Financial Times – ft Global MBA Rankings 2019


This is the Financial Times ft Global MBA rankings for 2019; check the schools that made it to top 100 and the methods used in ranking.

Despite a torrid year for US schools, in which even the elite institutions suffered declines in applications, the same names make up the top 10 of the FT’s 2019 Global MBA ranking as last year. There have been notable shifts in their positions within the top 10, however. Shanghai-based Ceibs (China Europe International Business School) rises to fifth, up from eighth in 2018, making it the highest placed Chinese school to date.

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Harvard Business School rose to second place after dropping to fifth last year but could not unseat Stanford Graduate School of Business from the top spot, an accolade the California-based school gained for only the second time in the ranking’s history last year. More significant changes in position occur further down the ranking. It is these movements that seem to reflect some of the key changes in business education occurring around the globe.

The Financial Times Global MBA ranking of 2019 © Alamy Find out which business schools are in the top 100 in the FT’s MBA ranking. Business schools in the UK have faced an uncertain period since the 2016 Brexit referendum vote triggered the government’s negotiations to leave the EU. But many of the greatest fears, such as a drop in demand from overseas candidates, have not come to pass. The sharp drop in the value of sterling in the wake of the EU vote, making British MBAs relatively cheap for overseas applicants, has undoubtedly been a factor.

The strength of the UK job market has helped graduates of the country’s institutions find better employment opportunities, although tightened visa rules have made it harder for foreign nationals to capitalise on this. It has been a good year for the top UK schools, too. For example, the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School jumps 14 places this year to 13th, its highest position since it joined the ranking survey in 2001.

The high position achieved by Ceibs highlights the growing strength of top MBA providers in the Asia-Pacific region, a part of the world that has been driving the global growth in business education for several years, much as it has been an engine of economic growth. Applications to schools in the Asia-Pacific region rose 8.9 per cent last year, even as US demand fell, according to the Graduate Management Admissions Council, which administers the GMAT business school entry exam. For all the movement in the FT ranking this year, there is little change in the mix of countries represented on the list. The number of institutions from Australia, China, India and Singapore, for instance, is similar to 2017 or 2016. That so few new schools made it on to this year’s ranking could be seen as a sign that the market for campus MBAs is reaching a point of maturity, where the gap between the top schools and the rest mean that the barriers to entry have become too high for others to gain a foothold.

This is bad news for those schools not on this year’s ranking. It is they, rather than the top schools, highlighted here in the rankings table, that face the greatest struggle to adapt to changes in the business education market. The top 100 schools: by country Country Schools per country* US 51 UK 11 China 6 France 5 India 4 Singapore 3 Australia 3 Canada 3 Germany 3 Spain 3 Switzerland 2 Costa Rica 1 Ireland 1 Italy 1 Netherlands 1 Portugal 1 South Korea 1 Total 100 *BASED ON SCHOOLS’ PRIMARY CAMPUS Top school: Stanford Graduate School of Business © AP For the second year in a row Stanford Graduate School of Business tops the ranking.

This is also the second successive year that its alumni have had the highest weighted average salary, $228,074, up from $214,742. Stanford also ranked top for career progress. Survey respondents praised its network. “A business school’s network is only as valuable as the number of alumni multiplied by the odds that they [respond] to you. I doubt any other school has as high a figure as the GSB,” said one graduate. Most recommended: Harvard Business School © Dreamstime Class of 2015 alumni from schools surveyed for this ranking judged HBS top among institutions from which they would recruit graduates. It was last number one in the MBA ranking in 2015, but is edging closer to the top spot at number two, helped by the second highest average weighted salary at $205,486.

HBS has also leapt 15 places to joint first place in the research rank. This measures the number of articles published by full-time faculty in 50 journals between 2016 and 2018, weighted relative to the faculty’s size. Top European school: Insead © AFP/Getty Images Insead drops one place to number three, but it is the highest-ranked MBA provider in Europe. It was top in 2016 and 2017 — only the second European school to reach number one in this ranking. Insead’s position is helped by its class of 2015 alumni, whose average weighted salary was $179,661 — the top among European schools and above the average in the table at about $137,900. About half of its graduates surveyed for this ranking work in lucrative sectors, whether consultancy, finance/banking or IT/telecoms.

Top for international mobility: IMD The Swiss school is number one for this criterion, based on alumni citizenship and the countries they worked in before their MBA, on completing it and three years later. IMD has been top in this category since 2006. Graduates praised the diverse alumni network. One said he built relationships with professionals from around the world that helped him to find opportunities in international businesses. IMD is second in the international students category, with 99 per cent of the recent class from abroad.

