Poets&Quants’ 2014 Best International Business School Ranking

The Definitive List Of The Top International MBA Programs of 2014 — 1 to 25

School Name2013 RankIndexFinancial
The EconomistBusiness
#1London Business School1100.01344
#4IE Business School597.251125
#5IESE Business School495.732814
#6Cambridge (Judge)1292.772268
#7SDA Bocconi1092.01414143
#9Oxford (Said)790.0113176
#11Hong Kong University of Science & Technology988.46281811
#12Cranfield School of Management1585.822231310
#14National University of Singapore2082.01545229
#15York (Schulich)1178.331162421
#16Warwick Business School1374.11212NR7
#17Manchester Business School1467.020NR2613
#18City University (Cass)1666.822231310
#19Rotterdam Business School1763.5182725NR
#20Lancaster University Management School2259.33838NR12
#21Mannheim Business School1957.0301316NR
#23Hult InternationalNR*54.1282521NR
#24Melbourne Business School2653.4331527NR
#25Australian Graduate School of Management3045.629NRNR24

Source: Poets&Quants composite ranking
Notes: NR is not ranked; Ranks shown for The Financial Times and The Economist are for non-U.S. schools; * Last year the school was ranked on our U.S. MBA list

(See following page for the next 25 business schools on the list)

  • Alumnus

    While people less familiar with MBA may have higher regard for the larger universities, it is certainly not true for those who are better familar with the vaious business schools in Europe. Nor do most of these universities offer a curriculum and faculty that is on par with the top stand-alone business schools. Oxbridge is an exception, to a degree, but there is a reason why the top schools are placed where they are. Do some research before you post rubbish.

  • Consutant

    People from INSEAD having inferiority vs Oxbridge MBA I surely doubt.

  • Jan

    Hahaha…. You should go and visit INSEAD and then compare it before writing stuff like this! I went to 5 schools to check them out personally and I tell you – in terms of “overall experience” there is just nothing outside the US that compares to INSEAD. Have you actually seen the campus in Fontainebleau? Have you visitef the one in Singapore?

  • Voland

    More a case of due and necessary change – there has been a need to reinvigorate the department for several years now. While there may be some casualties in the process, the new Director of the MBA programme is making bold moves to reform admissions and careers, so I cannot say I share your pessimism. Professor Boscheck is making the right changes to strengthen and renew the IMD MBA programme, in line with a strategic vision that is surely an essential aspect of a top MBA programme.

  • UmNoJustNo

    I blame Obamacare.

  • UmNoJustNo

    Look up the recent news about the school. Career services and the admissions office have been decimated by departures. IMDs going to be hit hard for the next few years.

  • Voland

    Why do you think that AC AC?

  • AC AC

    Well, most visitors of the site are obsessed over whether HBS is better than Stanford. So, no, you won’t find that type of rabid nonsensical rambling on this thread.

  • AC AC

    Just like any of the US rankings. Unless you go to a top program, you’re out of luck.

  • AC AC

    define “good american schools”

  • AC AC

    IMD’s program has quite literally fallen apart in the last few months.

  • HSW17

    Thank you for this insightful post. The problem I see with your suggestion is quantifying such quality parameters as job satisfaction, and optimal work-life balance for to compare these results in rankings. The closest thing that comes to mind is the graduated students’ opinion score in BusinessWeek ranking, which btw have drawn lots of criticism lately. Do you know any other credible approaches to measuring such parameters which may be applicable for MBA rankings?

  • MBAobserver

    Thank you for sharing this interesting view This should be an independent article not in the comments space.

  • Jacob

    I want to share with you
    my thoughts and frustrations on the current state of these rankings and their
    potential detrimental effect. Now, I am not attacking ‘rankings’ as a practice
    here: while there are many shortcomings to this quantitative exercise, there
    are various reasons that rankings, of all sorts, continue to be in high (and, I
    suspect, increasing) demand among students, employers, academics and other
    stakeholders. I think they satisfy a need to compare and contrast and reduce
    uncertainty in a very global and complex market. What I want to share are my
    thoughts on the relevance and validity of the criteria used in the current

    I have been in the
    Business School education business for over 12 years now, teaching and
    directing programs, mostly at the Masters level. As such, I am acutely aware of
    the importance that many leading (and, even more so, aspiring) businesses
    schools place on the outcomes of such rankings. I have recently grew
    increasingly frustrated with the narrowness of the criteria feeding into the
    main Business School Masters programs’ ratings (I focus here on the FT and
    Economist). In short, the majority of criteria that indicate the outcomes of a
    Business Masters program relate to salary, status of job obtained (as measured
    by size of company or seniority of position) and employability after

