Why are MBAs in Australia attracting so many students?
Published on May 18, 2015
High standards, excellent employment prospects, and links with South-east Asia have made Australia’s business schools a hit with MBA students, according to Paul Clarke managing director of student website and online forum Business Because.
“Content views for Melbourne Business School (MBS) and the Australian Graduate School of Management (AGSM) doubled in the past year, and interest in both is higher than many of our UK and European partner schools.”
On sabbatical from Deloitte in London, chartered accountant Mark McKenna, 30, has just completed a one-year full-time MBA at MBS. “I wanted to experience life and work in a different culture,” says McKenna.
MBS’s “business in Asia” module, in which teams of students work on live consultancy projects for companies based in China, was a major attraction. “I spent two weeks at the Beijing office of a leading US mining software company working on a review of their marketing and operational challenges in China,” McKenna adds.
Applications to the University of Queensland (UQ) Business School have risen by 400% in the past three years. “The Queensland government has made a large investment in biotechnology, which has led to a big demand for MBAs among engineers and IT experts,” says UQ dean Professor Andrew Griffiths.
Australian business schools have strong links to the growth markets of South-east Asia and beyond. The University of Sydney Business School, for example, works with Jiao Tong University to help Chinese businesses break into Australia. “Our students need to understand Chinese business in order to provide them with good advice,” says associate dean of management education, Prof Richard Hall.
Visa rules for Australian MBAs are more relaxed than their British counterparts. For some Brits, the prospects are so rosy in Australia they are choosing part-time or extended study in order to qualify for a work visa.
Londoner Matt Barnett relocated to Sydney where he has launched an online market research company, Verbate. His client list is booming thanks to the network of contacts he built as a student at AGSM. “Being an MBA student is a golden ticket that opens doors to all of the multinational companies based here,” says Barnett.