The 20 Biggest Online MBA Providers in Australia

The Australian Institute of Business (AIB) has retained its title as the largest provider of online MBA progams in Australia with nearly 2,300 enrolled students in 2022.

New data sourced from the Australian Government’s Department of Education shows there were 14,198 students enrolled in online/external MBA programs across 56 different universities and providers in 2022.

AIB’s total enrolment for 2022 of 2,287 was down only slightly on the 2,358 enrolments in 2021. Second placed Torrens University MBA had 1,641 students (2021: 1,225) while third placed Kaplan Business School reported 1,558 students, down from 1.754 in 2021. Deakin University and AGSM @ UNSW rounded out the top five.

The total number of online MBA enrolments across both international and domestic students was nearly 8% up on 2021 when there were 13,444 enrolments. It is a very different story for internal MBA enrolments with the number of students falling 6% from 2021 to 2022 after falling more than 40% from 2020 to 2021.

Australian Institute of Business CEO Warren Hebard

AIB CEO Warren Hebard said: “As the demands of busy professionals have grown, so too has the demand for highly flexible online MBA programs. And contrary to popular belief, this shift began long before the pandemic hit.

“At AIB, we’ve always championed an online-first approach to MBA learning, tailored to meet the unique needs of busy professionals navigating demanding schedules. Our curriculum is designed for optimal online delivery, ensuring students receive practical, supportive, and meaningful education without it disrupting their careers.

“In a market where Australian students have plenty of options, this outstanding result for AIB highlights that the demand for flexible online MBA programs is here to stay.”

The total number of MBA enrolments in Australia (including domestic and international and online, in-class and hybrid) fell 1.7% in 2022 compared to 2021. This is followed an 11.6% decline in enrolments in 2021 after the Covid-inspired explosion of students numbers in 2020.

The increased demand for online programs is in line with international trends with more students demanding flexible, online programs that suit their lifestyle and learning preferences.

According to a report from the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) applications to MBA and other graduate business school programs around the world declined by about five per cent in 2023 with students continuing to bypass full-time-, in-person programs for more flexible offerings.

While the report  the shows a decline in applications overall, the decline was not felt evenly, with many programs reporting growth.

In 2023, the absolute total of MBA applications declined five percent. While this is the second year in a row that total MBA applications declined after a small bump in 2021, the dip is slightly less than what MBA programs experienced last year.

Delivery type appears to be a big factor in which MBA programs were most likely to report application growth.

Sixty percent or more of MBA programs offering online, hybrid, weekend, and evening delivery modes reported growth in their program’s applications . This compares to just 41 percent of full-time, in-person MBA programs that reported application growth.

“While the global total of MBA applications has dropped somewhat, more flexible MBA programs appear to be faring better than traditional full-time MBAs,” the report said.

“Likewise, mid-sized MBA programs are more likely to have seen growth in applications than larger or smaller programs. Like all GME programs, MBA programs at business schools ranked 1-100 by the Financial Times or U.S. News & World Report were less likely to report program growth than lower-ranked and unranked programs.

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 (