    I am frustrated because
    there is no reference (or very minimal) in these criteria to the outcomes,
    which so many of us, educators and other stakeholders, consider relevant and
    important in the learning & educational experience of graduate students,
    such as analytical skills, self awareness, critical thinking, various EQ
    competencies, appreciation of and comfort with diversity and socially aware

    I am frustrated because
    when we discuss program design and content of courses we consider various
    learning and practice (i.e., competencies and skills) outcomes. Most of my
    colleagues do not enter a class thinking ‘how would what I teach my students
    today will earn them more money in their job’. The Assurance of Learning
    frameworks, such as those used by various accreditation bodies (e.g., AACSB and
    EQUIS) also refer to demonstrating that our Masters students learn useful and
    relevant skills and that we can demonstrate that our educational programs
    created a change in our students’ thinking, attitudes, and behaviour. But the
    rankings do not look at any of that. Sure, one could claim that good education
    translates itself to better employability and higher salaries but this is such
    a rough and inaccurate proxy!

    The main problem with
    this line of thinking is that it is old, very
    old and not representative of the values of current
    generations. Where does work-life
    balance enters here? Where are the preferences for a company
    with a culture that the graduate can respect? What about those graduates who
    prefer a lower paying job because it is more interesting or fulfilling?! Last
    week, Anne-Fleur Barret, one
    of the speakers in a panel of management students and employers, held during
    the recent EFMD Annual Conference on Masters Programs, shared perspectives that
    stroke a cord. This very talented and well-educated person, told us that she
    made a choice not to
    go into an executive position in her company, in spite of being invited to do
    so. While she likes the company she works in (HP), her choice reflected her
    life-work balance preferences. She asked us: am I a failure of my graduate
    school (which is highly ranked and well known) because I am not heading for an
    executive position? Even though I have a high level of career satisfaction and
    doing what I want to in life and at work? From the current ranking perspective
    the answer to her question is clear: you are not doing that well in your work;
    you have failed your Graduate Business School because you are not going for the
    formula of “higher, faster, more”.

    Yes, money and career
    success are important. I have no issue in denying that many of us, including
    myself, strive for status recognition, higher salary and various external
    indicators of success. But what we know is that there are several other factors
    that tend to be ranked above financial outcomes. In the past couple of decades,
    researchers demonstrated, through rigorous empirical studies, the importance of
    internally determined job satisfaction, of working with good colleagues and
    managers, of feeling that your work is meaningful, of knowing that your company
    does good. How is it that none of these insights of what really
    motivates us at work made its way to the career outcomes of business school

    I am frustrated and
    worried because I am well aware of how measurement shapes
    practice. The rankings are here to stay but I wonder: must they be so
    narrow? Do they truly represent what students want to get out of their Masters
    education? Are they shaped by a much too narrow approach to what a successful
    career is? Do they distort what should the measures of a good educational
    program be? And do they shape, fast and firmly, what the students who enter
    into Masters programs in business and management expect now?

    But maybe I am over reacting. Maybe I am not
    sufficiently in touch with reality or with what the 20 something business
    graduate is really looking for in a business graduate degree. So please don’t
    hesitate to disagree and argue with me.

  • HSW17

    Hahaha. I do like your comment though!

  • Ben

    Just pointing out that the hyperlinks from the rank numbers to the specific schools are incorrect. all that I saw except for LBS went to Harvard?

  • usreder

    Pretty obvious you are not happy with most comments here.

  • mingLee

    I know INSEAD well, many of my colleagues went there and I know many students there. It is not a good experience for serious education. It is party school with so many consultants who in fact studied business in undergrad and did post grad masters and surprisingly some of them already have an MBA! It is rush and mass production, students there are just numbers. It heavily depends on its massive size (the largest MBA factory in the world) its admission standard is questionable since they accept anyone with 700+ gmat. Placement for low 300 students or so is disastrous, they take normal jobs with miserable pay. beyond all that, the feel of inferiority for prestigious names such as Harvard and Stanford or Oxbridge is very obvious there.

  • Leo

    tempa, this answer only shows that you know nothing about MBAs. These names you mentioned are traditional undergrad schools, but as MBAs there not even considered top tier. Do your homework first before engaging in any kind of discussion. Especially about the “whole experience” at INSEAD

  • BeleagueredCastle

    Also… none of the orange number links that I tried actually go to the schools they are meant to, except #1. All the rest go to Harvard Business School.

