University of St Gallen

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British business schools make up ground on their French counterparts in the revamped Financial Times ranking of masters in management degrees.

While Switzerland’s University of St Gallen retains the top spot, French and British business schools, with 24 and 18 programmes respectively, are the backbone of the 2017 FT ranking of 95 programmes around the world. More than half of UK schools move up the ranking, compared with one in France. A third of British schools rise five places, in contrast to the two-thirds of French schools that drop five or more places.

In the most significant change in methodology since this ranking was first published in 2005, the FT now collects information about alumni’s first jobs after graduation. These data are used in conjunction with information about their current jobs, three years later. This allows the FT to calculate their salary increase since graduation — a new ranking criterion — as well as their career progress (see methodology).

British schools outperform the French on both new criteria. Warwick Business School, the top UK school for career progress, is second overall for the criterion, 30 places above the first French school, HEC Paris. Alumni from UK schools also see a higher increase between their first salary after graduation and now, at 62 per cent versus 45 per cent. However, UK school alumni still have a lower salary on average than their counterparts who studied in France, at $55,000 versus $64,000.

The University of St Gallen remains top overall, the seventh consecutive year that the Swiss school’s MA in Strategy and International Management has headed the ranking. HEC Paris stays in second place, a position it has held since 2014, while Spain’s IE Business School jumps four places to third.

St Gallen outperforms other ranked schools thanks in part to strong scores for international criteria. More than 90 per cent of students and 80 per cent of faculty are from abroad. The school is also ranked second for both the international mobility of its students and their international exposure during the programme.

“I . . . learnt to interact with people from other cultures and other places in society,” noted one Swedish graduate.

Alumni from the Swiss school also have the third-highest salary, at $114,449, adjusted for purchasing power parity, behind those from the Indian Institute of Management at Ahmedabad, on $116,476, and IIM Bangalore, on $116,094. St Gallen is also top for the quality of its careers service.

The ranking of 95 schools, up from 90 last year, includes nine institutions, from seven countries, that were ranked for the first time. Frankfurt School of Finance and Management in 41st place is the year’s highest new entrant. The German school has one of the most gender-balanced programmes, with women accounting for 49 per cent of students.

The Cems masters in management, the international programme provided through a network of 30 business schools, is ninth, down five places from 2015, when it was last ranked.

Lee Kong Chian School of Business at Singapore Management University, in 76th place overall, is the first Singaporean business school to enter this ranking, which includes seven Asian institutions. Its alumni are by far the most internationally mobile among this group. They are ranked 25th for mobility, 57 places ahead of the next most mobile alumni, those from the National Sun Yat-Sen University in Taiwan.

The joint programme delivered by IQS of Spain, Fu Jen Catholic University in Taiwan and the University of San Francisco saw the biggest rise. Its Master in Global Entrepreneurship Management jumps 34 places to 43rd, making up for a drop of 19 places the previous year. One of two ranked programmes to be delivered on three continents, it is top for international course experience.

The top masters in management

Top school: St Gallen

This is the seventh consecutive year that St Gallen’s MA in Strategy and International Management tops the ranking. Alumni have the third-highest average salary at $114,449 three years after graduation. At a cost of about SFr10,000 ($10,340), its MA is 13th for value for money. The school is also top for its careers service.

Top for career progress: Sydney

The University of Sydney Business School is top for this new criterion. About a quarter of its alumni are in senior positions and nearly half work in large or very large companies. “The programme was set up with a purpose to maximise student capability development and it has delivered well on this,” said one graduate from China.

Top new entrant: Frankfurt

Frankfurt School of Finance and Management enters the ranking for the first time, in 41st place. It is one of five German schools in the ranking. The school is one of the most gender-balanced, with 49 per cent female students. Alumni have an average salary of $88,223. More than half of them work in finance or consulting.

This article has been amended to show that the IQS/FJU/USF joint degree is one of two ranked programmes delivered on three continents.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017. All rights reserved.
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