eNEWSLINE - Business Education News from AACSB International

Regional Focus: Europe

April 2015

By Jessica Brown, Senior Manager, Knowledge Services, AACSB International

Aggregates and Averages—A Look at Changes in the Per-School Averages for European Schools Based on data reported in 2009-10, 2011-12, and 2013-14.

When we look at the data reported on the annual AACSB surveys, we often examine it as a whole with aggregate sums across all of the participating schools based on specific characteristics or by looking at each individual school’s data separately. Taking a regional view is another way to drill down and examine the data that AACSB collects. Yet another interesting way to view this data is to take a look at the per-school averages based on those aggregate numbers to get a general idea of what the aggregate numbers could mean for individual schools. Of course, there will always be a range of responses, so an average cannot give the complete picture, but it does offer schools another benchmarking point to determine whether their school’s reported numbers are above or below the mean.

All of the averages used in this article are based on the aggregate data from the following table collected from participating member schools in Europe on the annual Business School Questionnaire.

For each of the education levels listed below, the graph shows the average number of applications, offers of admissions, entrants, enrolled students, and degrees conferred per school based on a controlled set of 44 European schools that participated in the annual Business School Questionnaire in all three years listed. Please note that not all schools that participated provided all data points for each year. The data table above displays the number of participating schools that provided each of these data points in each year listed.

The Undergraduate Level

At this level, while the average number of applications has risen in each year, the averages for offers of admission, entrants, enrollments, and degrees conferred have all stayed relatively stable with small variations up or down. This could be caused by a number of factors, including the potential that some schools are seeing increased demand based on the number of applications received, but are already at capacity and haven’t increased the conversion of those applications to enrollments or that, despite receiving additional applications, the number of qualified applicants has remained largely the same.

Figure 1: Undergraduate Averages Per School For European Comparison Group

The Master's-Generalist (MBA Equivalent) Level

When looking at the aggregate data for this comparison group and time period, 31 schools reported a total of 67,378 applications at the master’s-generalist level in 2009–10, and 40 schools reported a total of 107,375 applicants in 2013–14. By looking at this on a per-school basis, you can see that the number of students applying at the master’s-generalist level has been on the rise, with a 27.0 percent increase in the average number of applications reported per school from 2009–10 to 2013–14 for this group of survey participants.

A very interesting point on this figure is the close match between the number of new entrants and degrees conferred – showing that the average number of incoming and outgoing students per school tends to be similar. As both offers of admission and enrollments show an upward movement in 2013-14, the entrants and degrees conferred numbers may also begin to show growth in future years as these students continue through their programs.

Figure 2: Masters-Generalist Averages Per School For European Comparison Group

The Master's-Specialist Level

For master’s-specialist programs, the average number of applications has also increased, but, unlike the at master’s-generalist level, the average number of entrants is somewhat higher than the average number of degrees conferred. Especially when seen in conjunction with the continued increases in offers of admission and enrollments, this could indicate that schools are adding more capacity to their specialized master’s degree programs, which may lead to continued increased growth in these programs.