Is Asia The Next Big Business Education Market?

Currently Asia is considered to be the new huge source of growth for the world of business education. The economies of the entire region have already moved ahead of prominent western countries. As more and more businesses enter the emerging Asian markets due to globalisation, business education is now being utilised as a helpful tool for development.

International B-Schools Moving To Asia

Now there are increasing number of students from Singapore, India and China who are taking the GMAT. Moreover, the MBA rankings for 2015 showed excellent gains for Hong Kong, Ahmedabad and Shanghai. In the business education sphere, it is increasingly becoming an east meets west scenario. Nowadays the quality of an institution is determined by how well it merges different cultures and MBA programmes are regarded as the new Silk Road. Leila Guerra, Executive Director of Early Career Programmes at London Business School, said “In today’s economy, acceleration to the C-suite requires grounding in eastern and western business practices.”

China is considered as the engine for this change. In the last 20 years, leading western B-schools and universities have introduced joint programmes by teaming with Chinese educators. American and European business schools are now striving to make the most of the Asian market and most of the schools have already established centres in Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai. Julie Dagonet, Associate Director of China strategy at London Business School, said “We want our students to have immersive experiences in China.”

The top ranked B-school in London has collaborated with Fudan University in Shanghai to offer a Global Masters in Management programme in both the UK and China. Julie believes that this will enable learners to get exposure to both cultures and gain better understanding about the global market which will give them an edge during their job interviews.

A Growing Market

Apart from LBS, ESADE Business School in Spain, MIT’s Sloan School of Management and the Fuqua School of Business in the US have also joined the progress into the Asian market. Mainland China is being hyped as the “next big business education market” however it has already become a fact in wider Asia, according to Gloria Batllori, Associate Dean of full-time MBA programme at ESADE. She said “Schools started their journey towards the region a decade ago.”

However INSEAD, the reputed business school from France, has established an exceptional trio of centres in Abu Dubai, Singapore and Europe. It offers an excellent way to an international career, according to the Dean of INSEAD, Professor Ilian Mihov. At present, Singapore is one of the strategic priorities of the B-school. The government of Singapore is striving to develop an environment which attracts organisations to establish their respective Asia-Pacific headquarters in the region. Ilian added “It is a perfect location.”

Need For Facing Challenges

However, the growth of business education in Singapore has become blight for others. Many experts believe that Singapore is a threat of the nearby education markets. Ajit Rangnekar, Dean of Indian School of Business, said “Singapore’s a big problem for all of us.” In order to maintain growth, Asian B-schools need to hire a large number of international educators. However, India seems to face difficulties in recruiting talent. Ajit said “We end up losing a lot of faculty to Singapore… We cannot compete on salary alone.”

Although globally reputed business schools like the esteemed Indian Institutes of Management (IIM) and ISB have experienced rising international profiles, but schools that are down the list are struggling to remain afloat. However, some experts believe that the scenario might change in the near future as Asian markets are growing rapidly and keep expanding in the future.


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