Graduate Management News

February 2017

The Newsletter of the Graduate Management Admission Council

GMAC Survey Results Indicate that Brexit/US Election Could Impact B-School Study Destination

Key findings offer insight into the impact of the Brexit vote and the 2016 US presidential election on decisions to study either in the UK or the US.

Brexit Survey

On December 6, 2016, the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) sent invitations to a sample of 9,845 non-UK GMAT® test takers who sent at least one GMAT score to a program in the United Kingdom in 2016. The survey closed on December 15 with 1,291 individuals responding.

Early indications appear that the Brexit vote may negatively impact international candidates seeking their graduate management education in the United Kingdom. When asked how the British exit (BREXIT) vote influenced their decision to study in the United Kingdom, 45 percent of survey respondents indicated that the Brexit vote made them less likely to study in the UK. A country-level analysis indicates that Indian candidates have been most negatively influenced by the Brexit vote with 58 percent indicating that it has made them less likely to study in the UK, followed by the UAE (50% less likely) and other European countries (Germany 49%, Italy 47%, and France 46% less likely).

The Council conducted a similar survey in late 2016 among non-US citizens who were registered on mba.com, the registration site for the GMAT exam. Between November 9, 2016 and December 31, 2016, registrants were asked how the outcome of the US presidential election might influence their decision to pursue a graduate business degree in the United States. Early indications appear that the US election vote may negatively impact international candidates seeking their graduate management education in the United States. Thirty-seven percent of the 760 individuals who responded to the survey indicated that the US election vote has made them less likely to study in the United States.

Prospects with higher (self-reported) GMAT scores tend to be more negatively affected by the US election vote. Fifty-one percent of respondents with scores 700 or higher indicated that the vote has made them less likely to study in the United States versus 35 percent for those scoring 600 to 690 and 27 percent for those scoring 500 to 590.

Note that actual application behaviors may play out differently than indicated by these survey results. GMAC will continue to track the issues via our annual Application Trends and Prospective Students surveys, as well as with additional data pulses throughout 2017.

Learn more about the GMAC Brexit/US Election survey results here.