Listen to this article
This year marks the publication of the 10th annual Financial Times survey of non-degree executive education programmes.
Open programmes are open to employees from any company or organisation. Those included here last for at least three days.
Customised programmes are tailor-made for organisations that want to offer specific training to employees.
This year, 55 schools participated in the open stream and 70 in the customised stream. To be eligible, a school must have had income of at least $2m from the programme type during the previous year.
The customised ranking is compiled using responses to two types of surveys; telephone interviews and an online survey completed by each participating school.
Business schools are asked for details of a number of top clients, who are invited to take part in a telephone interview about the school (primary interview). They can also give feedback about a second school they have used in the past 12 months (secondary interview).
The telephone interviews are conducted by a market research company, Objective Research. This year they were in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Italian and Mandarin.
Clients are asked to rate aspects of the programme on a 1 to 100-point scale: 1 is “poor”, 50 is “average” and 100 is “outstanding”.
Furthermore, the Financial Times defines three categories of customised programme, which are assigned different weightings. In descending order these are:
● Strategic: designed to determine and influence the strategy of the company;
● General: delivered to management on operational aspects of the company;
● Functional: relating to a specific function – for example, marketing.
Different weightings are also assigned to questionnaires according to the seniority of the person responsible for specifying the programme, the size of the company, and the number of business schools the client has used for customised programmes.
In total, 742 business school clients were interviewed and, of these, 41 also completed secondary interviews. Last year, 678 clients were interviewed.
The data gathered from the interviews are used to assess the first 11 criteria on the table. These make up 80 per cent of the school’s final score. The other five criteria in the customised ranking are compiled using the statistical data supplied by the business schools.
The open enrolment ranking is also calculated using data gathered from two types of surveys: an online questionnaire completed by programme participants, and a survey of statistical data supplied by participating schools.
Online questionnaires are distributed in English, French, Spanish and Italian to two groups of participants: those who took part in senior management programmes, and those who participated in general-level management programmes.
More than 5,000 senior and general participants replied to the survey in 2008.
After the online questionnaire closes, data gathered from the senior and general level participants are collated. Calculations for the two data sets are completed separately and the results are then combined using a 50/50 weighting.
These results are used to compile the first 10 criteria of the open ranking and account for 80 per cent of the school’s final score. The data from the business school are used to calculate the other six criteria.
For both rankings, calculations for the first section of the table include data (collected from participants or clients) from previous years, where applicable. The weightings are as follows: 55:45 if a school has participated for two years. If they have taken part every year for three years, the weighting is: 40:33:27.
To create the final rankings, results from the various calculations are converted into Z-scores. These take into account the differences between each business school and the distribution of scores between the highest and lowest scorers.
The schools’ Z-scores for each of the criteria are then weighted.
The weightings for the first section of the table are determined by the level of importance that respondents attach to each criterion. The weightings applied in the second section (statistical data collected from the schools) are decided by the Financial Times.
The sum of the weighted Z-scores determines a school’s overall position. The ranking is calculated on the basis of the average Z-score for schools that appear in both rankings.
Market research for customised programmes by Objective Research, Eastbourne, UK. Database consultant Judith Pizer of Jeff Head Associates, Amersham, UK. Additional research by Wai Kwen Chan
Key to tables
The first 10 criteria are based on feedback from course participants, the other six on a survey of the business schools. All criteria are presented in rank form, apart from women participants (%). The top school in each column is ranked number 1. Weights are in brackets.
