Despite the potential for technology to tear down the geographical barriers to graduate business education, the proportion of overseas students on many Online MBA programs is slim. The exception is in Europe and especially in the UK market, which dominates rankings of Online MBAs and boasts highly diverse student intakes.
In the US, by far the most students live locally to the campus or elsewhere in the country, but they value the flexibility an Online MBA provides: most students continue to earn while they learn on a part-time basis.
Levels of diversity are much higher on Online MBA programs on the European continent, with schools in the UK in particular enrolling the vast majority of their students from overseas. This is the promise of online education, which in theory allows anyone to tune into classes from anywhere in the world.
The reality is that many business schools struggle to do this, because they lack brand recognition overseas with online education still very much in its infancy in some corners of the world. There are exceptions though, and below we’ve ranked the top 10 Online MBAs for international diversity. This diversity can significantly enhance the learning experience of all the students in a program.
Spain’s IE Business School has one of the highest proportions of international students at 91 percent, and a 96 percent international board. Students have praised the Madrid school’s global exposure, and the networking opportunities it provides. IE is also ranked second overall by the Financial Times for its Online MBA program.View School Profile
The Alliance Manchester Business School in the UK is ranked among the highest by QS for its class profile. Within this metric, the highest scores are awarded to the programs with the most diversity in the classroom. And indeed, the proportion of overseas students is an impressive 84 percent at Alliance Manchester.View School Profile
At Imperial College Business School in London, a substantial 80 percent of students on the Online MBA are from abroad. Imperial is one of the best-known higher education brands in the UK and it has secured the triple-crown of accreditation from the AACSB, EQUIS and AMBA awarding bodies.View School Profile
The UK’s Warwick Business School is not just ranked as the top overall Online MBA provider by the FT; in that ranking it also boasts the highest percentage of overseas faculty at 78 percent, who raise the quality of the teaching experience with their diverse perspectives. Warwick also has the second highest proportion of international students in the ranking, at 75 percent.View School Profile
Elsewhere in the UK, Bradford University School of Management also has a highly diverse intake, with 63 percent of the Online MBA students coming from another country. Some 50 percent of the faculty are also from overseas. The school is also a good value for the money, with the resulting high return on investment drawing students from around the world.View School Profile
Durham University Business School in the UK is ranked first by the FT for its international mobility, or the proportion of students who move to a different work location or obtain a different citizenship after the Online MBA. The proportion of international students at the business school is 50 percent.View School Profile
At Italy’s Politecnico di Milano School of Management, the proportion of overseas students is a respectable but not spectacular 32 percent. MIP business school has a board that is more diverse and 65 percent international, while the school scored fifth in the world for international mobility, according to the FT. The course is taught in English and available across the world.View School Profile
At George Washington University School of Business in the US, the proportion of overseas students is 17 percent. While low by global standards that is a high percentage in US terms. The Online MBA cohort is diverse in other ways too, with 46 percent women students enrolled.View School Profile
In Asia Pacific, the Australian Graduate School of Management in Sydney runs a respected Online MBA with 16 percent of the students coming from outside of Australia. AGSM benefits from being in a country that is considered to be welcoming to international students with relatively relaxed visa rules for those who want to work in the country on graduation. Like on many Online MBAs, students at AGSM can visit the campus for residential modules throughout the program.View School Profile
This leading American school’s Online MBA program includes a high quality cohort with 17 percent of students being international. UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School is ranked in joint first place in the US News Online MBA ranking. The course is super flexible, allowing students to complete the course around their schedules in different time zones across the globe.View School Profile