Experimental feature

Listen to this article

Experimental feature

This FT ranking aims to give a thorough assessment of MBA programmes worldwide through a survey of business schools and alumni.

To participate, schools must meet strict criteria. Most notably, schools must be internationally accredited and the programme must have run for at least four consecutive years. This year, 150 business schools took part.

Two online surveys are used to collect the required data. The first is completed by the schools, and the second by students who graduated in 2008. For schools to be eligible, a 20 per cent response rate is required from alumni, with a minimum of 20 responses. This year, a total of 9,466 responses were submitted by alumni, 44 per cent of graduates contacted.

Data from alumni questionnaires are used to compile eight of the 20 criteria that determine the ranking. Together, these carry 59 per cent of the ranking’s weight. Published figures for these criteria include information collated by the FT over three years where available. Data gathered from the 2012 MBA survey carries 50 per cent of the total weight, and those from the 2011 and 2010 rankings account for 25 per cent each. Except for salary data, if only two years of data are available, the weighting is split 60:40 if data are from 2012 and 2011, or 70:30 if from 2012 and 2010. For salary data, the weighting is 50:50 for two years’ data, to negate any inflation-related distortions. “Value for money” is based on 2012 figures only.

The first two ranking criteria examine the difference in alumni salaries from the start of their MBAs to the present time. The salaries of alumni in the non-profit and public service sectors, and those in full-time education, are removed. Purchasing power parity rates supplied by the International Monetary Fund are used to convert the remaining data to US$ PPP equivalent figures, to allow for differences in purchasing power between countries.

Following this conversion, the mean average “current salary” is calculated for each school and weighted, for larger schools, to reflect variations between sectors. The resulting figure, “weighted salary”, carries 20 per cent of the ranking’s weight. The “salary increase”, also accounting for 20 per cent, is calculated for each school according to the difference in average alumni salary before the MBA to the present time, three years after graduation – a period of typically four to five years. Half of this figure is calculated according to the absolute salary increase, and half according to the percentage increase relative to pre-MBA salaries.

Eleven criteria, collectively account­ing for 31 per cent of the final rank, are based on data from school questionnaires. These criteria include the diversity of teaching staff, board members and MBA students, according to gender and nationality, and the international reach of the programme. For gender-related criteria, schools that have a 50:50 (male: female) composition receive the highest possible score.

The table’s final criterion, “FT research rank”, is calculated according to the relative number of articles published by schools’ full-time faculty members in 45 internationally recognised academic and practitioner journals. The rank combines the absolute number of publications, between January 2009 and October 2011, with the number of publications, weighted relative to the faculty’s size.

Following calculations for each criteria, an FT score is calculated for each school. First, a Z-score – a mathematical formula that creates numbers reflecting the range of the points – is calculated for each of the measures. These scores are then weighted and added together, giving a final total from which the schools are ranked in descending order to compose the FT’s Global MBA Ranking 2012.

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.

Key to the 2012 ranking

Figures in brackets show the percentage each criterion contributes to the final score.

Audit year

Indicates the most recent year that KPMG audited the school, applying specified audit procedures relating to selected data provided for the ranking.

Salary today

Average salary three years after graduation, US$ PPP (see p39) equivalent. Includes data for current and one or two preceding years, if available. The figure is not used in the ranking.

Weighted salary (20)

The average salary today with adjustment for variations between sectors, US$ PPP equivalent. Includes data for the current year and one or two preceding years where available.

Salary increase (20)

The average difference in salary pre-MBA to now. Half the figure is based on absolute increase, and half on percentage increase relative to pre-MBA salary – the “salary percentage increase” figure published in the table.

Value for money (3)

Calculated using salary today, course length, fees and other costs, including not working during MBA.

Career progress (3)

Calculated according to changes in the level of seniority and the size of the company alumni are working in now, versus before their MBA. Data for the current year and one or two preceding years are included where available.

Aims achieved (3)

The extent to which alumni fulfilled their goals or reasons for doing an MBA.

Placement success (2)

Alumni who used the careers service at their school were asked to rank its effectiveness in their job search. Includes data for the current year and one or two preceding years.

Employed at three months (2)

Percentage of the most recent graduating class who had found employment or accepted a job offer within three months of graduation. The figure in brackets is the percentage of the class for which the school was able to provide employment data.

Alumni recommend (2)

Alumni were asked to name three schools from which they would recruit MBA graduates. Calculated according to votes for each school. Data for the current year and one or two preceding years included where available.

Women faculty (2)

Percentage of female faculty. For gender-related criteria, schools with a 50:50 (male:female) composition receive the highest score.

Women students (2)

Percentage figure.

Women board (1)

Percentage of female members on the advisory board.

International faculty (4)

Percentage of faculty whose citizenship differs from their country of employment.

International students (4)

Percentage of current students whose citizenship differs from the country in which they study.

International board (2)

Percentage of the board whose citizenship differs from the country in which the school is based.

International mobility (6)

Based on whether alumni worked in different countries pre-MBA, on graduation and also where they are employed today.

International experience (2)

Weighted average of four criteria that measure international exposure during the MBA.

Languages (2)

Number of extra languages required on completion of the MBA. Where a proportion of students requires a further language due to an additional diploma, that figure is included in the calculations but not the final table.

Faculty with doctorates (5)

Percentage of faculty with a doctoral degree.

FT doctoral rank (5)

Based on the number of doctoral graduates from each school over the past three years. Additional points are awarded if these graduates took up faculty positions at one of the top 50 full-time MBA schools of 2011.

FT research rank (10)

Calculated according to the number of articles published by current full-time faculty members in 45 academic and practitioner journals. The rank combines the absolute number of publications with the number weighted relative to the faculty’s size.

For further updates, follow us on twitter @ftbuseducation #FTranking

Get alerts on MBA when a new story is published

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2019. All rights reserved.
Reuse this content (opens in new window)

Follow the topics in this article