demand this year as recent figures revealed an increase in Asia-Pacific applications.

According to findings from the Graduate Management Admission Council’s (GMAC) annual Application Trends Survey, regions like Asia-Pacific, Canada and Europe received more applications than in 2017 for graduate business school programs including MBA, business masters and PhD programs.

Programs in Asia-Pacific had an 8.9% increase, Canada realised 7.7% growth, and Europe had a 3.2% increase in application demand across all program types.

GMAC President and CEO Sangeet Chowfla said demand for graduate management education was stable year over year, however, there were significant regional variations.

“Non-U.S. programs continue to thrive, highlighting the continued emergence of enhanced educational and professional opportunities outside the United States.”

The United States, in fact, experienced a nearly 7% decline, including a 1.8% decline in domestic application volume and a 10.5% drop in international volume across all program types.

“Several factors can help explain the lag in U.S. business school demand,” Chowfla said.

 “A low unemployment rate means young professionals have an increased opportunity cost of leaving their jobs in pursuit of an advanced degree. Combined with a disruptive American political environment and the emergence over the past decade of tremendous educational and professional opportunities abroad, one can begin to understand in part why demand in the United States has dropped from previously record-high application volumes at some schools.”

GMAC’s research revealed that full-time, two-year MBA programs are still the most in-demand program type. Overall, MBA and business master’s programs report a similar volume of applications in 2018 compared with last year.

The ability to attract top international talent continues to be a critical determinant to programs’ overall application volumes. For example, in 2018, 65% of Canadian programs and 63% of European programs reported an increase in international applications over 2017.

Participating programs, which include MBA, business master’s, and doctorallevel programs, received a combined total of 466,112 applications during the 2018 application cycle.

GMAC’s Application Trends Survey was produced by collating 1,087 responses from graduate business programs at 363 universities across 44 countries,


Ben Ready
Ben Ready founded MBA News in 2014 and is the Managing Editor. He is a former business and finance journalist with Australian Associated Press (AAP) and Dow Jones Newswires in London. Ben completed his MBA in 2012 and was awarded the QUT GMAA Entrepreneurship Prize. He is also the founder and Managing Director of RGC Media & Mktng (