The number of students opting for part-time MBA courses in the UK has grown significantly as business schools look to adapt their courses to suit the faltering economy, according to new research by the Association of MBAs.

Part-time enrolments in the UK grew by 16% year-on-year according to the report. The rise in demand was matched by a significant growth in the number of part-time courses offered by institutions.

However, the AMBA report also showed a sharp drop in the number of applicants to full-time courses, with only 2,000 enrolments in 2010 – the lowest figure since 2008.

AMBA chief executive Sharon Bamford blamed the continuing recession and the negative press around student visas in the UK for the overall decline in applications, saying there had been a “huge amount” of poor press in India over the past year about UK visas.
The UK government’s decision to remove the right to stay and work in the UK for two years after graduation had also hit recruitment, according to the report.

“Approximately 90% of the students on a full-time MBA in the UK are international, so it is understandable that factors such as the UK economy, immigration and the growth in high quality MBA education in their own countries are starting to have an impact on enrolments to full-time MBAs in the UK,” she added.

The report also suggested that MBA applicants were increasingly opting for flexible and distance learning courses as they were wary of taking a year off work during an economic downturn.

The Intake and Graduation report took data from the 41 AMBA accredited schools in the UK.

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