FT’s Best Global MBA Programs in 2014

The Financial Times released its 2014 global MBA rankings! Read on for the list, the facts, the analysis, and the sources.

The List:

2014 Rank

3 Year
(Avg) 

School Country 
1 1 Harvard Business School USA
2 2 Stanford Graduate
School of Business
USA
3 4 London Business School UK
4 3 U Penn Wharton USA
5 5 Columbia Business
School
USA
6 6 INSEAD France/Singapore
7 8 IESE Business School Spain
8 8 MIT Sloan USA
9 10 Chicago Booth USA
10 15 Yale School of Management USA
11 12 UC Berkeley Haas USA
12 15 IMD Switzerland
13 11 IE Business School Spain
14 11 Hong Kong UST
Business School
China
15 15 Northwestern Kellogg USA
16 19 Cambridge Judge UK
17 17 Duke Fuqua USA
17 18 NYU Stern USA
17 19 CEIBS China
20 18 Dartmouth Tuck USA

To truly understand the rankings, much less use them, please see the methodology so you’ll know what’s being ranked. While there are twenty factors considered in the FT rankings, the FT methodology puts the most weight on increase in salary in $US PPP (Purchasing Power Parity) and weighted salary in $US PPP.

Poets and Quants criticizes the FT rankings for absurd results in calculating “Value for Money” as well as for having too many criteria and several criteria that really don’t reflect the quality of education. Others say that it is biased against U.S. programs.

Regardless of the criticism’s validity, the FT ranking is arguably the most cited ranking of global programs because it compares U.S. and international programs in one ranking and seems to do a better job of it than the alternatives. That prominence doesn’t mean these rankings are Gospel. It does mean you have a lot of data in a format where you can easily compare MBA programs from around the world on designated criteria.

The Facts:

Here are some fun facts about FT’s 2014 rankings:

• 7 of the top 10 and 12 of the top 20 programs ranked are US schools.

• Big jumpers this year include Boston University’s business school and Washington Forster, which each jumped 20 spots, to 75th and 58th place, respectively. Another big US jumper this year was USC Marshall which jumped 17 spots to 65th place. UNC Kenan Flagler jumped up 12 slots this year from its 3-year average rank, moving from #45 to #33.

• The biggest losers this year include Dublin’s Smurfit School (dropped 27 spots to 91st place) and Vlerick Business School (fell 16 places to 100th place), as well as the schools which disappeared off the list entirely: U of Iowa’s Tippie School (74th last year), Korea University Business School (86th last year), Incae Business School in Costa Rica (90th last year), Case Western’s Weatherhead School (94th last year), and others.

• Newcomers to the list include: UC Davis (98th), Wake Forest (94th), BYU’s Marriott School (93rd), and ESMT European School of Management and Technology in Germany (89th).

• In terms of geographic representation, the top 20 schools are all in the US, UK, Europe (France, Spain, Switzerland), China, and Singapore, but further down the list, other countries gain their spots: India comes in at 30th place with the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad; SDA Bocconi in 31st place represents Italy; South Korea appears in 45th place with Sungkyunkwan University’s GSB; Canada’s first school on the list is Toronto Rotman at 51st place; Portugal follows with The Lisbon MBA in 52nd place (new to list); South Africa’s U. of Cape Town GSB comes in at 59th place; in the 62nd slot we have Australia’s Australian Graduate School of Management; and Brazil’s Coppead is in 79th place.

•  The city with the highest concentration of schools in the top 100 is (of course) Boston with six top b-schools – Harvard (1), MIT Sloan (8), Hult International Business School (61), BU School of Management (75), Boston College Carroll (82), and Babson Olin (95).

The Analysis:

While it’s fun to look at the changes – who climbed and who sank – for me the real lessons from this ranking are:

1. The top programs move and change very slowly. That lack of drama in these rankings is a better reflection of reality than the gyrations one sees outside the top twenty. Significant change takes time so sharp jumps and dives probably mean nothing. Sustained change in ranking has greater credibility – if you value the same qualities as the FT.

2. The one point made repeatedly in the commentary on this ranking, and it is the same conclusion I draw from both the FT ranking and the Forbes ranking, which both emphasize ROI and increase in salary, is this: The MBA education at top programs provides a solid return on investment for most students. The MBAs surveyed for the FT rankings started their MBA in 2008, just as the Great Recession hit, and graduated in 2010. These MBAs still report on average a 100% increase in salary over what they were making before they started business school.

