Archive for March, 2009

Continued Education versus Financial Crisis

March 2, 2009

GMAT prediction of education initiatives:

According to Dave Wilson, President and CEO of GMAC, 2008 is expected to be a record year for test-takers with an all time high 260,000 test takers world wide.


From George Bickerstaffe’s interview with Dave Wilson: “The numbers taking the GMAT tend to be counter-cyclical. They go up when the economy goes down. And we expect 2008 to be a record year for test-takers. And we are forecasting a strong period for applications to MBA and specialist masters programmes through 2009.


Basically I think people see spending a year or two in a graduate management programme as a good way to ride out a recession. One of the big costs of these programmes is the opportunity cost of foregone salary and promotion opportunities. If these aren’t so strong then business school is a good place to be. And of course the recession may be over when you graduate.”


Check: Global Focus 01 2009 on for the full article.


Postgraduate initiatives in general:

According to Anthea Lipsett, The Guardian: “A dramatic rise in applications for postgraduate degree courses as the recession bites is being reported by universities. Postgraduate course applications traditionally rise in an economic downturn as people look to increase their qualifications in a more competitive employment market, or put off applying for jobs and study as they sit out the recession.”


At Manchester University, which has seen a dramatic increase in applications from overseas students to do postgraduate courses, Dr. Tim Westlake, director of student recruitment said: ”Our applications have risen dramatically on this time last year – up 14% from home and EU students, and 34% from international students. Postgraduate taught course applications have soared – with one-year master’s programmes particular popular.”


Check: 18 February 2009 for the full article.


In Denmark:

The overall picture shows that participation in courses for Graduate Diploma in Business Administration (HD) has grown notably. The participation in MBA, specialist master programmes and continued executive education is maintained on a steady level. Aggregated statistics are not yet available to verify the overall picture.


It should be noted, that the actual participation in continued education activities to a certain degree has been decided prior to the current economic turmoil. The precise picture of reaction and relation between continued education and financial crisis cannot be established until we are well inside or past the current crisis situation.


However, data from Ph.D. applications in the US show increases dramatically higher than the 3 per cent average annual increase in graduate school applications over the last decade, noted in a 2007 report by the Council of Graduate schools, with reference to a 21 January 2009 release in The Harvard Crimson – thus underlining that the education business is counter-cyclical.


Povl Tiedemann

February 2009