This is the 12th annual Financial Times ranking of European business schools. It is based on the combined performance of Europe’s leading schools across the main rankings published by the FT in 2015: MBA, Executive MBA, masters in management and non-degree executive education programmes. The online MBA and masters in finance rankings are not included.

A European rank is produced for each type of programme. Schools are awarded an indexed score, relative to the performance of their programme compared with all European programmes in that ranking.

The schools’ performances in the MBA, EMBA and MiM rankings account for 25 per cent each. For executive education, the scores obtained for customised and open programmes each account for 12.5 per cent.

The ranking is a measure of the schools’ quality and breadth of programmes. Only schools that participate in all five rankings are eligible for a full score. A school that takes part in one ranking only is eligible for one-quarter of the total score, and so on.

Indexed scores awarded for each ranking are added together, according to the weighting outlined above, creating a combined total for each school. This score is divided by the number of rankings in which a school features to calculate an average scores — a derived measure of quality. This is added to the combined total score to generate each school’s final score by which the schools are ranked.

Scores are not simply based on aggregation of published ranking positions. They are calculated using Z-scores — formulae that reflect the range between the top and bottom school — for the individual criteria that make up each component ranking. The following rules are specific to the FT composite European ranking:

Programmes that were ranked outside the published table (outside the top 100 MBA programmes, for example) are taken into consideration. They are those shown in the table with an asterisk;

Schools ranked with a joint programme receive a proportional share of the programme’s indexed score. For example, Insead receives 50 per cent of the score achieved by its joint EMBA programme delivered with Tsinghua University;

If a school is ranked more than once in the same ranking, a combined weighted score is awarded. For example, Insead receives 50 per cent of the score achieved by its own single EMBA programme (having already 50 per cent of the score achieved by its joint programme);

Finally, schools that participated in a ranking in a joint programme only are not eligible to feature.

Judith Pizer of Jeff Head Associates acted as the FT’s database consultant

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