2017 showed a 10 to 20 percent decline in students taking up MBA programmes in Singapore, a trend that has begun to reverse in part due to interest in MBA programmes from students from Vietnam, India, and China.
This year’s enrollment of 3,531 students shows an uptick of 0.71 percent from last from last year’s 3,506 intakes.
More MBA programmes have opened as well, including those that concentrate on human resource and supply chain management stemming from the partnership between the University of Sunderland and the Management Development Institute of Singapore.
The number of local students enrolling in MBA programmes has remained low.
Singapore Business Review has ranked INSEAD as the top MBA program in the country. There were 1,039 students who enrolled in INSEAD’s 10-month fast-track program this year. Next in rank is the National University of Singapore, with 685 students enrolled the different MBA programmes of NUS, the majority of whom choose NUS MBA and NUS Executive MBA tracks. Number 3 in rank is S P Jain School of Global Management with 256 students, with about half of the students studying the Master of Global Business degree, number 4 is Nanyang Technological University’s business school with 235 MBA enrollees; and rounding out the top 5 is the Management Development Institute of Singapore with 232 MBA students.
The head of school at MDIS Business School, Ignatius Teo, says, “More people are looking at upgrading their educational standing in recent years as a bachelor’s degree becomes basic these days,” since many professionals believe that getting higher education degrees is helpful in boosting their careers.
The Southeast Asia regional head of Amity Global Institute, Prateek Nayak, says, “In 2017, the MBA market has shown a decline in the number of students applying for the courses. We have witnessed the MBA graduates that come from the local market is reduced. However, it may have factors affecting that decrease.
The positive part is the international market like Vietnam, India, China, etc. increased the interest in studying in Singapore, but still, the local market is showing interest as learning is never-ending.”
The new MBA programmes, as well as expansions from business schools, have given rise to fierce competition for students. PSB Academy’s vice president for strategy and communications, Brian San said, “It has been a dynamic and fast-moving year in the Singapore MBA landscape. We have seen a number of new launches, which is great news for students who can now enjoy a wide array of world-leading programmes directly in Singapore.”
Another trend in MBA programmes and other higher education tracks is a concentration on technology and innovation, data, and skills specialisation, in response to the needs of the job market of today. Nayak said, “Technological innovation is the most critical part of the present era with recent examples of Big Data and Data Analysis, which is increasingly being demanded in the market by employers.” One example of this is the Master of Science in Data Science for Business, in collaboration with the University of Stirling in the UK.