It’s that time of year when the global Business School community turns to the Financial Times for their annual rankings of the top 100 global MBA programmes.
A record 159 schools took part, and the ranking is compiled using data collected from the schools and a survey of alumni, who completed their full-time MBAs in 2011. It is worth noting that a number of business schools were at this point feeling the pinch of the global economic downturn, and MBAs in particular were hit hard as potential students looked for guarantees on employment after graduation – something which could potentially prove problematic – which in turn hit recruitment numbers. The next couple of years’ rankings will no doubt see a resurgence, but only from schools who were big enough to weather the storm. Some however may take a lot longer.
This year, as in previous years, saw little change at the top with Harvard retaining its crown – third year in a row and 6th overall. London Business School, Wharton, Stanford and Insead make up the top 5. Whilst the order may change, the same 5 have pretty much topped the rankings since their inception over 15 years ago. Although there is a diverse range of schools from 18 countries, the fact remains that the US schools once again dominate, with half of those ranked coming from the States. Whilst Harvard may not boast the diversity and international mobility that other European schools have, they lead the way in terms of salary – and this makes up 40% of the methodology weighting, making it a tough ask from the smaller, yet more diverse, business schools.
Ups & Downs
Overall there were 10 new entries (5 returning after a 12 month hiatus), the highest being CUHK Business School, entering at 30th – one of 6 Chinese schools to be ranked in what was a good year for the country. Ceibs climbed 6 places to 11th, HKUST maintained their top-15 status (14th) whilst Fudan University School of Management and Shanghai Jiao Tong both built on their 2014 rankings, jointly holding joint 55th (up 33 and 22 places respectively). In Europe, ESMT continued their march up the rankings, their relatively young MBA programme now ranked equal 63rd (+26 places), and now sit only 8 places behind the only other German ranked school, Mannheim who have held their mid-table rankings for a number of years now. The UK’s showing of 13 schools represents the second highest showing for a country, although a long way from the US (50), and only 9 rank in the top 50. Warwick dropped 13 places to 38th, whilst Lancaster were the big movers, rising 27 places to 50th. Durham’s re-entry last year continued to rise, up 18 places to 79th. Australia’s Macquarie Graduate School of Management, perhaps described best as the ‘noisy neighbours’ of Melbourne Business School, entered the rankings at 68th, making them the top Australian Business School – above perennial rankings residents AGSM (75th, down 13) and MBS (90th, down 22).