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Why are so many Indian students choosing UK Management Master’s and MBA Programs?

Updated on: 04 March,2024 04:23 PM IST  |  MUMBAI
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The UK's academic reputation and multicultural environment are a winning combination.

Why are so many Indian students choosing UK Management Master’s and MBA Programs?

David Oglethorpe, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Cranfield School of Management at Cranfield University, UK

 In recent years, there has been a remarkable upswing in the number of Indian students choosing the United Kingdom for their management studies. The latest report on student enrolment numbers from the UK’s Chartered Association of Business Schools revealed that students from India make up 37% of international students taking up postgraduate studies in Business and Management in the UK. That’s over 48,000 students and adding in undergraduate numbers, it places India above China as the country with the most international students enrolled in Business and Management in the UK.

This surge is not just a mere statistical trend but a testament to the UK's unparalleled advantages in terms of education, diverse courses, and a global perspective. 

David Oglethorpe, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Cranfield School of Management at Cranfield University, UK, sheds light on the phenomenon, stating, “The large number of Indian students choosing management studies in the UK reflects the outstanding business education and career opportunities our universities provide. The global acclaim for the United Kingdom's academic excellence, characterised by quality and innovation, is pivotal in shaping decision-making. The commitment to a comprehensive and enriching learning experience demonstrated through world-class education and a diverse array of courses underscores the country's dedication to fostering students' academic journey. At Cranfield University we welcome over 800 talented students from India each year, who bring with them incredible dedication and drive.”

Moreover, the decision to pursue management studies in the UK is not arbitrary; it's a carefully considered move. The UK's academic reputation and multicultural environment are a winning combination. Jasminder Khanna, Co-Founder of Gresham Global, also weighs in, emphasising the strategic choices that Indian students are making, stating, “In recent years, the United Kingdom has emerged as a magnet for Indian students pursuing management studies. This surge can be attributed to several factors contributing to the country's appeal, making it the preferred choice for many ambitious management students seeking excellence in MBA and MSc programs.”

  • World-Renowned Universities and High-Quality Education:The foundation of the trend lies in the reputation of UK universities for providing high-quality education. Students from India are increasingly drawn to institutions with global acclaim, such as Cranfield School of Management which was placed 6th in the world in the Financial Times Teaching Power rankings, number 1 in the UK for Learning in the Bloomberg Best Business Schools ranking, and 8th in the UK by the latest Financial Times European Business School rankings. According to David Oglethorpe, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Cranfield School of Management, "The UK's commitment to delivering top-notch education plays a pivotal role in attracting students globally. Institutions like Cranfield take pride in offering programs that meet very high academic standards and prepare students for real-world challenges. Remaining close to business is critical for us in understanding the needs and challenges which our graduates will deliver against throughout their successful careers".
  • Diverse Range of Specialized Management Courses:The UK stands out for its diverse range of specialised management courses, offering students the flexibility to tailor their education to match their career aspirations. The variety of courses available in the UK is a key factor. Students can choose from various specialisations, ensuring they receive a well-rounded education that aligns with their career goals, such as entrepreneurship or corporate pathways within Business Management courses.
  • Opportunities for Practical Exposure:One distinguishing feature is the emphasis on practical exposure. Postgraduate management studies in the UK go beyond theoretical learning, providing students with hands-on experiences that prepare them for the dynamic business landscape. The integration of practical experiences into the curriculum is crucial. It equips students with the skills and insights to thrive in real-world managerial roles.
  • Favourable Post-Study Work Options:The allure of the UK for Indian students is further heightened by favourable post-study work options. The prospect of gaining practical experience in the UK after completing their studies is a significant factor in the decision-making process. At present, international students studying in the UK on a graduate visa can work in the country for at least two years after completing a course of study. This post-study work opportunity enhances employability and broadens career prospects for Indian graduates 
  • International Recognition Enhancing Marketability:The international recognition of UK qualifications enhances the marketability of graduates in the global job market. This recognition becomes a valuable asset for Indian students aiming for a successful career in management on both national and international levels.

Study at UK business schools proves to be an investment worth making; at Cranfield School of Management in particular the return on investment is evidenced as its MBA lies in the top 10 in Europe and in the global top 20 for value for money in the Financial Times rankings. And the outcomes underline this, with those studying at UK institutions securing career progression – Cranfield itself is placed 8th in the UK for employability.

The surge in Indian students pursuing management studies in the UK is a testament to the holistic educational experience offered by UK universities. As the business landscape evolves, the UK remains at the forefront of preparing the next generation of global leaders, with Indian students embracing the opportunities and challenges that come with it.

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