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2014 Businessweek Business School Ranking: Fuqua and ESMT's Unbelievable Rise

BusinessWeek Full-time MBA Ranking 2014Fuqua School of Business has replaced Chicago Booth to top the 2014 Bloomberg Businessweek Business School ranking - a 5-position jump from the 2012 ranking. Booth lost two positions and ranks at #3. Wharton moved one position up and ranked at #2. Remember, Businessweek Business School rankings are a biennial ranking with 25% of ranking points influenced by the 2012 survey data and 75% by the 2014 data. The biggest casualty has been the Harvard MBA program, losing six positions to rank at #8. The ranking is based on three factors: student satisfaction (45%), employer feedback (45%), and Expertise of the Faculty (10%).

Businessweek has a separate ranking list for International MBA programs. In the International list, Ivey School of Business, Canada took the top honors replacing London Business School to rank at #1. London Business School lost three positions to rank at #4. A surprise entrant to the top 3 ranking was ESMT European School of Management and Technology, Berlin, taking #3 position. The MBA program was not featured in the Top 100 MBA programs in 2012. The ever reliable IE Business School took #2 position, a one position jump while its close competitor from Spain, IESE, maintained the #8 position. Insead was another casualty, losing three positions to rank at #5.

Business School Ranking - Data and Minimum Criteria

From April to June 2014, The Businessweek team surveyed 21,833 full-time MBAs graduating at 138 Business schools. To be featured in the ranking, at least 30% of the graduating class has to respond, and 16 schools did not meet this criterion. For the other schools, the response has been below simple majority – 48.6%.

Employer Rating – The Ranking that matters

Even though school culture, faculty, and learning experience were important, and the student feedback gave an insight into where each school stands compared to what they promote, the real differentiator was the Employer ranking. There was little difference among Top MBA programs when it came to student feedback.

Based on Employer Feedback – Top 5 US MBA Programs are:

1. Pennsylvania (Wharton)
2. Duke (Fuqua)
3. Chicago (Booth)
4. Stanford
5. Northwestern (Kellogg)

Based on Employer Feedback – Top 5 International MBA Programs are:

1. Richard Ivey School of Business, Canada
2. ESMT, Berlin
3. Rotman School of Management, Toronto
4. London Business School
5. INSEAD

Ranking Index Score

One data point to keep a close eye is the Ranking Index Score. The scores are relative, which means the top ranking MBA program gets 100 point, and the second school’s index score is calculated by dividing it’s weighted sum by the top school’s weighted sum, and then multiplying it by 100.

If Duke Fuqua has a weighted score of 179 points, then Wharton scored 177.15 points.  The index score for Wharton is then calculated as:

(177.15/179)*100 = 98.97

As you can see, the difference in 1 or 2 points in the Index score translated to a small difference in the weighted score, but anything more than 5-6 points translates to considerable difference in the weighted score. So when you see the ranking data of the top 10 Full-time MBA programs, look at the index score and notice the difference. There lies the key differentiation.

2014 Rank2012 RankSchoolRanking Index Score
16Duke Fuqua100
23Wharton98.97
31Chicago Booth98.3
44Stanford96.62
513Columbia95.39
621Yale95.31
75Kellogg95.09
82Harvard92.86
98Michigan Ross92.5
1011Carnegie Mellon (Tepper)91.34
2014 International Rank2012 RankSchoolRanking Index Score
17Western (Ivey)100
23IE Business School98.79
3NAESMT97.03
41London Business School93.92
52Insead93.15
6NACambridge (Judge)86.97
75Oxford (Said)81.94
88IESE81.76
99IMD80.79
104Queen's80.78



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