The QS Global 250 Business Schools Report 2017 is Out Now

Where are the world's top business schools at which to study a full-time MBA program?

QS’s latest guide to the world’s leading business schools, the QS Global 250 Business Schools Report 2017, is out now.

Based on the responses of 12,125 MBA employers and 8,376 academics in the fields of business and management, the report aims to identify the 250 institutions at which you’ll find the world’s best full-time MBA programs.  

Business schools featured in the report can be found in all major regions of the world and in 36 different countries, highlighting the number of options at the disposal of any prospective MBA student, no matter where in the world they are currently based. The spread of business schools featured in the report, by region, is shown below.

Geographic spread of the Global 250, by region

Assessing the world’s top full-time MBA programs

Business schools offering full-time MBA programs are included in the report on the strength of their international reputations across two indicators - employability and research excellence. These are two critical points of consideration for any prospective MBA student conducting their due diligence when researching schools and programs of interest.  

However, a school with a strong international reputation in employability won’t necessarily enjoy the same academic standing, and vice versa. For this reason, the QS Global 250 Business Schools Report 2017 presents its findings in an innovative new format. In this, each institution holds a position in one of the four quadrant categories (outlined below), based on the individual scores for employability and research excellence they attain. In addition, and as is traditional to the QS Global Business Schools Reports of years past, institutions are compared against those which operate in the same regional context.   

An example quadrant chart from the QS Global 250 Business Schools Report 2017

Source: QS Global 250 Business Schools Report 2017

Highlights from the Global 250 quadrants landscape

There are 45 business schools around the world which feature in the report’s top quadrant category, the Global Elite Quadrant. Almost half of these are based in North America and a third can be found in Europe, as one might expect. However, 15% of the Global Elite are located outside of these regions, showcasing the qualification’s development outside its two most established heartlands.

The Top-Tier Research Quadrant, meanwhile, is dominated by business schools based in one region – Asia-Pacific. The results for this quadrant, in which schools with stronger global reputations for academic excellence than for employability are placed, showcase the academic esteem in which many of Asia-Pacific's top business schools are held.

The Top-Tier Employability Quadrant is where schools with stronger global reputations for employability than for research excellence are positioned. In this quadrant, we find a heavy concentration of schools based in North America, with many of the remainder to be found in Europe. These are the two regions in which the MBA employment market is perhaps best established and, therefore, it's no real surprise to find a higher number of employability 'specialists' here. 

Business schools whose scores denote solid reputations for both employability and research excellence without hitting the top-tier threshold scores in either reputational aspect are in the Superior Quadrant. It is here that a 62% majority of all 250 schools in the report feature.

The question now is which individual business schools place in which quadrant for the strength of their full-time MBA programs?

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Written by Tim Dhoul

Tim is a writer with a background in consumer journalism and charity communications. He trained as a journalist in the UK and holds degrees in history (BA) and Latin American studies (MA).

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