By many accounts, 2018 was a rocky year for graduate management education. However, interest in U.S. MBA programs continues to hold strong. Today, the 2019 global MBA ranking announced by the Financial Times shows some volatility among the lower ranked schools. However, the top ten remains firmly entrenched for another year.
Once again, Stanford Graduate School of Business takes the top spot. Second-place Harvard Business School performed better this year after coming in 5th in 2018. Meanwhile, China Europe Business School (CEIBS) inched up a few places, from 8th to 5th this year.
The FT notes that CEIBS performance in this latest ranking points to the growing strength of MBA providers in the Asia-Pacific region. GMAC has previously revealed applications from the region rose 8.9% in 2018, whereas US demand dropped.
The FT ranking is based on 20 different criteria. Salary and salary increase receive the most weight. Combined, it accounts for 40% of the ranking. In addition, the ranking assesses each program’s research output, value for money, international mobility, and more.
The 2019 Global MBA Ranking Top Ten Programs
- Stanford GSB
- Harvard Business School
- Wharton School
- London Business School
- Chicago Booth School of Business
- MIT Sloan School of Management
- Columbia Business School
- UC Berkeley Haas School of Business
Individual Strengths Highlighted in the 2019 Global MBA Ranking
Top school: Stanford GSB
Most recommended: Harvard
Top European school: INSEAD
Top for international mobility: IMD
Top for Corporate Social Responsibility: UV Darden School of Business
Highest salary increase: Fudan University School of Management
Top value for money: University of Florida Warrington
Top for international experience: the Lisbon MBA
New Methodology Planned for Future Global MBA Rankings
The FT also announced it is reviewing its methodology going forward. For the first time this year, it has assessed schools on their CSR activities. Darden School of Business came out on top for focusing a significant amount of its core curriculum on teaching CSR.
“We need to consider taking into account other important criteria in our rankings,” writes Isabel Berwick, FT’s new Work & Careers editor. “Our current focus on salary observations largely disregards professionals in the public and charitable sectors, and it does not assess their benefits to society overall. Nor can we mark the true value of entrepreneurship, since those who run start-ups may not take a regular salary for years,” she notes.
The mix of countries represented in this year’s Global MBA ranking is similar to 2017 and 2016. In fact, only a few new schools appear on the list. More than half of all ranked programs are in the U.S. Moreover, the gap between the top programs and everyone else appears to be growing. If the trend continues, we’ll likely see only a reshuffling at the top as a result.
As FT’s Jonathan Moules writes, “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.”