Preparation (7.8) The provision of advanced information on programme content and the participant selection process
Course design (8.7) The flexibility of the course and appropriateness of class size, structure and design
Teaching materials (8.3) Contemporary and appropriate teaching materials and a suitable mix of academic rigour and practical relevance
Faculty (8.8) The quality of teaching and the extent to which teaching staff worked together to present a coherent programme
Quality of participants (8) The extent to which other participants were of the appropriate managerial/ academic level, the international mix and the interaction between participants
New skills & learning (8.8) The relevance of new skills to the workplace, the ease with of implementation and the extent that the course encouraged new ways of thinking
Follow-up (7.1) The level of follow-up offered and networking opportunities with other participants
Aims achieved (8.6) The degree to which expectations were met
Food & accommodation (6.5) The quality of food and accommodation
Facilities (7.4) The quality of teaching accommodation and IT and library facilities
Women participants % (2.0) The percentage of female participants
International participants (3.0) Amalgamates the percentage of participants from outside the business school’s base country and region (eg North America, Asia etc.)
Repeat business & growth (5.0) Amalgamates growth in income and percentage of repeat business
International location (3.0) Programmes run outside the business school’s base country and region
Partner schools (3.0) The quantity and quality of programmes taught in conjunction with other business schools
Faculty diversity (4.0) The mix of faculty by nationality and gender
The first 11 criteria are based on feedback from executive education purchasers, the other five are based on a survey completed by each business school. All criteria are presented in rank form. The top school in each column is ranked number one. Weights in brackets.
Preparation (7.8) The level of interaction with the business school; the extent to which purchasers’ ideas were integrated into the programme; and the effectiveness of the school in integrating its latest research into the programme
Programme design (7.8) The flexibility of the course and the willingness of business schools to complement their own faculty with specialists and practitioners
Teaching methods & materials (7.3) Contemporary and appropriate teaching materials and a suitable mix of academic rigour and practical relevance
Faculty (7.7) The quality of the teaching and the extent to which staff worked together to present a coherent programme
New skills & learning (7.6) The relevance of new skills to the workplace, the ease with which they were implemented and the extent to which the course encouraged new ways of thinking
Follow-up (6.1) The level of follow-up offered after participants returned to their workplace
Aims achieved (7.9) The degree to which academic and business expectations were met and the feedback from individual participants
Food & accommodation (6) The quality of food and accommodation
Facilities (6.3) The quality of the teaching accommodation, IT and library facilities
Value for money (7.5) Purchaser’s rating, in terms of value for money, of the course design, teaching materials and food and accommodation
Future use (8.0) Purchasers were asked to rate the likelihood that they would use the same business school again and if they would use the same programme again
International clients (5.0) Amalgamates the percentage of clients headquartered outside the business school’s base country and region (e.g. North America, Europe, South America)
International participants (3.0) Custom programmes with participants from more than one country
