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For the eighth consecutive year, the FT ranking of European business schools brings together the performances of institutions in four FT rankings: full-time MBA, open-enrolment and customised non-degree executive education programmes, masters in management degrees, and executive MBA. The masters in finance rankings are not included.

While some schools participated in all four of these rankings, others featured in only one. Schools that have participated in only one ranking as a partner school in a jointly-offered programme are not eligible to feature in this European ranking.

A combined total score is calculated for each qualifying school based on equal weighting of the four rankings. While each accounts for 25 per cent of this total score, in the case of executive education, rankings of open-enrolment and customised programmes assume a 12.5 per cent share respectively.

This ranking therefore takes into account the breadth of programmes ranked by the FT for each school, and the quality of these programmes.

The first step is to create tables composed exclusively of European schools. Schools that met all the criteria to participate in a ranking but were placed outside the published table (the top 100 for MBA, for example) are reinstated to create a set of rankings with European-only schools.

For each of these rankings in which one of its programmes features, a school is awarded an indexed score. If a school is ranked on the basis of a joint programme, it receives a share of the indexed score awarded for the programme in proportion to the number of partner schools. Should a school participate in two or more programmes within one ranking, the indexed scores are weighted and combined. Where schools did not participate in a given ranking, a score of zero is awarded.

Indexed scores are calculated according to Z-scores (mathematical formulae that reflect a school’s standing within the range of participants) for the individual criteria composing each ranking. Importantly, scores are not calculated from a simple aggregation of each school’s ranking position.

The individual criteria differ between rankings. For example, while the MBA, EMBA and masters in management rankings include alumni salary data, the executive education rankings do not. Due to space constraints, only a small number of selected, heavily weighted criteria are displayed.

Indexed scores awarded for each ranking are added up, according to the equal weighting outlined above. Each school’s combined score is then divided by the number of rankings in which it has a programme in order to calculate an average score – a measure of the quality of the programmes. This is then added to the combined total score to formulate each school’s final score, from which they are finally ranked in descending order.

Judith Pizer of Jeff Head Associates acted as the FT’s database consultant. The FT research rank was calculated using the Scopus database of research literature.

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