Argentina braced for a decline in interest

February 8, 2002

THES reporters find out how enrolments on MBA courses around the world have fared in the face of slowing economies and the aftermath of September 11.

Luis Pereiro, interim dean of the Business School at Universidad Torcuato Di Tella in Buenos Aires, knows the March intake of undergraduates will be hit by Argentina's economic crisis. The question is, how badly?

"We were expecting a 10 per cent reduction in our December intake, and that was what we got," he said. "But how March will behave is a wild guess. We do not expect a serious fall - undergraduate education is more long-term oriented in some senses."

MBAs may be more sensitive to the economic jolts. After December's turmoil, Mr Pereiro said, "self-supported students are now scared of losing their jobs or getting a salary reduction - this has already been happening in the order of 15 to 20 per cent."

He said there was also a "lot of cutting going on in corporate training budgets".

"Many people are seriously thinking of leaving the country. Having an MBA degree from an internationally oriented university such as ours is a valuable asset."

Mr Pereiro predicted a polarisation in which traditional, locally oriented MBA programmes declined and only the top, internationally minded programmes survived in Argentina.

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