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What Is The Future For Graduate Management Education? We Ask GMAC’s CEO & Chairman

BusinessBecause sits down with Sangeet Chowfla, GMAC CEO, and Bill Boulding, new GMAC chair and dean of Duke Fuqua, to discuss the hard-hitting trends shaping business education

Tue Jun 26 2018

BusinessBecause

Sitting down with Sangeet Chowfla, Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) CEO, and Bill Boulding, the dean of Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and, as of July 1st, new chairperson of the GMAC board, the pressure on business schools to adapt to a new era becomes clear.

In the quaint interior of the Zetter Townhouse in Clerkenwell, London, we meet for a fireside chat about the latest developments in business education. It’s a muggy June morning in London. The fire is off, thankfully, but its presence stokes relaxation; an opportunity to talk honestly about the challenges ahead.

Sangeet arrives first, dressed in a black suit jacket, open collared: business. Bill is delayed, but what’s a commute in London without the odd transport interference?

He arrives bespectacled and softly spoken, exuding the charm of an old-school professor modernized for the 21st century.

The two bounce off one another seamlessly, confident that their mission statement is joined at the hip. We speak about the latest business education trends—a geographic shift in demand, for example; why unlocking global human potential is intrinsic to economic vitality; and why they believe business is a force for good.


Market Shifts

Sangeet starts with a stat. He tells me that at any given point there are six million people considering business education around the world—an astounding figure.

Thus, the business schools that serve those six million potential candidates have a responsibility to provide the knowledge, infrastructure, and harmony for candidates to meet their goals come graduation.

The global pool of potential candidates now has a wealth of options to choose from, but that wasn’t always the case. We’re now entering the third phase of business education, and supply and demand reach far beyond the roots of graduate management education (GME).

“Over the years, the world of management education has transformed hugely,” Sangeet says.

The “first phase” was primarily a product of western business schools for western audiences; in the post-war era, Sangeet says, the US had 70% of the world’s invested capital and two-thirds of the world’s GDP.

Phase two came when demand became more global—the US remained the prime location and so there was an influx of candidates travelling from the East to the West to assimilate the high-quality supply of business schools there.

Phase three has proven that graduate management education is a “global phenomenon,” Sangeet says. The shift since the turn of the century has displaced the US as the sole guarantor of business education.

In the Financial Times’ Global MBA Ranking 2000, 45-out-of-74 schools were based in the US, with only one from Asia—Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST).

In the most recent ranking—in 2018—50-out-of-101 schools were based in the US, but there were 10 Asian based schools—seven in China and three in Singapore.

“Now, the US has less than one-quarter of the world’s GDP and less than one-fifth of global invested capital,” explains Sangeet. “Everybody else has caught up, and students now have a choice.”

The MBA is the focal point around which business education orbits. The rise of the one-year MBA has added to woes in America as the two-year programs there are being shunned for shorter degrees overseas.

Sangeet admits to being asked whether the MBA in the US is dead. His response? “The demise of the MBA is exaggerated. It’s not dead, it’s just relocated to Asia.”

In the completed admissions year of 2017, only 38% of Full-Time MBA programs in the US indicated a growth in applications—that’s in contrast to more than seven-in-10 programs in Canada, the UK, and Europe, and eight-in-10 programs in Asia reporting growth. On an aggregate basis, there has been a global increase of 6% in the number of applications to MBA programs.


READ: 4 In 5 Companies Will Hire MBA Graduates In 2018, Says Latest GMAC Report

gmac-corporate-recruiters


US Against Them

Politics is pertinent to the business school admissions space—a drop in external applications to the US has coincided with anti-immigration rhetoric and the ‘America First’ policies of the Trump administration since he took office in January 2017.

The latest GMAC Corporate Recruiters Survey (above) also revealed that over half of the respondent companies in the US do not plan to hire international graduates in 2018—only one-quarter said they are committed to international hires.

The current climate is a big issue, says Bill. “When the deans of US business schools gather we feel the number one threat to our vitality is the current issue around students coming from outside the US.

Student Reviews

Duke University Fuqua School of Business

Student

Verified

31/10/2023

On Campus

Supportive atmosphere

The professors at Duke university exhibit exceptional commitment to the success and well-being of their students by ensuring their academic growth and fostering a supportive social atmosphere. Moreover, the entire community is recognized for its amicability and inclusiveness.

Maxwell

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30/03/2023

On Campus

Diversity

The people or the students are without a doubt Duke's greatest asset. While all students are driven to succeed, they are also enthusiastic about a variety of hobbies. You run across a huge lot of diversity. It is the ideal example of a school with well-rounded students and the ideal balance of campus life in a metropolis.

Anabelle

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27/02/2023

On Campus

Happy to school

All I could ever hope for is Duke University. That really epitomizes the "work hard, play hard" philosophy that elite colleges frequently pursue. Even though you'll have a lot of schooling to complete over the week, it's simple to keep focused because all of your friends are putting in similar amounts of effort. Many events taking place on and around campus on the weekends provide a great way to unwind. The combination of demanding academics and traditional college fun strikes the perfect balance.

Monica

Verified

27/02/2023

On Campus

Good schooling

Living, eating, learning, and developing who you want to be as an adult are all fantastic at Duke. I participated in student athletics, and I couldn't have asked for a better interaction with the faculty and other students. I appreciate all of the help I get from the Duke community more than anything. Furthermore, the teachers take the time to get to know you, and the lectures are diverse and demanding (if you do the same). I'd give it a 10 out of 10.

Aline

Verified

26/11/2022

On Campus

Beautiful School, Nice Classes

DU remains one the greatest and best universities that I have ever stepped in. The school is beautiful and neat. The classes are spacious and also very nice. I enjoyed attending my Lectures in those lecture halls. I also loved the Lecturers because of the good work they did. The university also has very good dorms that are given to students on first come first serve basis and they are affordable

Student

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29/06/2022

Blended

Amazing experience

I received my B.S. in Biology and B.A. in Global Health with a minor in Chemistry from Duke University. I was able to grow as a student, scientist, and global health advocate with the help of my friends, professors, and other mentors I met along the way. A lot to learn if you look and ask, a great place to learn for those who want to learn.

Student

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29/06/2022

Blended

whirlwind of growth and change

An amazing 2 years, with covid and everything else happening Duke has been a place of growth for me. The courses , classes were one of a kind, online and on campus. But the valuable lessons learned in the classes are irreplicable. The students are amazing here, so much diversity , I had no problem fitting in. The teachers are down right brilliant and so helpful. Don't be afraid to ask them anything. Graduated with my MBA with Duke and now my future awaits.

Student

Verified

29/06/2022

On Campus

One of the best for Business students

Graduated with an MBA. The classes were very insightful and engaging. The staff are very easy to deal with. The teachers and students, are truly amazing people. Grateful to all the people I've met along the way at Duke. I've learnt a great deal that will help me in my future endeavors. The campus itself is a marvel, it is beautiful.

Student

Verified

16/06/2022

On Campus

The university campus is awesome

I graduated with a masters degree in Religious Studies from Duke University. One thing I really liked about the university is its huge campus. It is spread in a large area with a lot of greenery and also have the facilities of reading rooms for single person also. My department building was very well taken care of. The library is immensely populated with books for all your needs. The faculty is very nice to students. The classes are equipped with latest technology to cater the needs of students. The University also provides room rentals for international students. They are very well maintained and priority is given to the International students for a comfortable stay there. There are weekly events conducted by the University as well as Student clubs for the entertainment of students. Anybody can take part in them and show their talents. I enjoyed my degree and I graduated in 2021 and was very happy that I had graduated from a reputed University.

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