How to read the table

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The Financial Times European Masters in Management ranking is an evaluation of pre-experience masters programmes in general management offered by some of Europe’s leading business schools.

This is the second year that the Financial Times has published this ranking. In 2005, the first year of the ranking, 30 schools participated and 25 were ranked. This year, 37 schools took part and 35 are ranked.

The ranking is intended to give a thorough assessment of the nominated Masters in Management programme, as well as an insight into participating business schools and their alumni.

It is compiled using data from two sets of surveys – one is completed by alumni who graduated from the respective programmes three years ago, in 2003, and the other by the business schools.

The Financial Times contacted 8,520 alumni and 2,908 of them fully completed an on-line survey – a response rate of 34 per cent. These responses provide a comprehensive overview of the most important aspects of alumni careers.

Each year, an elite subset of students participate in the Community of European Management Schools (Cems) Master in International Management programme and, if successful, are awarded a second degree, in addition to the home degree of their alma mater. Seventeen European universities are members of Cems. Those alumni who completed the Cems programme were asked to evaluate both degrees when they filled in the on-line questionnaire.

Data from alumni questionnaires are used to determine the rankings in six of the 16 criteria, from “weighted salary (€)” to “placement success rank” and “international mobility rank”. The figures in the first column, “salary today (€)” are also based on data from alumni questionnaires but are not used in the calculation of any part of the ranking.

The following process is applied to salary data before it is used to calculate the salary figure presented in “weighted salary (€)”:

To start with, salary data of alumni working in the non-profit and public service sectors, or who are still full-time students, is removed.

Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) rates supplied by the World Bank are then used to convert the remaining salary data to US$ PPP equivalent figures. PPP rates are rates of currency conversion which are applied to iron out differences in purchasing power between different currencies, in this case, so that alumni salary data can be standardised and compared meaningfully.

After this conversion has been completed, the very highest and lowest salaries are excluded before the average salary is calculated for each school.

For larger schools, that is those with more than 50 alumni responses, there is one further stage in the process. For these schools, the average salaries are weighted to reflect the variation in salaries between different employment sectors (see graphic).

The weights are derived from a breakdown of the sectors in which alumni are working today. Average salaries within sectors are calculated for each school. The overall sector weights are then used to calculate the proportion that each sector salary average will contribute to the total average figure for a school.

The data that is shown on the table is presented in Euros rather than as PPP equivalents. This is achieved by multiplying the final average PPP figure for each school by the average Euro rate supplied by the World Bank.

The remaining 10 criteria that contribute to the final ranking, from “employed at three months (%)” to “international board (%)”, “international course experience rank”, “languages” and “faculty with doctorates (%)”, are calculated using data from the business school surveys.

After all calculations have been applied to the data for each of the different ranking criteria, the results are Z-scored on a column-by-column basis. That is, for each criterion on the table, a separate set of Z-scores is calculated. Z-scores take into account the differences in score between each school in that column and the spread of scores between the top and bottom school.

The Z-scores in each field are then multiplied by the column weights (see table key). The multiplied Z-scores from each criterion are then added together to give a final score for each school. This final score is presented as the school’s overall rank for 2006.

All the criteria which contribute to the final ranking have underlying Z-scores but in the table the data is presented as euro equivalents, ranks, percentages, or in the case of languages, the number of languages required on graduation.

The five columns at the end of the table from “Course fee (€)” to “Company internships (%)” do not contribute to the rankings. They are displayed for the information of the reader; the business schools supply the data.

Additional research by Wai Kwen Chan. Database consultant: Judith Pizer of Jeff Head Associates, Amersham, UK.

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