The 2005 Financial Times ranking of the top executive MBA programmes is a story about London. Following the University of Chicago’s decision to move its European campus to London this year, four of the top 11 programmes are run in the UK’s capital, making it the hottest city for EMBA degrees.
The EMBA degree is particularly popular in the UK, with 11 British business schools in the table of the top 75 schools – nine of which are either in London or within two hours’ travelling time of the city. This means half of Europe’s 22 business schools ranked this year are in the UK.
As in previous years those EMBA degrees that are the most successful fall into two categories: those in big cities, and therefore which have a local catchment area, and those that have structured their programmes to attract participants from further afield.
In the first of the two categories the Wharton school at the University of Pennsylvania has proved for another year that it can outstrip its rivals. It is one of the few schools that insist participants study exactly the same materials and undergo the same entry formalities as participants on the full-time MBA. All Wharton graduates have to sit the GMAT test, for example, and this year the average GMAT score for those on the MBA for Executives is 699, says Howard Kaufold, director of the programme.
Wharton attracts students from New York and other east cost cities to its Philadelphia programme – it runs a second EMBA in San Francisco – putting it in direct competition with Columbia business school and the Stern school at NYU. This gives New Yorkers three local business schools to choose from, all of which rank in the top six US business schools for EMBA programmes.
The Fuqua school at Duke University was the pioneer of modular EMBA programmes – where courses are taught in one- or two-week blocks. Not surprisingly, then, its Global EMBA is the highest ranked modular programme. This is one of just four programmes in the ranking where alumni who graduated in 2002 (this year’s sample class) earn more than $200,000 today. The other three – Wharton, Hong Kong UST and the Kellogg school at Northwestern University – draw their students largely from a local catchment area.
The Kellogg school is represented three times in the ranking, once for its Chicago programme and twice for its joint degree programmes in Hong Kong and Germany. For the first time this year HKUST has pipped Kellogg in the ranking, taking the number two slot behind Wharton. HKUST scores well because it draws its students from Hong Kong’s wonderfully international population. Indeed many alumni who responded to the survey this year were US nationals working in Hong Kong.
HKUST’s position this year demonstrates yet again the growing influence of China in the management education market. Ceibs (the China European International Business School) in Shanghai also moved up the rankings this year, from the number 20 slot to number 13.
While alumni from HKUST report their salaries in Hong Kong or US dollars, almost all the salary data reported from Ceibs alumni is in renminbi. By calculating Ceibs salary data using PPP (purchasing power parity) rates published by the World Bank, renminbi salaries compare favourably to those salaries earned in Europe and the US.
This Financial Times 2005 EMBA rankings includes 42 US schools, 22 European schools, four from Canada, four from Asia and one school each from Australia, Brazil and Chile.