Sunday, January 25, 2009

Do you believe in rankings?

London Business School tops FT’s MBA tables

By Della Bradshaw and Michael Jacobs

Financial Times, Published: January 25 2009 23:01 | Last updated: January 25 2009 23:01

A European business school has topped the table and a Chinese institution has been placed in the top 10 for the first time since the Financial Times began its rankings of MBA programmes a decade ago.

London Business School is ranked in the number one slot jointly with the Wharton school at the University of Pennsylvania. Previously only two US schools, Wharton and Harvard business school, have held the number one slot.

The FT MBA 2009 ranking also charts the rise of the Asian business schools. Shanghai-based China European International Business School (Ceibs) was ranked number eight – becoming the first Chinese business school to make the top 10.

Three Asian schools, two in China and one in India, feature in the top 20. This does not include Insead, the French institution ranked five, which has a campus in Singapore as well as in France. London Business School has been ranked among the top in the world since the inaugural FT rankings began in 1999, when it was placed eighth. Since then, the UK school has climbed slowly up the table, ranking second last year.

As well as having the number one-ranked full-time MBA programme, LBS also tops the FT Executive MBA rankings with the EMBA Global programme that it runs jointly with Columbia Business School in New York. EMBA programmes are designed for working managers.

The ranking of the top 100 full-time MBA programmes is dominated by American business schools, with 56 of the 100 based in the US.

Yet the FT rankings have also over time reflected the growth in high-quality MBA programmes outside the US, first in Europe and more recently in China, India and Singapore. In 1999, 17 of the top 20 schools and 31 of the top 50 were from the US, while in 2009 there are only nine US schools in the top 20 and 23 in the top 50.

Many Asian students are preferring to study for MBAs in their own country. They are being well rewarded. Salary data collected for the rankings show that Chinese students who study in China receive comparable salaries to those who go to a US or European business school. Indian students who study in India and then work in India after they graduate receive the highest salary increase of all Indian students. Their pay outranked that of their peers who complete MBA courses in Europe or the US.

US graduate schools have suffered due to tightened visa restrictions, although a change of policy has since shortened processing times and led to a rebound in applications. But 65 per cent of US graduate schools still reported fewer international applicants last year than in 2003, according to the Council of Graduate Schools.

The FT MBA ranking 2009 was compiled from data supplied by 9,000 business school alumni working in 130 countries.

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