The latest Business of Branding study by CarringtonCrisp, in association with EFMD, found that the UK was the most sought after business education destination, followed by the US.
Some 35% of respondents indicated the US as their most preferred study destination, with 26% opting for the EU, and Canada and India, which both hit 19%.
“The UK has always been a popular destination, but recent factors lead to its number one position,” Andrew Crisp, author of the study, said.
“The return of the two-year post-study work visa, the UK’s prominent Covid vaccination program, and its strong range of business schools have all contributed to its positive perception globally.”
This week also saw the release of a survey suggesting that Australia is “bouncing back” in perception among the wider international student population.
Australia and New Zealand were the top destinations for 17% of the 3,000 respondents in the CarringtonCrisp survey.
The report focusing on business students also found that India is growing in popularity as a business study destination.
“India and China are the two major business education players in Asia. However, China’s pursuit of a zero Covid infection strategy is making international student mobility very difficult. India is a viable alternative and is benefitting as a result,” Crisp added.
The research also identified the “most valuable” aspects business schools are perceived as offering students.
Some 30% of respondents said international study opportunities were most valuable, followed by business start up/small business accelerator programs (29%), working on live consulting projects with businesses (26%) and tackling society’s grand challenges such as climate change and poverty (22%).
There is also “strong demand” for business schools to offer opportunities to help wider society to tackle global issues such as climate change, as well as more local charitable and voluntary causes, Crisp said.
Rather than accounting, finance, management and leadership, prospective student will want digital, sustainable and imaginative business schools that “allow them to think differently, to challenge orthodoxy and create new approaches to business”, the report noted.
“Students want and expect business schools to be able to make a difference,” Crisp commented.
“Our study shows that students are judging business schools on a diverse range of aspects including career support, social responsibility, and academic quality to name a few.
“Students do not view schools simply as places of study – this is both a complex challenge and a wonderful opportunity for business schools to adapt to.”