Covid-19 Pandemic – Impact on management studies

Kishore Sharma
Mentor- Taxila Business School, Jaipur

There are fairly well-defined reasons why Indian students may find it difficult to get the MBA College of their choice… and one of these could be the extra enrolment pressure on Indian Business Schools.Those who apply for an MBA overseas either take the GMAT or the GRE. The number of Indian GMAT test takers, on an average as per GMAC (Graduate Management Admission Council) is around 30,000, out of which close to 80% apply to international programs.GMAT testing is on hold in India which means that till June 2020 there will not be any GMAT test conducted in India.Approximately 3.0 lakhs students appear for entrance tests like CAT, XAT, CMAT, MAT and ATMA to get into top 50 Business Schools. These statistics are enough to make the overall picture crystal clear for sort on impact that this pandemic has had on management studies.

Good News for Indian Business Schools:

As per AICTE as on March 25, 2020, there are a total of 407 Business Schools offering PGDM course pan-India and having approximately one lakh seats. If we talk about the top 50 Business Schools in India, the total seats could be close to 15,000, keeping in mind an average of 300 seats per B-school.

The additional 24000 students who were expected to move overseas will stay back home and may apply to these business schools thereby making admission competitive for those who intended to pursue MBA from India.

Surveys done by one major US-based agency has found how potential international students are dealing with their admission plans during the pandemic, and the uncertainty that it has on international student enrolment. One respondent states: “I got selected into an MBA program in Hong Kong. However, I dropped the idea of joining there due to a few factors, one of them being the proximity to the coronavirus outbreak epicentre, and now I don’t want to waste one year so I have decided to stay on and study in India.”

Are you in a dilemma about whether to pursue an MBA degree from India or abroad? If so, then it’s worth figuring out the pros and cons involved in each case so that you’re in a position to make an informed decision.

Coronavirus, or COVID-19, has caused a devastating ripple effect and a significant amount of disruptions to industries worldwide. To understand the impact on the higher education sector and its student mobility flows, Taxila asked prospective international students whether the coronavirus episode had impacted their plans to study abroad.

As of March 25, the results reveal that an 81% of respondents said the global health crisis had affected their plans to study abroad, while 19% said it had not.  Of those respondents whose plans had been impacted by the pandemic, 73% said they now intend to do their MBA locally in India.Additionally, 16% said they now intend to study in a different country and only a minority of 11% said they may wait till next year.Understandably then, many respondents cited health concerns as the key reason why they decided to amend their study plans.Another prospective student believes that the virus has already impacted many students: “Coronavirus has affected so many people, either directly or indirectly, because so many of us were planning to go to Europe or China for our studies, but the outbreak of this disease has scared people away and now we wish to continue higher studies locally.”

With such a large proportion of students deciding to defer until the health crisis has dissipated, universities abroad will have tough time attracting international students.

The COVID-19 pandemic phase will indirectly benefit Indian B-schools with better talent taking admission at home schools vis-à-vis the students who have planned to pursue their MBA from international business schools. As a consequence, admission to their choice of B-school within the country will also have a tough competition. The advice to such students is they should book their seats before the pressure of non-migrating students are felt by the B-schools in India.



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