FT Executive MBA 2021 ranking: agility in the face of the pandemic

A French program, a Chinese and a joint United States-Hong Kong program retained the first three places in the FT 2021 Executive MBA Ranking, in a year marked by a continuous pandemic interruption of work and studies.

HEC Paris The international EMBA regained first place, ahead – in second common position – the Kellogg / HKUST EMBA in Hong Kong, at the top of the 2020 ranking, and the China Europe International Business School (Ceib) Global EMBA in Shanghai.

Overall, EMBA alumni continued to earn high salaries in times of business uncertainty, with adjusted average salaries among graduates of FT-ranked schools in 2020 and 2021 dropping from 276,655 $ to $ 281,089.

The number of students in major business schools analyzed by the FT has dropped slightly from one year to the next. Among the 88 schools ranked in 2020 and 2021, the figure rose from 7,932 to 7,616, and among the total of 123 schools assessed, it rose from 10,729 to 10,180.

While many elite business schools have continued to attract a strong global mix of students to multiple campuses whether they operate alone or in partnership, some smaller and regional schools have suffered in recent months from declining enrollment. .

FT Executive MBA 2021 ranking: the top 100

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Find out which schools are our ranking of EMBA diplomas. Find out how the table was compiled.

“We have schools that have closed and others with programs on hold,” said Michael Desiderio, executive director of Embac, a professional body representing a larger group of nearly 300 EMBA providers, many of them in United States. “My gut [says]Overall, class sizes are flat or declining, but I don’t see the demand falling off a cliff.

The EMBA typically offers training for managers and executives who have significant previous work experience and continue to work while studying part-time. Rankings are based on metrics such as alumni salaries and how well courses have helped them achieve their goals three years after completion, as well as the diversity of student and faculty bodies and the quality of academic research. .

The FT’s three top-ranked programs – and many more out of the 100 – are offered at multiple campuses around the world, which has allowed schools to offer a wide range of experiences and greater flexibility under restrictions. of movement.

HEC Paris and Ceibs operate from their own sites, respectively in France and Qatar, as well as in China, Ghana and Switzerland. The Kellogg / HKUST EMBA is based in Hong Kong but offers students the opportunity to study part of the course at other campuses around the world.

Yuan Ding, dean of Ceibs, said pandemic-related travel restrictions and political changes in China’s relations with the West had led to “a huge localization.” He noted a decline in attendance by foreign students and expatriates, offset by growing demand from nationals for courses taught in Chinese. “We don’t take globalization for granted. You have to come up with content with locally relevant topics, ”he said.

Kathy Harvey, Associate Dean for MBA and Executive Degrees at Oxford’s Saïd Business School, ranked 12th for its EMBA, said class sizes were a bit smaller in 2020 and 2021 than before the pandemic, but the volumes and quality of applications remained strong. She added that employers’ willingness to accommodate remote working had made it possible for participants to travel to the UK for in-person lessons after first working remotely from a hotel room if they were subject to quarantine.

“We found that as a one-school program with a lot of overall content, we weren’t as affected as we thought,” she said, adding that Said had introduced “owl and lark “so that participants can join or watch recorded discussions at different times.

The increase in online learning has increased the possibility for students and guest lecturers to participate in EMBAs. Among FT-rated schools, the proportion of female students increased in 2021 to reach a third of the total, continuing an increase from a quarter a decade ago. There has been a similar increase in the proportion of women in the faculty.

Eight of the twelve top-ranked programs are carried out in multiple countries, including the EMBA Global Asia partnership between Columbia, the London Business School and the University of Hong Kong, and the Trium Global MBA, a joint degree offered jointly by HEC Paris, the London School of Economics and the Stern school of New York University.

Along with North America and Europe, China remains one of the most popular places for EMBAs, although ranked courses are also offered in places such as Singapore, South Korea, Russia, Turkey, the Gulf, North Africa and Iran.

“The words for the past year were resilience and agility,” said Elizabeth O’Neill, CEO of Trium. “We demanded it of our teachers, students and staff. We were leading and delivering a program for world leaders who understood because they were part of organizations going through incredibly rapid change. “

Schools and alumni have reported a strong interest from applicants in learning digital skills and technologies, and the desire to be taught partly online to give them greater flexibility in balancing study, work. and travel.

“The main trend has been a demand for anything digital,” said Andrew Crisp of CarringtonCrisp, an education consulting firm. “Students want content on digital transformation, leadership and everything in between. They also want digital delivery – in particular. . . prepare before arriving in class, [to] reduce the number of days absent from work.

FT-rated courses must teach at least 30 students and be hosted by a school accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business based in the United States or the Equis system based in Europe.

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