On Campus

Rankings aren't top priority while opting a B-school: GMAC  

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 23, 2018

Students don't consider B-school rankings one of the most important criteria while selecting a school, according to the Graduate Management Admission Council’s (GMAC) 2015 Prospective Students Survey Report.

The survey of nearly 12,000 registrants to GMAC’s mba.com website shows published rankings have influence in candidates’ school consideration but places rankings overall as the third most consulted information resource. For prospective students, school websites, and friends and family are the top two criteria for this information.

When students listed their top five consideration criteria for actually selecting a programme and a study destination, rankings didn’t rank in the survey. For them (students) study destination distinction is important, as more than half of prospective students (52 per cent) seek to study outside their country of citizenship. It is up from 40 per cent in 2010 (and noticeable among Asia-Pacific and middle eastern citizens). The top 10 preferred study destinations worldwide are the US, United Kingdom, Canada, France, India, Hong Kong, Germany, Singapore, Netherlands, and Australia.

“Given the degree to which school rankings dominate the discussion, it is interesting that as their decision making progresses, students themselves say that rankings fall in importance,” said Gregg Schoenfeld, GMAC’s director of Management Education Research in a press statement. “While the survey is geared toward helping schools market to prospective students, applicants can use report insights to inform and strengthen their selection process.”

An interesting finding focuses on aspiring entrepreneurs, with 28 per cent of survey respondents indicating that they plan to start their own businesses compared with 19 per cent just five years ago. Respondents in Africa (45 per cent), Latin America (44 per cent) and Central and South Asia including India (43 per cent) led this segment.

The report also reveals, even as business school portfolios of master’s programmes continue to diversify, MBA programmes are exclusively considered by half (52 per cent) of prospective students, globally.

Segmenting prospective students by career goals reveals three groups - career enhancers (34 per cent of respondents), career switchers (38 per cent), and aspiring entrepreneurs (28 per cent).

Financial issues remain the most prominent reservation among all prospective students; 48 per cent of candidates say attending business school requires more money than they have available and 44 per cent are hesitant about taking on a large financial debt. Both of these figures have declined, however, since 2010.

Published on April 07, 2015

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