There are obviously critics of graduate business education, specifically the MBA, and those detractors either believe an MBA isn’t valuable or that the value has declined. I agree with the latter group. However, the questions for today’s applicants are:

1. “Given my current professional background and salary and my anticipated salary after I earn an MBA, do the anticipated financial rewards plus increased job satisfaction justify the investment (both out of pocket and opportunity costs)?” The fact that those entering b-school ten or twenty years ago could anticipate a higher ROI is irrelevant. It is merely a historical curiosity and for you an unfortunate one.

2. “Is the full-time MBA – or whatever flavor you are considering – the optimal way for me to attain my MBA goals?”

FT, to its credit, also has an article on those claiming the MBA is not worth the effort. Sometimes they are right. Each one of you individually needs to examine your circumstances and goals to see if for you the MBA is an expensive waste of time and effort, or if for you it is likely to be worth both. Clearly, most of the people surveyed by Forbes, the Financial Times, and GMAC are in the latter group.

In this video  Della Bradshaw, FT’s Business Education Editor, discusses the results of this year’s FT Global MBA rankings including the finding that MBAs in the class of 2010 are now enjoying salaries double those they were earning before they entered b-school.

The Sources

• FT Global MBA Ranking 2014

•  FT: MBA Ranking 2014: Key & Methodology

•  FT: Big Names Dominate FT MBA Ranking Top Spots

•  P&Q: Winners & Losers in 2014 FT MBA Ranking

•  Accepted: 4 Ways You Should NOT Use the MBA Rankings

•  Accepted: MBA Rankings: What You Need to Know

Learn how to evaluate your profile to determine the best business school for you!

Linda Abraham By , president and founder of Accepted.com and co-author of the new, definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.

FT Ranks 2013 EMBA Programs

Click here for more about rankings.FT Top 15 2013 Global EMBA Programs (last year’s rank in parentheses)

1. Kellogg/Hong Kong UST Business School (1)
2. Tsinghua University/INSEAD (4)
3. Columbia/London Business School (2)
4. Trium HEC Paris/LSE/NYU Stern (3)
5. UCLA Anderson/National University of Singapore (5)
6. Washington University Olin (9)
7. Wharton (8)
8. Duke Fuqua (16)
9. Chicago Booth (10)
10. CEIBS (7)
11. INSEAD (6)
12. IESE (14)
13. Nanyang Business School (N/A)
13. CUHK Business School (17)
15. Georgetown University/ESADE Business School (19)

In the Poets & Quants article that covers the rankings, John Byrne focuses on the standalone programs, and about how Washington Olin beats out all other standalones including Wharton.

Byrne also mentions that the reason why the top five programs on the list are joint programs is due to the FT’s ranking methodology, which, he explains, “heavily weights and then ‘adjusts; the salaries of survey alumni in ways that distort compensation. The adjustment to ‘purchasing power parity’ tends to favor programs that enroll a larger percentage of sponsored students from emerging economies.”

Byrne also notes that five out of the seven schools that took double digit falls were U.S. EMBA programs. Some details:

• The biggest loser this year was U. of Texas-Dallas EMBA which dropped 21 spots from 66th last year to 87th this year.
• Minnesota Carlson EMBA fell 17 spots from 80th in 2012 to 97th this year.
• Rochester Simon fell 16 places from 80th to 96th.
• Boston University SOM dropped 15 spots from 66th last year to 81st this year.

Of the schools that gained in double digits, only one was from the U.S. – Georgia State’s EMBA, which jumped 12 spots from 63rd to 51st.

What accounts for these large leaps and falls this year? Byrne quotes the FT which says that there were “minor changes to the calculation of international diversity measures for 2013. In addition to the percentage of schools’ students and faculty that are international – the figures published – the composition of these groups by individual citizenship informs a diversity-measuring score that feeds into the calculation.”

See more of Byrne’s commentary on the P&Q article, “Wash U Tops 2013 FT EMBA Ranking.”







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Funding Options for International MBA Students

Student LoansA recent Financial Times article discusses the numerous alternative lending options available for foreign b-school students. Because international loans from schools have been on the decline since the financial crash a few years ago and an increase in international default risk, international students have been turning to non-school and non-government loans. Here are a few of the options:

1. SoFi  – This is a “peer-to-peer” lender that allows b-school alumni to provide loans to international students from their home countries. Interest rates are about 6%. (CommonBond is a similar peer-to-peer option.)

