As the wake of the recent presidential election begins to settle, among the first effects has been a possible trajectory change where international students pursue an MBA.
The Financial Times recently followed the story of Amrita Dwivedi, a marketing executive from New Delhi who has worked with Google and Deloitte. Prior to last Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016, Dwivedi was considered several standout U.S. business schools. After the results, however, they’re rescinding those suggestions, instead opting to focus on the London Business School and Insead to pursue their MBA.
“I want to be able to work in the country where I study after graduation,” they said in an interview with FT reporter Jonathan Moules. “So it is important to be in a place that is immigrant-friendly.”
Even in Europe, however, those options may also soon become limited. Just months after Great Britain opted to leave the European Union, new Prime Minister Theresa May has already gone on record saying that the number of student immigrant visas will likely be reduced. This could also potentially impact Dwivedi’s final decision.
The potential changes come after a wave of international students joined U.S. business schools with a record number of applications at many institutions, including at Michigan Ross.
Ross’ recently hired dean Scott DeRue shared some similar concerns over what could come during a Donald Trump presidency, as the new president-elect has gone on record multiple times against many immigration policies.
“I understand and empathise with those concerns but let’s remember that most presidents campaign in poetry and govern in prose,” DeRue says.
“If there was a restriction on visas to students that would clearly be somewhat harmful to us,” adds Chicago Booth School of Business dean Douglas Skinner. Booth has seen a precipitous rise in applicants in recent years, including a double-digit percentage increase in 2016. However, Skinner notes that nearly a third of students at Booth are from overseas—a figure that’s actually lower than many other business schools across the U.S.
Shading optimism, Skinner also notes that there’s a significant chance that domestic applicants may rise in the wake of policy changes. That, and the fact that Booth has been through some tough times before.
“We have been around since 1898, and the school has survived lots of ups and downs in the economy during that time,” he says.
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