Global growth continues for AMBA


Robert Magowan
Friday 12 April 2013 15:33

The international authority on postgraduate business education, the Association of MBAs (AMBA), has reported a 17 per cent growth in membership numbers.

The growth of the charitable organization sits in contrast to the current slump in the total number of students opting for postgraduate courses in the UK – with an eight per cent fall over the last year. 

However much of the expansion has come from outside other parts of the world, in particular Latin America and China, with only 18 per cent of enrolments (7000 students) situated in the UK. The report cites the government’s visa changes with regards to international students as the major factor responsible for an average 15 per cent drop in full-time MBAs in British business schools.

Accreditation provisions have risen consistently though, with an additional 12 new business schools now meaning AMBA has a total of 201 business schools worldwide with accredited programmes, as of April 2013.

In his introduction to the report, the Chair of AMBA’s Board of Trustees, Christopher Russell Balkwill, says it has been a successful year of growth and development for the Association “in the delivery of a world class accreditation service, an enhanced membership proposition and to engage with employers and inform potential MBA students.”

AMBA’s unique commitment to both accreditation and membership, according to Chief Operating Officer Vanessa Harwood-Whitcher, is what has allowed for the expansion into emerging markets.

The report also cites highlights such as the launch of the Global AMBAssador Programme, and new awards to accompany the prestigious Independent MBA Student of the Year.

Financially, the organization has grown from strength to strength as Len Jones, Treasurer, notes: “AMBA’s primary income sources of accreditation fees and membership subscriptions have increased by 8 per cent per annum and continue to flourish.”  The organization recorded a surplus of over £150,000 which will be “fully applied to meet our charitable objectives.” 

However the Board of Trustees Chair, Balkwill, remains vigilant: “Caution and prudence are the hallmarks of the current financial plan, in view of the continuing challenging economic climate.”

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