Russia’s widely condemned war against Ukraine is taking lives, destroying infrastructure and disrupting energy and food supplies. At the same time, China’s tough stance on Covid-19 control and standoffs with the United States and Europe — highlighted in part through the Taiwan standoff — are hindering the flow of people, ideas and trade.
If these trends have not yet led to significant deglobalization, they are sure to wreak havoc and are forming new patterns. They suspend or reverse the closer integration of East and West in many areas, including business education, in recent years.
Still, this year’s Financial Times executive MBA rankings show some students from East Asia and Russia do well. This reflects the hard work of institutions to build alliances, partnerships and campus networks in different parts of the world – to capitalize on the growing need to learn and understand different regions, encourage exchanges and foster personal networks.
However, the recent upheaval means the future of some of these relationships is starting to look less certain. As we point out in this magazine, politics trumps trade, and studying the complexities of geopolitics is becoming an important part of some business school syllabuses, while also offering more traditional courses.
FT Executive MBA Rankings 2022
Find out which schools are in our EMBA degree rankings. You can also find out how the table is compiled and read our other coverage at ft.com/emba.
This means that some of our top-ranked items have to evaluate and adjust their content and intake. The recovery in international student mobility remains patchy, with some schools now looking more to their own domestic or regional markets to recruit.
Digital and technology insights — and sustainability — remain popular, and in our new research series, we publish an MIT professor on the roles, obligations, and potential for social media companies to deal with manipulative pressures Solutions work and distort content on their platform.
We also describe the readjustment of the labour market – after a period of “skill peak” – which has implications for training. With growth slowing and interest rates rising in many parts of the world, some aspects of fintech have faded, with some moving away from industries like cryptocurrencies and “buy now, pay later” finance to more traditional banking.
Some business schools themselves are embracing technology more aggressively, taking lessons from the lockdown and continuing to teach more online – if only in some cases, as a way to bring a wider range of speakers and students to the “classroom” a way.
For example, the Wharton School recently broke out of the ranks of its leading peers with the launch of a largely remote Global Executive MBA (but for the same fee), where students participate in some intense face-to-face meetings in different cities to develop their competencies. Network and meet with their professors for a less formal exchange.
As Andrew Hill writes in his column, post-pandemic employers risk making mistakes if they simply ask their employees to return to their old offices, the “expensive work containers,” full-time.
They will need to consider new hybrid employment models, new workplace designs and – most fundamentally – “the need to reinvent old work and management habits”.
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Hill cited alternative models, including offices converted to community facilities outside of business hours. It’s no coincidence that examples such as the LEGO headquarters in Denmark are called “campus”. Universities have long offered a mix of work, study and leisure models that need to evolve for their own survival and to prepare students for changing patterns, structures and organisation of work.
Executive MBAs remain popular among mid-career managers, many of whom are keen to reflect and learn new skills – not only to seek promotion, but often switch majors or employers, or create their own start-ups . Schools have more flexibility in recruiting and supporting more diverse applicants.
As always, readers using our rankings should put them in context. They provide timely snapshots based on data including the views and current status of alumni who completed the program three years ago. The rankings take into account a range of factors, including salary outcomes, perceptions of value for money and career support, as well as diversity and research quality.
The different data points are weighted according to our judgement of the important factors, based in part on the students’ own perceptions of what matters most. But rankings can always only be one factor in deciding whether and where to study an EMBA – especially in the current uncertain world.
Andrew Jack is the Global Education Editor of the Financial Times
school in the spotlight
Top EMBA: Kellogg/HKUST
The Kellogg/HKUST EMBA topped the list for the third time in five years. The school moved up 5 places to 3rd in experience and qualifications participating in the program, and was ranked 32nd in the International Curriculum Experience category. Alumni surveyed for the ranking emphasized the importance of a global network across international campuses. “The collaboration of different groups really gives you an idea of how to resolve conflict in this setting,” wrote one graduate.
Top Individual EMBA: China Europe International Business School
Shanghai School has ranked second for three consecutive years and is the number one provider of single-school EMBA rankings. Additionally, its alumni earned the second-highest average salary of $519,782.Location and networking opportunities praised: “The opportunity to work and share time with senior Chinese and non-Chinese researchers [been] Very rewarding, provided me with privileged knowledge and influence in this market,” wrote one alumnus.
Highest goal: Yale School of Management
Ranked 14th overall, the US school tops the category of goals achieved: the extent to which alumni achieve their EMBA-initiating goals, such as promotion, career change, or developing management skills. “The student-to-faculty ratio is a significant benefit, providing unfettered access to top thought leaders in academia and business,” said one graduate surveyed for the ranking.
Back to Top 10: Washington: Olin
Three years later, Olin is back in the top 10 with its EMBA in China at number 9. The U.S. school’s rise was partly due to alumni’s median salary of $398,893, the sixth-highest. The EMBA is also ranked 10th in the work experience category, which measures graduates’ level of pre-professional knowledge, seniority in positions held, and any overseas work experience. The last time the school was in the top 10 in this category was in 2017.
Highest salary increase: HKU Business School
According to the HKU alumni report, three years after the program, their average salary has increased by 115%, to an average of US$274,175. Overall, HKU rose 14 places to 18th, with improvements in career development and international course experience.Alumni praise program design[It] It broadened my knowledge in business and management and gave me the opportunity to meet many business elites from different industries,” said one.
Big column: Emory University: Goizueta
Emory University: Goizueta saw the biggest jump, rising 27 places to tie for 36th. Alumni report that their salaries increased by an average of 89 percent from before the EMBA to three years after, a 44 percent increase year-over-year. Improved performance in the International Curriculum Experience and Research categories propelled the Atlanta school further. Alumni praised leadership modules, career services and networking opportunities.
Highest newcomer: Monash Business School
Australian schools came in at number 67 and had the highest number of new enrolments. About three-quarters of graduates achieve their goals or reasons for studying the EMBA, and alumni report a 44% increase in wages from before the EMBA to the present. One respondent stated, “I have gained a broader understanding of the corporate world through enhanced skills, mindsets and a valuable network of business contacts.” Entrepreneurship classes and teachers were also praised.
Best Gender Balance: GSOM St. Petersburg
The only school in the ranking to achieve gender parity in its most recent student body is St Petersburg University’s Graduate School of Management. The school’s proportion of female students has increased by 33 percentage points since it was listed in 2020. Alumni point to a diverse student body as an important factor in successful learning. The school has a 50/50 male to female teacher ratio.
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