[photopress:chinese_students.jpg,full,alignright]The number of applicants to post-graduate business programs across the country is on the decline. Many MBA graduates complain of difficulty finding jobs, of an ill-defined future and of having to accept lower salaries than they expected.
Of the 945,000 people who have applied to enter a post-graduate course in China so far this year, only 27,721 sat the MBA entrance exam held last month, a 20 percent drop from the same period in 2003. According to the Ministry of Education this is the second consecutive year the number of applicants has declined.
Lu Xiongwen, associate dean of Fudan University’s School of Management, said, ‘A drop in the number of applicants is a natural phenomenon during the evolution of China’s MBA programs.’ The number of applicants to Fudan’s MBA program is down 18 percent from last year.
Business professors say students are becoming more skeptical of the value of an MBA. Lu Xiongwen said, ‘Unlike the MBA rush in previous years, students now carefully consider before applying to join an MBA program.’
He said many potential students have turned to other post-graduate programs launched over the last few years. For instance, many government officials are taking a Masters of Public Administration course while financial managers are studying to become Certified Public Accountants.
Despite the drop in applications, the number of MBA programs offered on China’s mainland is on the rise. WHich, of course, may be part of the reason. There are now 89 MBA courses on the mainland, up from just nine in 1991.
Gerald Fryxell, MBA director at the Shanghai-based China Europe International Business School, said, ‘Competition has emerged here as more choices are available. The market is due to experiencing segmentation process and shake out dubious programs.’
Ceibs’ MBA program was named the best in Asia by the Financial Times last year.
A survey by Chinahr.com, one of the largest headhunters in China, indicated that the annual income of an MBA graduate has dropped from RMB82,760 in 2001 to RMB78,839 in 2002. The survey noted that graduates of less-prestigious MBA programs earn RMB3,000 to RMB5,000 RMB a month, about the same as regular university graduates.
Source : Shanghai Daily