Henley Business School cancels full-time MBA course

The face of the MBA education is changing as more students choose part-time programmes and specialist degrees. Henley Business School is the latest school to halt its full-time MBA starting with the 2019/2020 academic year.


Henley Business School discontinues its full-time MBA for the 2019/2020 academic year with current applicants being transferred to other master degree programmes. Interest in the programme had waned considerably, the Financial Times reported.

Henley is symptomatic for a growing trend. In recent years years the University of Iowa’s Tippie College of Business, Wake Forest University, Thunderbird School of Global Management, Virginia Tech, and Simmons College (the only all-female business school in the US) were amongst the schools who ended their full-time MBA programmes.

Schools have reported receiving fewer MBA applications in the recent past. In October 2018 it was reported that most US-business schools saw declining applications and that even top schools in the US had to contend with a decrease of interested students. Immigration restrictions and a higher quality of education in Europe and Asia were named as reasons for the US downturn. 

Henley Business School is now the first UK school that “pauses” its full-time MBA offer which is somewhat surprising as the number of MBA students at British business schools rose in 2017/18, according to figures from the Higher Education Statistics Agency. This increase could be explained with the apprenticeship levy, which employers have used so that their senior executives can attend courses.

However, Henley also battled a shrinking student cohort. According to the FT, Henley’s  last intake of 26 students was down from about 40 students previously. Elena Beleska-Spasova, head of post-experience postgraduate programmes at Henley told the paper: “Candidates in that early career stage are looking for the best value for money,” she said. These would lean towards MBA “alternatives”, such as short courses run by new specialist training providers, where they can improve on topics such as public speaking, data analytics and time management.

Read more on www.ft.com