2. Pave – This crowdfunding start-up lets students raise funds from backers who will receive a share of future income as an investment. (A similar crowdfunding option is Upstart.)

See the FT’s article “Overseas students are lent a financial helping hand” for more details on these.







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Financial Times 2012 Rankings Are Out!

Winners and Losers in FT RankingsThe Financial Times published its annual ranking of MBA programs today. And the top 10 are:

  1. Stanford (3 year average: #3; last year tied for #4)
  2. Harvard (3 year average: #3; last year’s #3)
  3. Wharton (3 year average: #2; last year tied  for #1)
  4. London Business School (3 year average: #2; last year tied for #1)
  5. Columbia (3 year average: #6; last year’s #7)
  6. INSEAD (3 year average: #5; last year tied for #4)
  7. MIT Sloan (3 year average: #8; last year’s #tied for #9)
  8. IE (3 year average: #7; last year’s #8)
  9. IESE (3 year average #10: last year’s #9  )
  10. HKUST (3 year average: #8; last year’s #6)

The Financial Times rankings is based on two surveys: one of business schools and one of alumni who graduated in 2008. This ranking weighs salary growth for these alumni and attempts to adjust for purchasing power differences and even possible distortions caused by the size of the school. FT describes its methodology, and anyone who gives these numbers any credibility needs to understand what is being ranked and measured here.

One of the valuable aspects of this ranking is its global nature. US News and Businessweek do not rank U.S. schools with non-U.S. schools. The FT ranking compares both U.S. and international programs on several criteria, including increase in salary three years after graduation, the relative number of articles published by faculty at different institutions, diversity of teaching staff, and more. Again, for details, please see FT’s methodology.

How much should you pay attention to this ranking? Should you be combing it for schools that have gone up and abandon schools that have declined? If your criteria for a graduate MBA education match the survey elements exactly, pay a lot of attention to it. However, for most of you, while increase in salary is certainly important, it also has to be considered in the context of cost — something FT doesn’t consider. And FT uses salary across the board, not for the field you want to go into. That’s the figure that should matter to you. Then there are criteria that may or may not translate into a better educational experience for you — number of articles published by full-time faculty, for example. Is that really an important reflection of a quality educational experience? Or simply institutional bragging rights. Or could practitioner teachers also bring valuable insight and experience to the classroom without publishing a page, anywhere?

Use the results for the data, not for the ranking. If the data are important to you, then go into them more thoroughly, but don’t obsess about the ranking and changes in ranking, especially small ones. The Financial Times ranking is particularly known for its volatility. You don’t see it in the top 10, but fluctuations become more pronounced outside the top 10.

To learn more about the different MBA rankings, please see “MBA Rankings: Which Business Schools are the Best?”

For additional perspective and insight into this ranking, please see:

Linda AbrahamBy Linda Abraham, founder of Accepted.com and co-author of MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.

 

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MBA Admissions News Roundup

  

  • Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business announced that David A. Thomas will become Georgetown McDonough’s new Dean and William R. Berkley Chair starting October 1, 2011. One can learn more about Dean Thomas by watching a video that has been posted on McDonough’s website.
  • Fortune.com’s interview with Ankur Kumar, Wharton’s deputy director of admissions, reveals the full story behind the rise in female enrollment at Wharton School of Business. Kumar explains how the school worked hard to get to the point where 45% of the incoming class is women. Kumar spearheaded many new initiatives in the past two years to attract more women to visit campus and convince them to apply.
  • The Financial Times describes how the Anderson School of Management at UCLA has restructured its curriculum to help students stay career focused and become experts in their fields of interest. The incoming class in September will have the flexibility to acquire skills early in the program that will allow them to contribute in their specialty even during their internships.
  • Businessweek announced that Blair Sheppard will be stepping down as the dean of Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business on August 1st. Sheppard will remain at the school and work in the fundraising and business development department for Duke’s new campus in Kunshan, China.  Duke Kunshan University is expected to open in 2012.
  • Fortune.com looks at how China Europe International Business School’s new dean, John Quelch, wants to transform the Shanghai business school into one of the top 10-ranked, research-focused business schools. Quelch plans on changing CEIBS by focusing on what he calls the “Four F’s”: Faculty, fame, fortune and fun. Although he struggles with recruiting faculty, Quelch feels fortunate that the Chinese government has given CEIBS “tremendous scope and freedom when it comes to curriculum design and delivery.”

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