Hello from GMAC: Progress and Innovation in the GME Global Market

Nalisha Patel, Regional Director of Europe

Hello from London and the base of our European team!

Nalisha Patel, Regional Director of Europe As the Regional Director for Europe, I lead the team and support our European members in understanding the market, attracting talent, and reaching new and diverse candidates who need support along their business school and career journey - through advocacy, professional development, and opportunities to connect and engage with others in the industry.  

 It’s been a busy year, and I can’t quite believe we are only weeks away from Christmas, but here we are! I have really enjoyed meeting many members in person across the world as we have thankfully been able to get back to travel. A truly fascinating time as we ‘go back’ while also moving very quickly forward. 

Like the rest of the world, Europe has had its fair share of challenges – a devastating war, economic and political change and uncertainty, a post-Brexit and pandemic adjustment, and, of course, for our sector, working out what the future of GME looks like. 

Against this backdrop, though, it’s been fantastic to see such positive progress and innovation happening across our industry as we seek to ensure relevance and development. In our European schools, we have seen a rise in programmes and courses on sustainability, responsible management, ethical leadership, and equality – which reflect consumer and global needs.   

The growth (globally) of applications to Business Masters programmes, as outlined in our 'App Trends Survey report 2022', was interesting to observe for numerous reasons. For the first time in a while, it wasn’t just because of Europe (where there was an increase in MBA applications), and this indicates more balance and competition among programmes globally. I think this also nods to the increasingly blurred lines (especially for the p rospective student) between programme types. With so many different types of formats, lengths, specialisms, and curriculums – there is more choice, and people want to understandably seek what is best for them at a particular stage in their life. This provides an excellent opportunity for our whole sector to test and adapt different ways to attract and guide students.   

It is also key when thinking about engaging talent from diverse pools. This has been a focus area for my team this year, and we have invested time and effort on partnerships and initiatives that will help us reach talent who may not have considered GME before. In this regard, we also launched a ‘GMAC Talent and Opportunity Scholarship’ programme, which addresses some of the challenges in the journey to GME (prep, consulting, testing, finances) and is open to anyone identifying themselves as being from an underrepresented group. We got an overwhelmingly positive response – and awarded some fantastic and high-potential individuals that you can meet here.  

One of the highlights of the year was the ‘The Future of GME: As Envisioned by European Deans’ report that brought insights from 19 top Deans who discussed with us their predictions and priorities for the coming times. While there were some differing views on execution and angles, 5 themes were overwhelmingly clear- Technology & Digitalization, Social & Responsible, Content, Learning Journeys, and Relevance. How business schools and the sector as a whole approach, use and execute them is more important than ever – and it was a hopeful piece of work.  

Some other positive progress is in female representation in GME, also from, our App trends survey 2022 this month shows there is a movement toward parity in female GME applications in Europe, going from 40% in 2021 to 45% this year. This is amazing to see, as it has been another of our focus areas. Being on the road and meeting you in person is always an exciting part of our roles, and this month, we have the European Conference in Barcelona (kindly hosted by IESE), and due to unprecedented demand, we have maxed out the tickets! We have some great content lined up and are looking forward to seeing many of you there.   
I also hope to see some of you at the various upcoming conferences and events across the globe in Q1 of next year too. Wishing you all a really positive end to the year and (while early) a peaceful break, whatever that looks like for you. As always, feel free to reach out to the team or me to discuss ideas and thoughts and connect.