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MBA Programs

Cambridge Experiences Large Drop in MBA Applications

Cambridge Experiences Large Drop in MBA Applications

Courtesy Judge Business School at Cambridge

Cambridge’s Judge Business School has joined a small, unenviable group of MBA programs that saw applications drop by a double-digit percentage in 2012.

Applications to Judge fell 22 percent to 778, according to the school’s head of MBA admissions, marketing and recruitment Conrad Chua. The decline may have been fueled partly by new U.K. student visa regulations that took effect last year. “The perception of visa difficulties has deterred people who see an MBA simply as a ticket to work in the U.K.,” Chua says.

The visa reforms capped the number of foreign skilled workers that U.K. companies could hire, among other measures. Chua says the regulations are now similar to those in the U.S., in that MBA candidates must accept a job during the term of their student visas in order to stay and work. The new regulation especially hurts Judge because of the fact that in the typical academic year, 96 percent of the school’s full-time MBAs are from outside the U.K.

Despite the drop, Cambridge enrolled a full MBA class of 151 students, up from 149 last year.

In September, at least a dozen schools ranked in Businessweek’s top 30 full-time MBA programs reported application dips. The list included Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business, Columbia Business School, Michigan State University’s Broad Graduate School of Management, and New York University’s Stern School of Business, all of which had double-digit percentage declines (21 percent, 19 percent, 18 percent, and 12 percent, respectively).

Join the discussion on the Bloomberg Businessweek Business School Forum, visit us on Facebook, and follow @BWbschools on Twitter.

Zlomek is a reporter for Bloomberg News in New York.

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