Having a grasp on the expectations and realities surrounding the MBA should play a vital part in your recruitment strategy. Asking questions that seek to understand students' consumer behaviour prior to, and after, their application to an MBA programme will help shape key recruitment messages and strategies. Ensure your marketing addresses expectations, and you will ultimately improve conversions and enrolment numbers.

Using the data and research from the 2017 European MBA Survey (download a copy of the report here), we are able to answer some of these burning questions asked by marketers planning their 2018 MBA student recruitment strategies. Here are just a few of the questions the survey has helped marketers understand...

How are prospective MBA students intending to fund their study?

Research from the European MBA Survey found that the majority of prospective students thinking about studying for an MBA intend to fund their studies through student loans and grants. But, is this the reality? Apparently not. When we compared results from those who have already enrolled or completed an MBA, expectations of funding MBA study through student loans and grants are largely different from the reality; the majority of current students (61%) and alumni (56%) stated that they had, in fact, self-funded their own studies.


If prospective MBA students are expecting to fund their studies through loans and grants, but in reality, these are not accessible, conversion rates will likely suffer. It’s important to ensure you are managing consumers’ expectations and perceptions through appropriate communication channels with the right messaging. This will help to ensure those considering studying an MBA are not misled and continue through the consumer journey to enrolment.

time to travel to study MBA

How much time are prospective students willing to spend travelling to their study destination?

When asked, the location of MBA providers was the most important factor for those who have completed, are currently completing, have applied or are considering applying to study an MBA. But, how far are prospective students willing to travel to complete an MBA? Traditionally, the MBA student is unlikely to spend longer than two hours travelling to their study destination, however, prospective MBA students have indicated that they would be willing to spend longer travelling to the location of their chosen MBA provider.


Are prospective MBA students continuing to study in the UK, or are they more inclined to study abroad?

Students are continuing to seek out programmes that are flexible in both delivery and cost which, along with the increase of MBA programmes in Europe where the qualification is less expensive, means it’s no surprise that marketers are concerned with where prospective students are intending to study. And although the majority of respondents from the EuMBA Survey have not considered studying an MBA abroad, it’s interesting to note that those who are interested but are yet to apply, showed the most positive response when asked whether they would consider studying an MBA abroad.

Of those prospective applicants who are more inclined to consider studying for their MBA abroad, the majority highlighted the US, Germany and Canada as the countries they would most like to study their MBA in.

Understanding these perceptions, decision-making processes, motivations, barriers and influencing factors surrounding MBA study is essential to ensure your marketing messages and strategies are meeting student consumer expectations.

So, if you’re looking to increase or diversify your MBA recruitment and want to hear more actionable insights to kick-start your 2018 strategy, contact us to download the full EuMBA Survey report.

Article by


Megan Dillon

Content Marketing Executive