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Top for CSR: University of Virginia: Darden This is the first time that corporate social responsibility has been a criterion in the ranking. Darden is top for including a substantial amount of teaching on the subject in its core curriculum. In 2008, the school set an aim “to be a top 10 business school for teaching and research on sustainability and a zero waste, carbon neutral enterprise by 2020.” One graduate said: “Darden’s focus on ethics and socially driven leadership have directly influenced how I manage and lead”. Highest salary increase: Fudan University School of Management © Alamy Fudan in Shanghai showed the highest increase on pre-MBA salaries, with a 195 per cent increase three years after graduation and an average salary of $110,062. Alumni ranked third in terms of career progress and were the sixth most likely to be employed three months after graduation (97 per cent). “I benefited so much in my MBA life in Fudan that I recommended my wife enrol last year even though the tuition has increased [since I began],” one student said.

Top for value for money: University of Florida: Warrington © Alamy This is the second year in a row the US school ranks top in value for money. This criterion is based on alumni salary, course length, tuition, other costs and lost income during the MBA. The school’s achievement is partly due to low tuition and financial support being available, which helps to reduce study costs. One graduate noted that the cost of living in Gainesville, Florida, is “exceptionally low”. Warrington is joint fourth highest climber overall, up 19 places to 39 — its highest rank so far. Top for Careers Service: Sungkyunkwan University GSB Alumni ranked Sungkyunkwan in South Korea top for its careers service, up two places from 2018. Ranked 42nd overall, Sungkyunkwan has moved up a further nine places from last year. The school is rated highly for career progress (14th) and value for money (16th).

“The quality of teaching and infrastructure of the school are excellent [and the] school was very much involved to provide all opportunities for personal development,” one student said. Biggest Riser: Indian Institute of Management Calcutta © Alamy Up 29 places from 78th to 49th, IIM Calcutta made the biggest leap this year. Alumni have the ninth-largest percentage increase on pre-MBA salaries (139 per cent, up from 117 per cent last year) with an average three years after graduation of $158,138 (up from $139,000). They are seventh for career progress. “Great faculty, great peer group, wonderful campus. Humble ways of teaching, yet rich in content that is time relevant and forward looking,” said a graduate. Top for International Experience: The Lisbon MBA The Lisbon MBA, run jointly by Católica-Lisbon and Nova SBE, is top for international experience for the second year running. In the top four in this category since 2013, the school’s integration with MIT Sloan adds a particularly well-received overseas element. While the Lisbon MBA’s programme is 86th overall, its graduates come eighth in the ranking for career progress. One student described a “close empathic relationship of the MBA team with the class”. School profiles by Andrew Garthwaite and Wai Kwen Chan Methodology This ranking features the world’s best 100 full-time MBA programmes.

A total of 150 schools took part in the 2019 edition. All participating schools meet the FT’s entry criteria, including being accredited by Equis or the AACSB. The FT surveys alumni three years after completing their MBA. For schools to enter the ranking calculations, the FT requires that a minimum of 20 per cent of alumni reply to the survey, with at least 20 fully completed responses. About 8,000 from the class of 2015 completed our survey — a response rate of 38 per cent. The ranking has 20 different criteria. Alumni responses inform eight criteria that together contribute 61 per cent of its weight. Eleven criteria are calculated from school data, accounting for 29 per cent of the ranking. KPMG audits a number of schools every year.

The remaining criterion, the research rank, counts for 10 per cent. Alumni-informed criteria are based on data collected over three years. Responses from the 2018 survey carry 50 per cent of total weight and those from 2018 and 2017, 25 per cent each. If only two years of data are available, the weighting is split 60:40 if data are from 2019 and 2018, or 70:30 if they are from 2019 and 2017. For salary figures, the weighting is 50:50 for two years’ data. The first two alumni criteria are average income three years after graduation and salary increase compared with pre-MBA salary, both weighted at 20 per cent. For the latter, half of the weight applies to the absolute increase and half to the percentage rise (published). Current salaries are converted to US dollars using October 2018 International Monetary Fund purchasing power parity rates.

The salaries of non-profit and public sector workers and full-time students are removed, as are the highest and lowest salaries from each school, to calculate a normalised average. Finally, salaries are weighted to reflect differences between different sectors. “Value for money” for each MBA is calculated by dividing its average alumni salary three years after graduation by the total cost, including tuition, lost salary, opportunity cost and other expenses. Any financial help given to alumni is subtracted from the total. The FT also collects information from schools on their current faculty, newly enrolled students and the latest graduating class. School criteria include the diversity of staff, board members and students by gender, nationality and the MBA’s international reach.

For gender criteria, schools with a 50:50 composition score highest. The research rank is based on the number of articles by full-time faculty in 50 internationally recognised academic and practitioner journals. The rank combines the number of publications from January 2016 to October 2018, with the number weighted relative to faculty size. The FT has removed the PhD graduates category from the criteria and replaced it with a new criterion: Corporate Social Responsibility. It is based on the proportion of teaching hours from core courses dedicated to CSR, ethics, social and environmental issues. It carries a weight of three per cent and additional weightings have been placed elsewhere. The FT Global MBA ranking is a relative listing.

