European Schools Dominate New Executive Education Rankings: MBA News |

European Schools Dominate New Executive Education Rankings: MBA News

By QS Contributor

Updated November 1, 2019 Updated November 1, 2019

HEC Paris heads a top five dominated by European business schools in the latest set of executive education rankings released by the Financial Times (FT.)

The list, produced when combining the results of the FT’s separate executive education rankings for open enrollment and customized programs, highlights the greater reputation of leading European business schools in the format, compared to their US counterparts.

Placing second and third for customized and open enrollment programs respectively, HEC Paris sits ahead of IESE Business School, IMD and ESADE Business School in the combined top five. Fourth place is held by the worldwide executive education specialist, the Center for Creative Leadership.

“The rankings will have an important impact on the recognition of HEC Paris as a worldwide leader in management education,” said HEC Paris’ dean, Bernard Ramanantsoa in a press release for the school.

The FT’s executive education rankings are based on the opinions of course participants and clients, the level of faculty and student diversity, as well as a school’s international exposure. The paper heralds rising interest in executive education for the first time in five years, saying that, of the 1,000+ corporate clients surveyed, 41% said their organization planned to up its spending on executive education over the next three years.

In the separated tables, IMD retained its position as the leading provider of open enrollment programs, as did Duke Corporate Education (part of Duke University, home of the Fuqua School of Business) with respect to customized offerings.

While no US business schools featured in the combined top five, Chicago Booth, Stanford and Harvard Business School all placed inside the top 10, with Chicago Booth climbing to second position in the open enrollment executive education rankings. Elsewhere in the open programs category, the recent turbulence afflicting Thunderbird School of Global Management saw them plummet from third to 14th place, essentially exchanging places with the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business which rose from 14th to join HEC Paris in third this time round.

HEC Paris leads short-term MBA ROI

There was further good news for HEC Paris in a table produced by The Economist analyzing MBA ROI just one year after graduation.

Its MBA ROI table was formed by weighing the cost of tuition and the average salary lost by students while studying for a MBA against the average earnings of graduates in their first year after completing the program.

With a 67% MBA ROI after just one year, HEC Paris led three schools that were considerably ahead of the rest in this timeframe – a factor that can be partly attributed to more affordable tuition fees and the difference between taking on a one or two-year program.

The UK’s Aston Business School and the University of Hong Kong placed second the third with 64 and 60% returns respectively, ahead of India’s IIM Ahmedabad with 44%. The best immediate MBA ROI in the US, at 42%, was given as being on offer at the University of Pittsburgh’s Katz Graduate School of Business.

However, The Economist does point out that admissions processes go a long way to explaining why leading US schools fare worse for immediate MBA ROI. Average intakes at a school such as Wharton tend to be more experienced and already earning high salaries – it is therefore much harder for them to see an immediate MBA ROI, even if a graduate’s progress in the longer term more than makes up for the initial outlay in tuition over two years.

This article was originally published in May 2014 . It was last updated in November 2019

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