The British pound has fallen to an all-time low. With inflation on the rise, the strength of the U.S. dollar may provide American students with the opportunity to get their MBA for a fraction of the cost — in the UK.
So says Chris Healy, head of MBA marketing and recruitment at Alliance Manchester Business School. And his view is backed by data: According to a new survey by UK-based consultant CarringtonCrisp of more than 3,000 B-school students from over 20 countries, 40% selected the UK ahead of the U.S. (35%), European Union (26%), Canada and India (both 19%).
“The cost of business education in the U.S. — and North America as a whole — is very high,” Healy says. “Most Americans have a local MBA that might not even be ranked in the top 100 MBA programs, yet it will be double the price of an MBA in the UK.”
SEIZING THE MOMENT
Alliance and other UK schools are trying to use this moment in history to their advantage by recruiting more American students. Healy says that 12% of Alliance Manchester’s Global MBA that began classes in July 2022 came from North America.
“We’d like to see that number continue to rise in 2023,” he says.
Poets&Quants spoke with two students from the U.S. who opted for the UK MBA instead of an American one. While cost inevitably weighed into their decision to study outside of their home country, so did the desire for a flexible delivery and a diverse classroom experience.
THE DESIRE FOR FLEXIBILITY: ‘GOING BACK TO SCHOOL IN-PERSON WOULD BE IMPOSSIBLE’
Rakesh Kumar Dhasani-Bhaktavatsalam always wanted to do an MBA.
He lives in Buffalo City, New York, and works as a technology director helping banking and financial clients in the tech space with digital transformation, machine learning and artificial intelligence. Aspiring to climb the corporate ladder, he began researching different programs in 2021.
The main thing he wanted out of his degree was a flexible, online delivery, a diverse classroom, and an affordable cost. In April 2022, he started his online MBA at Durham University Business School in Durham, England. “As a busy professional, I have to manage my job and my family,” he says. “Going back to school in-person would be impossible for me.”
Online MBA delivery means that Dhasani-Bhaktavatsalam can study “whenever it’s convenient,” while still getting the same quality of education as an in-person MBA. “It’s the same syllabus,” he says.
MAKING THE MOST OUT OF TUITION
Aside from flexibility, Dhasani-Bhaktavatsalam wanted a program that would make the most out of his money. “I’d spend a minimum of $70,000 for an MBA in the U.S.,” he says.
At Durham, his MBA cost him £30,000, which equates to just under $35,000 USD.
Michael Anthonisz, Durham University Business School’s MBA program director, says the school’s seen an increase in North American students over the last year. However, since the biggest shift in currency has been as of late, he predicts there will be a rise in US enrolment in the coming months. “Cost is such a big factor in students’ decision-making,” says Anthonisz. “I’d be surprised if the number of American students didn’t increase.”