Harvard | Mr. Tech Start-Up
GMAT 720, GPA 3.52
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Social To Tech
GMAT 700, GPA 2.7
Harvard | Mr. CPG Product Manager
GMAT 720, GPA 3.5
NYU Stern | Mr. Brolic Bro
GRE 305, GPA 3.63
Tuck | Mr. Running To The Future
GMAT 720, GPA 3.5
London Business School | Ms. Audit Meme
GMAT 710, GPA 3.5
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Hanging By A Thread
GMAT 710, GPA 3.8
Wharton | Mr. Mobility Entrepreneur
GMAT 760, GPA 1st Division
Harvard | Mr. Cricket From Kashmir
GMAT 730, GPA 8.5/10
Georgetown McDonough | Mr. Aspiring Consultant
GMAT 690, GPA 3.68
HEC Paris | Mr. Analytics Consultant
GRE 326, GPA 9.05/10
Harvard | Mr. Healthcare Manager
GMAT 760, GPA 3.7
McCombs School of Business | Mr. Microsoft Consultant
GMAT N/A, GPA 2.31
Tuck | Mr. Land Management
GMAT 760, GPA 3.85
Stanford GSB | Mr. Seller
GMAT 740, GPA 3.3
Wharton | Mr. Researcher
GMAT 700, GPA 3.2
NYU Stern | Mr. Beer Guy
GRE 306, GPA 4.0
Columbia | Mr. MD/MBA
GMAT 670, GPA 3.77
Harvard | The Insurer
GMAT 730, GPA 3.4
Wharton | Mr. Data Dude
GMAT 750, GPA 4.0
Tepper | Mr. Automotive Strategy
GMAT 670 - 700 on practice tests, GPA 3.3
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Backyard Homesteader
GRE 327, GPA 3.90
Wharton | Mr. Finance to MBB
GMAT 760, GPA 4.0
London Business School | Ms. Social Impact Consulting
GRE 330, GPA 3.28
Tepper | Mr. Insurance Dude
GMAT 660, GPA 3.6
Kellogg | Ms. Indian Marketer
GMAT 680, GPA 8.9/10
NYU Stern | Mr. Middle Eastern Warrior
GMAT 720 (Estimated), GPA 3.0

Top 50 Non-U.S. MBA Programs of 2011

Dipak Jain, the new dean of INSEAD, wins an early victory with a first-place finish

Why are the these four rankings often so wildly different from each other? Mainly because they measure very different things. The BusinessWeek ranking is largely based on student and corporate recruiter satisfaction. Forbes’ ranking is a simple measurement of an MBA’s return-on-investment. The Financial Times also puts much emphasis on compensation–specifcally what alums make three years after graduation and the percentage increase from pre-MBA salary–but the pay data is among some 20 different measured variables.

The excellent MBA programs at some of Canada’s finest universities would fare better on this list if not for the bias built into the Financial Times methodology against North American schools. York University’s excellent Schulich School, for example, is ranked second by The Economist, ninth by BusinessWeek, and tenth by Forbes. But the school is comparatively snubbed by The Financial Times with a ranking of 27.

In the same way, some of the newer MBA programs in China and India tend to get little notice in the BusinessWeek and Forbes rankings, but gain recognition by the Financial Times and The Economist. Both the highly regarded Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, ranked third by the FT outside the U.S., and the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad, ranked sixth by the FT, fail to make the shorter lists put out by BusinessWeek or Forbes.


Bigger changes were most likely to occur further down the list, where the qualitative differences among the business schools aren’t nearly as great as they are at the top of the ranking. So small changes often can cause outsized results because the schools are so close together in overall quality—especially “quality” as it can be discerned by an external ranking. In these cases, the most significant changes tended to occur at schools which were either added or dropped from one of the major rankings in the past year.

Indeed, of the 11 schools whose MBA programs are new to the list, nine of them made their appearance among the institutions ranked 40th to 50th. They include No. 41 EADA Business School in Barcelona, Spain, the University of Cape Town in South Africa, and the SP Jain Institute of Management in Mumbai, India.

Some changes on the list occurred because of a result of an attempt to improve our methodology this year. Instead of using the global rank for a school as we did last year for both The Financial Times and The Economist surveys, we used the rank each should would have received had it not competed with U.S. schools. Why? Because it more effectively expresses the school’s position on a list of non-U.S. MBA programs. That change tended to shift greater weight than last year on The Financial Times and The Economist rankings.

(See next page for our ranking of the best MBA programs outside the U.S.)

About The Author

John A. Byrne is the founder and editor-in-chief of C-Change Media, publishers of Poets&Quants and four other higher education websites. He has authored or co-authored more than ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers. John is the former executive editor of Businessweek, editor-in-chief of Businessweek. com, editor-in-chief of Fast Company, and the creator of the first regularly published rankings of business schools. As the co-founder of CentreCourt MBA Festivals, he hopes to meet you at the next MBA event in-person or online.