See Who’s Gaining on China in the Race for MBAs
Published September 15, 2015

School’s back in session and for U.S. business schools, many eager to advertise their worldliness, that means welcoming droves of students who don’t call America home. Stanford Graduate School of Business boasts a recent class that is 42 percent foreign.  Harvard Business School’s Class of 2014 was 34 percent international. More than one out of three students at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business now calls somewhere else home.

So which country outside the United States is home to students most interested in studying there? The best measure may be the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), administered by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), which is typically required by M.B.A. programs in the United States.

In China, where the number of college and universities has doubled in the last decade, the number of GMAT exams taken has boomed from 8,779 in 2000 to 62,740 in 2015. And while China and India, where 29,055 tests were taken in 2015, now represent the vast majority of GMAT tests taken aboard, the rate of increase in test takers has grown far faster in other countries, according new numbers released by GMAC to TIME.

The number of tests taken in Saudi Arabia has gone up 952 percent from 252 in 2000 to 2,400 in 2015. The number of tests taken in Vietnam has increased 921 percent from 163 in 2000 to 1,501 in 2015. In Kuwait, the number has jumped from 95 to 647 during that period. While in Nepal, 506 tests were taken in 2015 compared to 75 tests in 2000.

U.S. test-takers now make up a little more than a third of all test-takers when they once represented a majority. The increased international competition hasn’t shown American students in the best light. Students from Asia-Pacific countries now greatly outperform U.S. students on the quantitative section of the exam, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Country of Citizenship 2000 2005 2010 2015
China 8779 8393 30264 62740
India 6123 13463 26937 29055
Germany 1806 2174 3979 4293
Saudi Arabia 252 309 1524 2400
France 1899 2546 3363 3465
Netherlands 631 572 924 2107
Vietnam 163 433 1196 1501
Italy 703 1053 1909 1829
Nigeria 462 1115 1494 1405
Taiwan 2712 4879 3951 3528
Russia 1374 1156 2019 1968
Sweden 237 239 527 799
Pakistan 772 1015 1154 1333
Kuwait 95 230 500 647
Nepal 75 259 590 506
Spain 724 733 1264 1142
Iran 76 212 608 486
Lebanon 415 940 1553 801
Brazil 1783 1065 1628 2148
Egypt 387 453 1144 717
Chile 271 217 485 569
South Africa 458 400 766 707
Australia 562 484 869 785
Morocco 231 236 253 439
Peru 543 568 584 736

Source: GMAC.

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