The best MBAs in the world right now
The top business school this year has all-round success in meeting the rankings' criteria. Source: Shutterstock

Which are the schools that top the Financial Times’ ranking of the best 100 full-time MBA programmes for 2018?

Will INSEAD hold on to its top spot for the third year running? Or have US President Donald Trump’s alma mater unseated it?

This year’s edition certainly has variations to last year’s, with Stanford back at number one, thanks to its 2014 alumni earning the highest average salary three years after graduation. Ths is a whopping 114 percent increase from their pre-MBA days.

One graduate said: “Stanford’s MBA enabled me to land my two jobs post-graduation and get much better positions than otherwise.”

Rank in 2018 3 yr. rank School name Country Weighted salary($) Salary increase(%)
1 3 Stanford Graduate School of Business US 214,742 114
2 1 Insead France / Singapore 177,157 105
3 3 University of Pennsylvania: Wharton US 190,826 96
4 4 London Business School UK 167,897 109
5 4 Harvard Business School US 192,133 102
6 8 University of Chicago: Booth US 174,153 118
7 7 Columbia Business School US 177,680 103
8 12 Ceibs China 162,858 168
9 10 MIT: Sloan US 173,095 98
10 10 University of California at Berkeley: Haas US 176,167 104
11 12 Iese Business School Spain 148,480 126
12 12 Northwestern University: Kellogg US 168,608 103
13 9 University of Cambridge: Judge UK 162,143 100
14 14 HKUST Business School China 158,119 112
15 16 Yale School of Management US 166,458 114
16 19 Dartmouth College: Tuck US 170,706 110
17 25 Cornell University: Johnson US 161,029 123
18 25 National University of Singapore Business School Singapore 143,917 134
19 21 Duke University: Fuqua US 156,876 101
20 20 Esade Business School Spain 143,542 119

Notable trends this year include the popularity of two-year MBAs – they occupy nine out of the top10 places. These programmes either maintained their positions or rose in the rankings whereas one-year programmes most fell from their positions (14 up and 21 down).

Asian schools also shone in this year’s ranking. Fifteen, a record-breaking number, of schools in the region are ranked in the 2018 edition.

The China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) is Asia’s best business school. The relatively unknown institution first entered the ranking at 92nd spot in 2002. It’s now in the top ten, beating the HKUST Business School and National University of Singapore Business School.

Despite having the smallest salary ($91,000) and the smallest salary increase from pre-MBA levels (44 percent), the Copenhagen Business School made history by being the first Danish School in FT’s ranking.

“CBS has a fantastic programme, particularly for more mature professionals who want to develop,” said one graduate.

Meanwhile, the Merage School of Business at the University of California is the first business school where there are more women than men in faculty in all 20 years of of FT’s rankings. Other ranked schools only have an average of 28 percent women in faculty.

To make it onto the list, schools have to meet FT’s entry criteria, including being accredited by Equis or the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

8,300 alumni from the class of 2014 completed FT’s survey on eight out of the 20 different criteria in the ranking, which constitutes 59 percent of its weight. The remaining criteria are based on school data and research.

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