Best Business Schools Outside the US in 2016

Best Business Schools Outside the US in 2016

British schools occupied three of the top five spots in the best business schools ranking. London Business School, which was second last year, topped the ranking, with Oxford University's Saïd Business School and Cambridge Judge Business School ranking third and fourth, respectively.

INSEAD, which has campuses in France, Singapore, and the UAE, took second place, while Spain's IESE Business School ranked fifth.

Bloomberg Businessweek’s annual ranking of full-time international MBA programmes is based on data compiled from more than 1,000 recruiters, 15,000 alumni, and 9,000 recent graduates. (BloombergBusinessweek published its 2016 ranking of the top US MBA programmes last month.)

The United Kingdom is well known for having one of the world’s best business schools. But this year the country really dominated the ranking. This comes as British B-schools prepare to navigate the fallout from Brexit. The ranking continues last year’s focus on how well the schools channel their graduates into good jobs and, with a new survey of MBA graduates after graduation, offers more insight into what grads can expect from their careers.

Check out: How to Choose a Destination for Master’s or MBA Abroad


Bloomberg Businessweek has ranked full-time MBA programmes since 1988. Over time, it has shifted its methodology to focus on how well the programmes prepare their graduates for job success. The employer survey, which measures recruiter opinions on how well MBA programmes equip their graduates with relevant skills, and the student survey, which records feedback from students on how thoroughly they’ve been prepared for the workforce, have always been cornerstones of Bloomberg Businessweek’s rankings.

Employer Survey (35% of score)

To assess how well MBA programmes prepare graduates to get the jobs they want, Bloomberg Businessweek surveyed recruiters from companies that hire MBA graduates.

It asked schools to identify people recently involved in recruiting their MBA graduates. The magazine invited 11,877 recruiters to take the survey, and 1,055 recruiters at more than 500 companies completed it.

 Alumni Survey (30% of score)

To examine the impact of the MBA on alumni job outcomes, the alumni survey sought responses from all graduates of the classes of 2008, 2009, and 2010.

Bloomberg Businessweek recorded slightly more than 15,000 survey responses from alumni. To be included in the rankings, each school was required to have at least 30 students from its 2008-10 classes respond; larger programmes were required to reach a threshold ranging from 10% to 25%.

Three types of data contributed to the rankings in equal measure: increase in median compensation, job satisfaction and MBA alumnus feedback.

Student Survey (15% of score)

Recent graduates are the best judge of many MBA programme features, such as campus climate, effectiveness of career services, and responsiveness of faculty and administrators. That’s why the student survey is included in the rankings methodology.

Bloomberg Businessweek recorded 9,332 survey responses from graduates from the class of 2016. To be included in the rankings, each school was required to have at least 30 students respond to the survey; larger programmes were required to reach a threshold ranging from 20% to 40%.

Job Placement Rate (10% of score)

People take MBAs to get good jobs. About 88% of MBA graduates consider access to career services and employers a crucial part of the overall benefit of getting an MBA. Having taken two years out of the workforce to earn an MBA, you probably want to get back to work as soon as possible. That’s why the job placement rate three months after graduation is an important measure of a school’s success.

Bloomberg Businessweek defines the job placement rate as the percentage of graduates who secured full-time employment within three months of graduation, out of all the graduates who sought it.

Starting Salary (10% of score)

Another key measure of a school’s success is how much compensation its newly minted graduates fetch in the labour market. The ranking considers compensation within three months of graduation.

To create as level a playing field as possible, the schools are ranked only on base salary figures (no other forms of compensation were included in the analysis) and controls are in place to adjust for salary variation across industries and regions. Consulting salaries were compared with other consulting salaries, tech salaries with other tech salaries, European salaries with other European salaries, and so on.

Only graduates who accepted full-time employment (not as a business owner) within three months of graduation were included in the analysis of starting salaries.


BusinessWeek 2016 Rank Business School Change from 2015
1 London Business School (LBS) +1
2 Insead +1
3 Oxford - Saïd +3
4 Cambridge - Judge +4
5 IESE Business School +2
6 IE Business School -2
7 IMD Business School -2
8 SDA Bocconi +4
9 Melbourne Business School +14
10 Western - Ivey -9

Source: Bloomberg BusinessWeek 


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