Iese: top school for customised programmes

This is the third year in a row that the Spanish school tops the custom ranking. Iese is in the top 10 of all 15 criteria except one, “growth”, for which it is ranked 35th. Iese is ranked first for the diversity of its faculty and its international clients. The school has five global campuses and two executive education centres. It also belongs to an international network of 15 schools.

Harvard: back in the top 10

Harvard Business School
Harvard Business School © Dreamstime

Harvard Business School is in the top 10 of the custom programme ranking for the first time since 2011. It reached its lowest position of 18 in 2014 and 2015. However, the Massachusetts school moved up to 14 last year and has now jumped nine places to fifth. The ratings from its corporate clients have improved significantly and it is now top for the quality of its teaching and the relevance in the workplace of the skills they gained.

Cass: new entrant


Cass Business School at City University in London enters the custom programme ranking for the first time in 60th place. The school performed notably better for the effectiveness of follow-up after participants return to their workplace, for which it is ranked 13th. “Our client director is outstanding and consistently goes the extra mile,” commented one of its corporate clients. It is also ranked 15th for the international reach of its customised programmes.

IMD: top school for open-enrolment programmes


It is the sixth year at the top for IMD. Despite the strong Swiss franc, students say the Lausanne school offers good value for money. “What is being delivered is worth every penny,” said a Polish manager on the High Performance Leadership course. IMD is top for the preparation and selection of its participants. Its online Global Leader Index allows students to assess their strengths and training needs.

Sloan: Quality of participants


MIT Sloan Business School is top for the quality of its participants for the first time in the open-enrolment ranking. Sloan’s students have been in the top 10 for this measure since 2005 and it achieved second place in 2016. Nearly half of its participants last year had an MBA, double the average for all ranked schools. Nearly two-thirds of students worked at partner level or higher compared with an average of 36 per cent.

Wharton: Most participants

View of Hunstman Hall at the Wharton Business School.
Wharton © Dreamstime

The Wharton school at the University of Pennsylvania remains on an upward trend. It climbed three places to 14th in the open-enrolment ranking, having fallen to a low of 23rd in 2015. Wharton is unique for its number of participants, having delivered 26 online programmes in 2016 to more than 52,000 students on topics such as business analytics, digital marketing or entrepreneurship. Some 35,000 of these participants live outside the US.


Iese: top in faculty diversity

Top overall in the combined ranking, Iese in Barcelona is also best for faculty diversity. A third of the school’s full-time faculty engaged in custom education are women and more than 80 per cent are from outside Europe.

IMD: highest rate of satisfaction

Students on IMD’s open-enrolment executive education courses report the highest rate of satisfaction, with 85 per cent ranking them at least nine out of 10 for the criterion.

Stanford GSB: best host

Stanford GSB ranks top in the open executive education ranking for the quality of food and accommodation. “The facilities, location and climate could not be better,” said one participant surveyed by the FT.

Queen’s University: Smith is best in revenue

Queen’s University: Smith comes second for “growth” in the custom ranking, with revenue in 2016 up by more than 40 per cent on 2015. The school had 37 corporate clients in 2016, 12 more than the year before.

Harvard Business School: skilful performance

Harvard Business School is rated best for new skills imparted to the executives of its corporate customers — a rise of 17 places compared with 2016.

ESMT joins the elite

Portrait of Jürgen Rocholl, President of the European School of Managment and Technology, (ESMT), Berlin, 13.12.2016;
ESMT, headed by Jörg Rocholl © Jan Zappner

The Berlin school, headed by Jörg Rocholl makes the top 10 of the combined ranking for the first time. The school dropped to a low of 27 in 2014 but has since moved up significantly in both open and custom rankings.

Antai: new to the table

Antai, in Shanghai, is in the combined ranking for the first time at 15, after entering the open ranking at 32. It is the third year that the school features in the customised programme ranking.

Thunderbird: female friendly

More than 70 per cent of Thunderbird’s students on open programmes are women. Its DreamBuilder programme targets women looking to set up businesses.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2023. All rights reserved.
Reuse this content (opens in new window) CommentsJump to comments section

Follow the topics in this article