New QS Global 200 MBA Rankings Out Now: An Overview

MBA rankings

TopMBA.com’s regional MBA rankings and the accompanying QS Global 200 Business Schools Report are out now for 2014/15. Originating in the early 90s as a single indicator rating – based on a global employer survey which asked employers from which schools they preferred to hire MBAs – the rankings include, for the first time this year, a new measure: academic reputation.

The MBA rankings are still chiefly based on the employer rating, which accounts for 85% of a school’s final score, in acknowledgement of the vocational and professional slant of the MBA. However, the addition of a global survey of academics specializing in the fields of business and management comes in recognition of the degree’s evolution in recent years to something a little more nuanced than the passport to a high-paying job in finance or consultancy which for many years it was perceived to be.

The research behind this year’s MBA rankings is the largest conducted by the QS Intelligence Unit, with 5,669 actively-hiring MBA employers and 7,187 academics surveyed to find out the final results.

So what are this year’s most notable trends?

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Three way tie for the top North American MBA

The headline result is the unprecedented three way tie at the top of the North American MBA (the US & Canada for the purposes of this rankings exercise) rankings, with Harvard Business School, Stanford GSB and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania all achieving the highest possible scores in both the employer and academic surveys. This triumvirate has long dominated the upper echelons of the North American ranking, and this tie emphasizes the quality of provision which separates them from the rest of the North American MBA pack.

The Kellogg School (6th) achieves a perfect employer score, and MIT Sloan can boast the same in the academic standings (7th). There is a lot of movement in the ranking this year, with NYU Stern being perhaps the most obvious winner, sneaking into the top 10 from 21st last year.  

Elsewhere, four of Canada’s top five business schools lost ground in the regional ranking – most notably the Rotman School which falls from 8th to 14th.

See full North American ranking.

New number one MBA in Europe

After a decade of edging out its closest rival, INSEAD this year has surrendered its status as the number one MBA in Europe to London Business School. It’s a hairline result though, so this particular contest is by no means over, and given the prestige attached to both these schools, you might say the difference is academic – which is also literally true, as it’s the tiniest lead in academic reputation which has allowed London Business School to sneak ahead.

This isn’t the only good news for the UK though – the big winner in the European MBA ranking. Warwick Business School’s ascent from 20th to 13th and Manchester Business School’s from 27th to 14th will also come as welcome reading to British administrators.

France can also boast a couple of big climbers, with HEC Paris the biggest mover in the top 10, climbing to 4th from 10th, and ESSEC climbing to 16th from 29th. Dutch schools gained ground overall, as many Spanish and Swiss schools climbed as those that fell, while Germany seemed to be the big loser, with more schools losing ground than gaining.

See the full European MBA ranking

Big shakeup in Asian business school rankings

The top of the Asian business school rankings remains stable, with INSEAD – Singapore out of sight when it comes to the employer index; a score that would see it ranking extremely competitively in both North America and Europe. And with NUS Business School climbing into 2nd and Nanyang Business School rising from 10th to 5th, Singapore seems to be the place for elite Asian business schools.

Fellow Asian Tiger economy, Hong Kong, can also lay claim to a respectable showing, with the HKUST Business School and the Faculty of Business and Economics at HKU climbing to 3rd and 4th from 12th and 19th respectively. Indian Business Schools will have something to think about however, with IIM Ahmedabad falling from 2nd to 8th, while the three other schools which made the top 10 Asian business schools last year have all lost considerable ground, with the Indian School of Business – falling from 6th to 29th - the most notable of these.

As ever, Australian schools, while not quite at the pinnacle, dominate in terms of numbers, claiming 12 of the 30 places in the Asian business school table. Melbourne Business School at 7th and the AGSM MBA at UNSW at 9th lead the way. Seoul National University’s ascent to 10th from 20th will come as welcome reading in a country which has long been earmarked as a higher education powerhouse. 

Which are the top Asian business schools?

Chile big gainer in Latin America, surprise winner in Middle East & Africa

The big winner in the Latin American MBA ranking for 2014/15 is Chile. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile retains its number two placing, while Universidad de Chile climbed to 3rd from 6th. This pair was joined by new entrants Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez and Universidad Diego Portales.

Mexico can lay claim to one school fewer, but in EGADE-Tecnológico de Monterrey, Campus Monterrey, it can still boast the region’s number one school.

There was a big shakeup in the Middle East & Africa, with the previously dominant Graduate School of Business at the University of Cape Town falling from 1st to 3rd, and a new entrant, the College of Industrial Management at King Fahd University in Saudi Arabia, shooting in at number 1 courtesy of an academic reputation which far exceeds any other school in the region.

View the Latin American and Middle East & Africa rankings

Want to know more? Download the full report, including expert insight from TopMBA.com editor-in-chief Louis Lavelle.

Written by Mansoor Iqbal

Mansoor is a contributor to and former editor of TopMBA.com. He is a higher and business education specialist, who has been published in media outlets around the world. He studied English literature at BA and MA level and has a background in consumer journalism.

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