Indian Interest in US Business Schools Continues to Drop

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The number of international MBA applicants, and applicants from India in particular, have been declining for some time. That is old news that shouldn’t surprise anyone. But the trend is continuing and some are worried it could be a predictor the US is starting to lose the international competition to attract the best global talent. In 2014, 54% of Indian applicants applied to US business schools. Five years later in 2018, it had dropped to 39%. The GMAC’s ‘Early Warning Signals: Winners and Losers in the Global Race for Talent’ report revealed the percent of Indian applicants who submitted GMAT scores to US business schools dropped from 57% in 2014 to 45% in 2018.

The report explains, “Following the expiration in 2004 of the 195,000 cap, the number of H-1B visas now annually available has dipped to an adjusted cap of 85,000. Issued on a first-come, first-served basis, every year the demand for H-1B visas outweighs the supply. For instance, in 2019, 190,098 H-1B petitions were filed for 85,000 visas. For Indian students, the ability to work and potentially settle for the long term in the US is a primary reason for applying to the country’s business schools. Two-thirds agree that not being able to obtain a job in the US after graduation would prevent them from pursuing business school there.”

The countries with business schools that are experiencing increases in Indian applicants include Singapore, Canada, the UK, Germany and France.