Schools are ranked against each other by calculating a Z-score for each criterion. The Z-score is a statistic that shows where a score lies in relation to the mean. These scores are then weighted as outlined in the ranking key and added together for a final score. After removing schools that did not meet the response rate threshold from the alumni survey, a first version is calculated using all remaining schools. The school at the bottom is removed and a second version is calculated and so on until we reach the top 100. The top 100 schools are ranked accordingly to produce the 2019 list Judith Pizer of Jeff Head Associates acted as the FT’s database consultant. The FT research rank was calculated using Clarivate Analytics data from the Web of Science, an abstract and citation database of research literature.

Key Factors Considered

Salary today: average alumnus salary three years after graduation, US$ PPP equivalent (see methodology). This figure is not used in the ranking.

Weighted salary (20): average alumnus salary three years after graduation, US$ PPP equivalent (see methodology), adjusted for variations between sectors.

Salary increase (20): average difference in alumni salary from before the MBA to now. Half of this figure is calculated according to the absolute salary increase and half according to the percentage increase relative to pre-MBA salary.

Value for money (3): calculated using salary today, course length, tuition and other costs, including lost income during the MBA.

Career progress (3): calculated according to changes in the level of seniority and the size of company alumni work in now, compared with before their MBA.

Aims achieved (3): the extent to which alumni fulfilled their stated goals or reasons for doing an MBA.

Careers service (3): effectiveness of the school careers service in terms of career counselling, personal development, networking events, internship search and recruitment, as rated by their alumni.

Employed at three months (2): percentage of the most recent graduating class who had found employment or accepted a job offer within three months of completing their studies. The figure in brackets is the percentage of the class for which the school was able to provide employment data and is used to calculate the school’s final score in this category.

* Alumni recommend (3): calculated according to selection by alumni of three schools from which they would recruit MBA graduates.

Female faculty (2): percentage of female faculty.

Female students (2): percentage of female students on the full-time MBA.

Women on board (1): percentage of female members on the school’s advisory board.

International faculty (4): calculated according to the diversity of faculty by citizenship and the percentage whose nationality differs from their country of employment — the figure published in the table.

International students (4): calculated according to the diversity of current MBA students by citizenship and the percentage whose nationality differs from the country in which they study — the figure in the table.

International board (2): percentage of the board whose citizenship differs from the country in which the school is based.

International mobility (6): based on alumni citizenship and the countries where they worked before their MBA, on graduation and three years after.

International course experience (3): calculated on whether the most recent graduating class completed exchanges, research projects, study tours and company internships in countries other than where the school is based.

* Languages (1): number of extra languages required on graduation.

* Faculty with doctorates (5): percentage of full-time faculty with a doctoral degree.

FT research rank (10): calculated according to the number of articles published by current full-time faculty members in 50 selected academic and practitioner journals between January 2016 and October 2018. The FT50 rank combines the absolute number of publications with the number weighted relative to the faculty’s size.

Corporate social responsibility rank (3): proportion of teaching hours from core courses dedicated to CSR, ethics, social and environmental issues.

Schools with a 50:50 (male/female) composition receive the highest possible score in the three gender-related criteria. † Includes data for the class of 2015 and one or two preceding classes where available. * Graduated between July 2017 and June 2018.


