Chinese students' interest in foreign business schools has risen sharply in the past five years, especially among women, new data show.
Harvard Business School [file photo]
The Graduate Management Admission Council, a nonprofit educational organization of leading graduate business schools and owner of the Graduate Management Admission Test, said Chinese GMAT takers almost tripled in the past five years, from 48,664 to 126,090.
The test is the only standardized exam for graduate business and management programs worldwide.
Growth has been driven by female students and those younger than 25, who are largely interested in specialized master's programs outside China.
"The high percentage of females taking the GMAT is unique to China," said Julia Herries, Asia-Pacific regional director for the GMAC.
"Most Chinese women taking the exam are considering a specialized master's degree, such as in accounting and finance.
"Given the rapid economic development in China, there is significant demand for these skills, and many young women view a career in finance and accounting as providing a stable future," she said.
In the 2011 testing period, which ended in June, 64 percent of Chinese examinees were female, compared with 57 percent globally and 61 percent in US.
A 24-year-old Beijing examinee surnamed Fang told China Daily that she took the exam for a bright future in France.
Fang learned French in college and stayed in France for a year on an exchange program. Then she returned to China and found a job in a State-owned company.