Rising demand from working professionals in Saudi Arabia drives Manchester MBA student numbers in the Middle East

Manchester MBA Middle East Students

15 April 2023 (Dubai-United Arab Emirates): The University of Manchester Middle East Centre in Dubai has inducted its latest (January 2023) Middle East cohort (totalling almost 90 new students – all experienced working professionals) joining Manchester part-time MBA programmes (Global Part-time MBA, Finance Accelerated MBA, Global Executive MBA). Around two-thirds of the new cohort reside in the UAE and Saudi Arabia and Saudi nationals alone form the largest nationality group in the new cohort (more than one third of the total). The University has two part-time MBA intakes per year (January and July) and the Middle East Centre is the largest and fastest growing in the University’s international network of centres.   

The January 2023 MBA cohort in the Middle East:

  • 20 nationalities.
  • Over 20% are female professionals.
  • Over 50% have more than 10 years of work experience.
  • More than 60% are in c-level, senior management, or consulting roles.
  • Most are currently in finance, energy, consulting or manufacturing sectors.
  • More than 10% already hold a doctoral or master's degree.
  • Vast majority of students joined the Global Part-time MBA and are self-funded.

The Middle East Centre hosted an induction session in Dubai for the new cohort, led by Randa Bessiso, Middle East Director for The University of Manchester, and introduced by Xavier Duran, Director MBA Programmes at Alliance Manchester Business School. The students then started their first MBA workshops led by visiting faculty from Manchester.

Welcoming the new students, Randa Bessiso, Director – Middle East at The University of Manchester, said: “It was a pleasure to welcome the new MBA cohort with the opportunity for networking and team building, and experience sharing with current MBA students and alumni, and the chance to learn more about the student, alumni and careers services we offer to students. The Middle East Centre was also delighted to welcome such a strong group of students (citizens and residents) from Saudi Arabia, where we already have a dynamic and growing community of students and alumni and increasing relationships with local and international companies operating in the Kingdom. The MBA experience and new skills acquired will be critical in a dynamic and transforming Saudi economy, which is attracting global interest and creating outstanding career opportunities for skilled professionals.”

The University of Manchester’s Global Part-time MBA is a two-year programme with options to accelerate study further, with as much face-to-face time with faculty as most full-time programmes. The programme is structured around four practical themes - Management in Practice; Value Creation in Business; Tailoring Your Journey; Professional Skills for Business; and with options to tailor further. An accelerated study route allows senior managers to complete the programme in 18 months. There is an 18-month Accelerated Finance Pathway option for candidates with professional accountancy qualifications.

The Middle East has developed into the largest and fastest-growing centre in the University’s international network comprising five hubs in key business cities around the world. It is also the most diverse, with students of 105 nationalities. The Middle East Centre has supported over 3,200 part-time master’s students based in the region and graduated around 2,100 since opening in 2006.

The University of Manchester is ranked among the world’s top 50 universities and one of the world's leading universities for impact towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Alliance Manchester Business School’s full-time MBA has been ranked 46th in the world, 13th in Europe, and 5th in the UK in the 2023 Financial Times Global MBA Ranking, which also ranks the school 1st in the UK and 7th globally for Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG), recognising the proportion of teaching hours dedicated to ethics, social and environmental issues.