Rank in 2019
3 yr. rank
School name
Weighted salary($)
Salary increase(%)
1 1 Stanford Graduate School of Business US 228,074 129
2 4 Harvard Business School US 205,486 112
3 2 InseadFeatured business school France / Singapore 179,661 104
4 3 University of Pennsylvania: Wharton US 197,267 114
5 8 Ceibs China 174,115 183
6 5 London Business SchoolFeatured business school UK 169,675 102
7 7 University of Chicago: Booth US 185,861 126
8 10 MIT: Sloan US 188,173 107
9 8 Columbia Business School US 184,099 114
10 11 University of California at Berkeley: Haas US 188,746 104
11 14 Yale School of Management US 172,547 121
12 11 Iese Business SchoolFeatured business school Spain 151,076 128
13 24 University of Oxford: SaïdFeatured business school UK 161,443 118
14 13 Northwestern University: Kellogg US 170,830 99
15 16 Dartmouth College: Tuck US 173,636 114
16 11 University of Cambridge: Judge UK 163,508 98
17 20 National University of Singapore Business School Singapore 153,216 131
18 16 HKUST Business School China 156,202 108
19 20 HEC ParisFeatured business school France 142,622 106
19 21 Duke University: Fuqua US 163,808 111
21 19 Esade Business SchoolFeatured business school Spain 148,060 116
22 22 IMD Business School Switzerland 151,944 76
23 30 University of Virginia: Darden US 157,437 114
24 26 Indian School of Business India 156,122 187
25 22 New York University: Stern US 156,485 117
26 28 UCLA: Anderson US 162,985 108
27 24 Cornell University: Johnson US 162,417 112
28 26 University of Michigan: Ross US 157,727 108
29 33 Georgetown University: McDonough US 147,384 121
30 25 Nanyang Business School, NTU SingaporeFeatured business school Singapore 134,036 126
31 IE Business SchoolFeatured business school Spain 153,547 100
31 27 SDA BocconiFeatured business school Italy 130,628 124
33 39 Indian Institute of Management Bangalore India 178,774 124
34 Fudan University School of Management China 110,062 195
35 38 Carnegie Mellon: Tepper US 148,892 113
36 40 Warwick Business SchoolFeatured business school UK 118,406 83
37 42 University of Texas at Austin: McCombs US 151,235 104
38 45 Emory University: Goizueta US 150,659 119
39 University of Florida: Warrington US 121,000 151
39 45 Imperial College Business SchoolFeatured business school UK 126,873 67
41 38 University of Hong Kong China 131,386 116
42 49 Sungkyunkwan University GSB South Korea 131,166 100
43 Singapore Management University: Lee Kong Chian Singapore 118,415 133
43 49 Indiana University: Kelley US 137,568 122
43 61 Durham University Business SchoolFeatured business school UK 120,556 110
46 51 University of Southern California: Marshall US 147,565 108
47 36 Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad India 186,170 100
48 58 University of California at Irvine: Merage US 130,056 129
49 46 University of Washington: Foster US 133,519 107
49 74 Indian Institute of Management Calcutta India 158,138 139
51 40 Shanghai Jiao Tong University: Antai China 112,817 193
52 44 University of North Carolina: Kenan-Flagler US 143,651 112
52 68 Vanderbilt University: Owen US 139,670 125
54 57 Washington University: Olin US 126,220 109
55 41 Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus UniversityFeatured business school Netherlands 118,618 84
56 55 Rice University: Jones US 145,121 103
57 45 CUHK Business School China 115,689 110
58 65 University of Notre Dame: Mendoza US 137,574 118
59 42 Alliance Manchester Business SchoolFeatured business school UK 124,178 102
60 58 Georgia Institute of Technology: Scheller US 134,849 125
61 68 Melbourne Business School Australia 118,959 87
62 57 Arizona State University: Carey US 125,985 133
63 76 Pennsylvania State University: Smeal US 124,220 134
64 49 City, University of London: CassFeatured business school UK 119,769 86
65 65 Michigan State University: Broad US 118,050 151
66 78 Babson College: Olin US 140,409 102
67 71 Boston College: Carroll US 138,597 114
68 79 Boston University: Questrom US 129,676 124
69 63 University of St GallenFeatured business school Switzerland 124,527 72
70 62 AGSM at UNSW Business School Australia 119,671 82
71 WHU – Otto Beisheim School of ManagementFeatured business school Germany 125,176 69
72 60 University of Maryland: Smith US 125,734 94
73 80 University of Pittsburgh: Katz US 108,399 144
74 Macquarie Graduate School of Management Australia 128,166 81
75 66 Purdue University: Krannert US 125,696 103
76 63 Cranfield School of ManagementFeatured business school UK 124,086 73
77 64 Mannheim Business SchoolFeatured business school Germany 116,103 80
78 70 Brigham Young University: Marriott US 129,469 138
79 79 ESMT BerlinFeatured business school Germany 110,082 63
80 EMLyon Business SchoolFeatured business school France 93,465 83
81 72 Wisconsin School of Business US 131,452 102
81 85 University of Minnesota: Carlson US 123,754 97
83 81 University of Rochester: Simon US 122,655 129
84 72 Ohio State University: Fisher US 128,008 118
85 79 University of Toronto: Rotman Canada 101,232 93
86 79 The Lisbon MBA Portugal 108,872 73
87 McGill University: Desautels Canada 104,607 94
87 84 University of Edinburgh Business School UK 106,489 70
89 84 University College Dublin: Smurfit Ireland 116,872 68
90 George Washington University US 114,921 101
91 68 Lancaster University Management School UK 94,496 88
92 SMU: Cox US 126,181 95
93 Essec Business School France 98,120 57
94 93 Western University: Ivey Canada 104,167 80
95 Fordham University: Gabelli US 120,194 105
96 Incae Business School Costa Rica / Nicaragua 79,956 161
96 94 University of Texas at Dallas: Jindal US 99,536 103
98 Grenoble Ecole de Management France 98,394 88
99 Texas A & M University: Mays US 117,042 107
100 William & Mary: Mason US 115,958 114

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