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The 11th annual Financial Times ranking of European business schools is based on the combined performance of Europe’s leading schools across the main rankings published by the FT in 2014: MBA, executive MBA, masters in management and non-degree executive education programmes. The online MBA and masters in finance rankings are not included.

A European rank is produced for each type of programme. Schools are awarded an indexed score, relative to the performance of their programme compared with all European programmes in that ranking.

The schools’ performances in the MBA, EMBA and MiM rankings account for 25 per cent each. For executive education, the scores obtained for customised and open programmes both account for 12.5 per cent.

Indexed scores awarded for each ranking are added together, according to the weighting outlined above, creating a combined total for each school. This score is divided by the number of rankings in which a school features to calculate an average score – a derived measure of quality. This is added to the combined total score to generate each school’s final score by which the schools are ranked.

The ranking is a measure of the schools’ quality and breadth of programmes. Only schools that participated in all five rankings are eligible for a full score. A school that took part in one ranking only is eligible for one-quarter of the total score, and so on.

Scores are not simply based on aggregation of published ranking positions. They are calculated using Z-scores – formulae that reflect the range between the top and bottom school – for the individual criteria that compose each component ranking.

The following rules are specific to the FT composite European ranking:

• Programmes that were ranked outside the published table (outside the top 100 MBA programmes, for example) are taken into consideration. They are those shown in the table with an asterisk;

• Schools ranked with a joint programme receive a proportional share of the programme’s indexed score. For example, Rotterdam received 25 per cent of the score achieved by its joint EMBA programme delivered with three other schools;

• If a school is ranked more than once in the same ranking, a combined weighted score is awarded. For example, Rotterdam received 75 per cent of the score achieved by its own EMBA programme (having already 25 per cent of the score achieved by its joint programme);

• Finally, schools that participated with only a joint programme in one ranking only are not eligible to feature.

Judith Pizer of Jeff Head Associates acted as the FT’s database consultant.

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