International students rethinking US business school plans

Global Business

International students rethinking US business school plans

The Graduate Management Admission Council found that after the 2016 presidential election, non-U.S. citizens were 35 percent less likely to pursue a graduate business degree in the U.S. By April of this year, that increased to 43 percent.

“We are in constant contact with admissions professionals in business schools. It’s fair to say there is concern amongst the admission and administrative community in business schools in the United States. And I would say that actually goes beyond business schools to the higher education system overall,” Sangeet Chowfla, the CEO of Graduate Management Admission Council said.

CGTN’s Mark Niu reports.

Chen Wenyu, a Berkeley finance graduate student said Chinese students are uneasy about the current political climate being less welcoming.

Stanford MBA student Diego Salas, who is from Mexico, said some students are concerned about a change in U.S. work visa policies.

“I think there’s a decline in interest in U.S.-based programs, because of the political climate that has narrowed down a little bit our job prospects,” said Salas.

The survey doesn’t necessarily mean that concerned international students will actually follow through with a decision not to study in the U.S. But GMAC has found that two-thirds of U.S. MBA programs are reporting year-on-year declines in international applications.

Since international students typically pay full tuition, as opposed to getting scholarships, that could hurt business school bottom lines.

GMAC believes prestigious MBA programs, like Stanford’s, are less likely to be affected, because the global demand is so great.

But Yossi Feinberg, who oversees Stanford’s MBA program, is concerned that negative perceptions could alter the classroom makeup.

“It’s not only having the student from China be in Silicon Valley and be a part of the education experience here, it’s having the student from the U.S., the student from Europe, the student from Africa be with that student from China. That’s where the magic happens. That’s where the global perspective comes in,” Feinberg said.

“Many of these students come to the United States and bring new and innovative ideas. And a lot of the innovative drive from our economy come from students who first landed on U.S shores through the higher education route,” GMAC’s Chowfla said.

So if foreign business students don’t enroll here, where are going? Over the past year, the GMAC survey shows nearly three-quarters of Asia-Pacific MBA programs reported an increase in applications.

Goldie Blumenstyk discusses the state of graduate schools in the US

For a closer look at the state of college education in the U.S., Rachelle Akuffo spoke with Goldie Blumenstyk with the Chronicle of Higher Education.