Overseas programmes (4.0) Custom programmes that have been taught in more than one country
Partner schools (3.0) Custom programmes developed or taught in conjunction with other business schools
Faculty diversity (5.0) The mix of faculty by nationality and gender
|US schools||European schools||Value for money||Programme design|
|1 Duke Corp. Education||1 IMD||1 Northwestern U: Kellogg||1 Duke Corp. Education|
|2 Northwestern U.: Kellogg||2 HEC Paris||2 U. Wisconsin-Madison||2 Northwestern U.: Kellogg|
|3 Harvard Bus. School||3 Iese Bus. School||3 Ipade||3 Babson Exec. Education|
|4 Babson Exec. Education||4 Ashridge||4 Babson Exec. Education||4 Columbia Bus. School|
|5 U. Chicago GSB||5 Stockholm Sch. Economics||5 U. Pennsylvania: Wharton||5 Harvard Bus. School|
|6 U. Pennsylvania: Wharton||6 SDA Bocconi||6 UNC: KenanFlagler||6 Thunderbird Sch. Glob. Mgt.|
|7 Thunderbird Sch. Glob. Mgt.||7 Insead||7 U. Chicago GSB||7 HEC Paris|
|8 U. Wisconsin-Madison||8 Cranfield Sch. of Mngmt||8 Ibmec São Paulo||8 U. Wisconsin-Madison|
|9 MIT: Sloan||9 Esade Bus. School||9 Harvard Bus. School||9 U. Michigan: Ross|
|10 U. Michigan: Ross||10 London Bus. School||10 Emory U.: Goizueta||10 IMD|
|New skills & learning||Follow-up||Aims achieved||Faculty|
|1 Duke Corp. Education||1 Duke Corp. Education||1 Duke Corp. Education||1 Duke Corp. Education|
|2 Northwestern U: Kellogg||2 Northwestern U: Kellogg||2 Harvard Bus. School||2 Babson Exec. Education|
|3 IMD||3 U. Wisconsin-Madison||3 IMD||3 Harvard Bus. School|
|4 HEC Paris||4 Edhec Bus. School||4 Northwestern U: Kellogg||4 Columbia Bus. School|
|5 Babson Exec. Education||5 Essec Mngmt Education||5 HEC Paris||5 Thunderbird Sch. Glob. Mgt.|
|6 U. Michigan: Ross||6 U. Texas, Austin: McCombs||6 Columbia Bus. School||6 Northwestern U.: Kellogg|
|7 U. Wisconsin-Madison||7 SDA Bocconi||7 Ipade||7 IMD|
|8 Emory U: Goizueta||8 HEC Paris||8 Stockholm Sch. Economics||8 U. Michigan: Ross|
|9 U. Chicago GSB||9 Emory U: Goizueta||9 ESCP-EAP Epn. Sch. Mngmt.||9 Ipade|
|10 Ipade||10 Esade Bus. School||10 Babson Exec. Education||10 HEC Paris|
|US schools||European schools||Quality of participants||New skills & learning|
|1 Harvard Bus. School||1 IMD||1 Harvard Bus. School||1 Harvard Bus. School|
|2 U. Virginia: Darden||2 IE Bus. School||2 Stanford U. GSB||2 UCLA: Anderson|
|3 Stanford U. GSB||3 Iese Bus. School||3 Columbia Bus. School||3 Ipade|
|4 C. for Creative Ldrshp.||4 London Bus. School||4 U. Pennsylvania: Wharton||4 U. Virginia: Darden|
|5 Columbia Bus. School||5 Insead||5 London Bus. School||5 IE Bus. School|
|6 UCLA: Anderson||6 SDA Bocconi||6 IMD||6 HEC Paris|
|7 U. Chicago GSB.||7 Essec. Mngmt Education||7 Insead||7 Stanford U. GSB|
|8 U. Pennsylvania: Wharton||8 HEC Paris||8 MIT: Sloan||8 Columbia Bus. School|
|9 Northwestern U.: Kellog||9 ESCP-EAP Epn. Sch. Mngmt||9 Northwestern U.: Kellog||9 U. Chicago GSB|
|10 MIT: Sloan||10 Cranfield Sch. Mngmt.||10 U. Virginia: Darden||10 Fundação Dom Cabral|
|1 Harvard Bus. School||1 IE. Bus. School||1 Stanford U. GSB||1 IMD|
|2 Stanford U. GSB||2 Queen’s Sch. of Business||2 Northwestern U.: Kellogg||2 Stanford U. GSB|
|3 U. of Virginia: Darden||3 IESE Bus. School||3 Harvard Bus. School||3 U. Virginia: Darden|
|4 UCLA: Anderson||4 Cranfield Sch. of Mngmt||4 U. Virginia: Darden||4 U. Chicago GSB|
|5 C. for Creative Ldrshp||5 C. for Creative Ldrshp||5 U. Wisconsin-Madison||5 U. Wisconsin-Madison|
|6 IMD||6 SDA Bocconi||6 Duke U: Fuqua||6 U. Pennsylvania: Wharton|
|7 U. Pennsylvania: Wharton||7 Essec Mngmt Education||7 Babson Exec. Education||7 Babson Exec. Education|
|8 London Bus. School||8 Ipade||8 Columbia Bus. School||8 C. for Creative Ldrshp|
|9 Columbia Bus. School||9 Fundação Dom Cabral||9 Queen’s Sch. of Business||9 Fundação Dom Cabral|
|10 IE Bus. School||10 Harvard Bus. School||10 IMD||10 Northwestern U.: Kellogg|