The Economist's MBA 2006 rankings are out. MBA rankings are tricky animals. They are based on pre determined criteria, which generally vary from ranker to ranker. Hence, what is an important criteria for determining the quality of a full-time MBA programme in one publisher's ranking, may not be as important to another. So, to a degree it does veer towards being a subjective exercise. I would recommend students, who generally tend to read too much into MBA rankings, to take these with a pinch of salt. The rankings can at best be indicative of a school's standing, not the final word on its competence.
The Economist's (EIU) rankings are based on the following criteria:
A. Open new career opportunities (35%)
1. Diversity of recruiters (Number of industry sectors)
2. Assessment of careers services (Percentage of graduates in jobs three months after graduation)
3. Jobs found through the careers service (Percentage of graduates finding jobs through careers service)
4. Student assessment (Meeting expectations and needs)
B. Personal development/educational experience (35%)
1. Faculty quality (Ratio of faculty to students/Percentage of faculty with PhD (fullÂtime only))
2. Student quality (Average GMAT score/Average length of work experience)
3. Student diversity (Percentage of foreign students/Percentage of women students)
4. Education experience (Student rating of programme content and range of electives/Range of overseas exchange programmes/Number of languages on offer)
C. Increase salary (20%)
1. How much did your salary increase after graduating? (Salary change from preÂMBA to postÂMBA (excluding bonuses))
2. Leaving salary (PostÂMBA salary (excluding bonuses))
D. Potential to network (10%)
1. Breadth of alumni network (Ratio of registered alumni to current students)
2. Internationalism of alumni (Ratio of students to overseas alumni branches)
3. Alumni effectiveness (Student assessment of alumni network)
The rankings did throw up surprises this year. IESE continued its march at the top, with a host of US and European schools following suit. Dartmouth came in at 2, with Stanford and Chicago GSB bringing up 3 and 4 and IMD at number 5. The hallowed Harvard slipped to number 7 this year. Though the list is dominated by American Schools, the number of European Schools (IMD, IESE, LBS, INSEAD etc.) and Asian MBAs (IIM A, The Nanyang MBA, NUS, HKUST etc.) have been steadily increasing. The highest ranked Asian school this year was HKUST (37) followed by The University of HK (39). The Nanyang MBA moved up a few places this year to land in at 77, up from 83 in 2005 and 92 in 2004. Without getting too emotional about the alma mater, I would say that it is good progress indeed for a newish program. IIM A fell from a position in the 60s last year to 98 this year. This will disappoint the management there, especially after having gone on record with the fact that they would not participate in local rankings and focus only on foreign rankings like EIU's or FT's. NUS broke in at 99.
A lot of the Asian MBAs like CEIBS and Chinese University of HK went unranked, but this is no indicator of any shortcoming of the programmes. It might have resulted as a consequence of non participation of the schools or any other reason.