The data measures how successful graduates have been in their career in terms of salary, seniority and achievements since finishing their programme. It is based on a survey of business schools and their 2012 graduates.
This year, the 2015 FT Global Executive MBA ranking is remarkable for two reasons. Firstly, because it is the FT’s 100th ranking of business schools, but it also marks the first time in which a programme from a Chinese business school has taken top position.
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2015 Top Global Executive MBAs
The joint programme presented by Tsinghua and Insead University (Tiemba) moved up two places and is now a true leader in the 2015 global executive MBA ranking. As for the Trium Global Executive MBA, this course drops back to third place after only lasting one year at the top position.
The top five places continue to be dominated by the same five intercontinental Executive MBAs for four years running. Tiemba is at the top again this year, not because it has beaten its rivals, but thanks to a strong performance across most indicators. In particular, the alumni have the second highest salary on average ($324,000) behind alumni from the Kellogg/HKUST programme ($408,000). Tiemba is also ranked second for career progression and fourth for work experience.
Five schools from five different countries are ranked for the first time in the history of this ranking. Singapore’s Lee Kong Chian School of Business is the highest new entrant, coming straight into 36th place. Canada’s Queen’s Smith School of Business registered the best progression, climbing 32 places to 67th.
While 17% of graduates rated starting a company as their most important reason for joining, only 2% of them saw it as their sole ambition. However, entrepreneurship is clearly very important for them, as more than a quarter of graduates (26%) reported starting their own business during their Executive MBAs or since graduating.
The support of their school and alumni network was also a very important factor to Executive MBAs entrepreneurs. About three-quarters thought that both the school and their alumni network had been helpful or very helpful when setting up their company. One of them said:
Alumni support was key to getting the idea vetted and getting the right contacts needed for the business.
About 40% of entrepreneurs did not seek any help when securing finance. Half of these raised equity purely from their own savings and/or family and friends compared with 40% of those who sought help from the school or alumni network.
And now take a look at the some of the schools in the Executive MBAs ranking:
Top programme: Tsinghua/INSEAD
The Tsinghua-INSEAD EMBA programme, launched in 2007, entered the FT rankings with a bang in 2012, going straight into fourth place with its very first cohort. The programme has since been ranked second, third, and finally achieved first place in the rankings this year.
Tiemba scores highly for international experience, being delivered half on Tsinghua’s campus in Beijing as well as on Insead’s three campuses in Singapore, France and the UAE.
The programme is ranked second for career progression three years after graduation. Tiemba’s graduates number only about 250 so far, making them an elite group.
New entrant to the top 10: Saïd
Breaking into the top 10 for the first time, Saïd’s EMBA programme jumped 12 places to achieve 9th spot in the rankings. The programme entered the rankings in 2010 and has gradually been improving since sinking to a low of 38th place in 2012.
Saïd has the highest-ranked single EMBA programme in the UK and second highest in Europe, after Spain’s IE Business School. On average, graduates earn their highest salary three years after graduating, compared with those from other British schools, and have the second highest salary increase.
Entrepreneurship is a key feature of the programme, with more than half the graduates starting their own company.
Top for international students: LBS
In an increasingly globalised world, many business schools are looking to add elements to ensure that their programmes are relevant internationally. The one to beat this year is London Business School’s EMBA programme, which is ranked 19th overall, but first for international diversity for the second year.
The programme is divided into two cohorts, based in London and Dubai. In the latest enrolled cohort, about 90 per cent are international students and they come from 52 countries.
Students from India represent the single largest grouping from one country (14 per cent of students). LBS also has a high proportion of students from the Middle East.
Highest new entrant: Singapore Management University: Lee Kong Chian
Making its debut at number 36, the Singapore-based programme is most highly-ranked of five Executive MBAs entering the ranking for the first time.
Applicants for the SMU EMBA must have at least 10 years of professional experience before enrolling. The programme, therefore, has some of the most experienced students in the ranking.
The S$109,500 degree involves six weeks at the Singapore campus, plus three week-long immersions around the world. As well as Peking University in China and the Indian School of Business, participants also visit the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton school, on which SMU is itself modelled.
Highest riser: Queen’s University: Smith
The Ontario school’s EMBA programme is one of six offered by Canadian universities to make it into this year’s top 100.
After a 32-place leap in ranking to number 67, the course is now only 14 places behind Queen’s joint EMBA with US university Cornell. Costing C$98,000, it is a little less than C$32,000 cheaper than the joint programme.
Students can attend classes during the 16-month programme from anywhere in Canada, interacting through real-time video conferencing. For those who cannot join peers in one of the “boardroom learning centres”, they can log in from home, but all students must attend some classes in Kingston, Ontario.
Top South American: Centrum Católica
The Peruvian business school is one of two South American institutions represented in the FT’s 2015 ranking, and is ranked 52nd, the same position as last year.
The 18-month EMBA is based in Peru’s capital, Lima, with three out of eight modules taught overseas. As well as visiting China, students attend classes at IE Business School in Spain and Tulane University’s Freeman school in New Orleans — a strategic partner of Centrum Católica.
Centrum is the graduate business school of the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, the country’s oldest private university, which celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2017.
Source: Financial Times