  • BeleagueredCastle

    #19 Rotterdam Business School… the information is all wrong.

    Rotterdam business school is not ranked in the top of anything by any of the sources mentioned.

    A different school, Erasmus University’s Rotterdam School of Management is ranked # 25 by BusinessWeek, but none of the other rankings attributed to Rotterdam Business School match up with this University either.

    What gives?

  • HSW17

    These “pretty clear”, “pretty obvious”, “most people believe” intros are good indicators that comment has no substantial factual base whatsoever. Still thank you for your input and please feel free to add any constructive recommendations on what needs to be done by foreign schools or other institutions to improve the value of MBA degree outside the US in your opinion.


  • sederman

    Pretty clear, the amount of discussion and interaction in this page reflects the popularity of MBAs degrees and value outside U.S. yet you find people compare one of these craps to a good american schools.

  • El Meerr

    …or just people outside US are not that crazy about rankings as most of the US MBA wannabees.

  • Realist

    This is complete rubbish. No one thinks Cambridge or Oxford’s MBA program is better than either LBS or INSEAD at present (no offense intended to Judge or Said students).

  • JohnAByrne

    Thanks for catching what was a data entry error. The number one ranking had been incorrectly assigned to The Economist. It’s fixed now. But it made no difference in the school’s overall rank on our list because both BW and The Economist are given the same weight.

  • oR’LY?

    Well, judging from the lack of input from our emotional friend, he is not keen on engaging into any meaningful conversation. Seems like another troll, much like those from IMD threads.

  • RS701

    Hi John,
    Thanks for your work!
    Any reason why you do not use the QS TopMBA ranking? When I had to choose my Business school, this ranking appeared to me as being quite reliable and indicative of the reputation of an MBA among Employers.
    It is also interesting to see that the top 2 are the same as yours. Even the top 10 is matching but in a slightly different order.
    Happy to hear your thoughts about it?

  • JohnAByrne

    Yes, when a school doesn’t get ranked by a key source, it effectively counts as zero. It’s no surprise that all the schools that we consider to be among the best are generally ranked by all the publications. To me, a failure to be ranked is an important indicator of something–generally negative. For schools that refuse to cooperate with one of these key rankings, it generally means they don’t think they would show up very well and would rather selectively choose where they would do better. I like the fact that a reader can simply look at our ranking and in one place with one glimpse know exactly where the schools they are interested in rank or don’t rank. That’s very valuable info for readers which is why we include schools that may only be on one list.

  • JohnAByrne

    Frankly, I think it has a lot to do with the fact that for many years commerce was looked down upon by the intelligentsia in Europe. Academics saw business as something dirty and not all that high-minded. These attitudes have changed dramatically in recent decades, but I think they lingered for a long time and prevented the great universities of Europe from being among the pioneers in business education.

  • Randy

    IVEY is ranked #1by Business Week in your P&Q article, yet unranked by Business Week in your data here,. Why?

  • KesKas

    It is changing but the economy does not help.

  • ArticleTopicPerhaps?

    John, could you please share your thoughts on topic of high ranking of independent business schools in Europe (highest ranked international university-based MBA is #6) as compared to US, where _all_ the top schools are university-based. Is it a cultural thing? Is it somehow connected with lower authority of MBA degree in Europe? Is this trend changing or staying?

  • Karl

    thats a good point. I assure you that most people, both business and public, do not regard stand alone business school as comparable to those belong to great universities such as Harvard, Yale, Oxford or Cambridge. They do agree that some, in fact few, stand alone business schools did an excellent job in offering an outstanding MBA programs, but still they are no where close to those of large and prestigious universities, for simple reason, the resources, research, access to another aspects of academic and development arena are not exist in the standalone business schools. Schools that are based on large and excellent universities offer better learning experience and richer learning, professionally and personally. some prestigious universities in fact, offer more than that, they create industries, entrepreneurship, new technologies, for example silicon valley and Stanford and UC Berkeley in america, and silicon fen and Cambridge in UK..I think it is about time and in the near future we will see the decline of standalone business schools.

  • JohnAByrne

    Our international audience is quite large and very active on these discussion boards. As is often the case, it takes few days for people to absorb the content and comment on it. What would you like to know?

  • orly

    Could you please elaborate, which particular schools you are referring to as elite ones and which as disastrous threats?

    Do you have such international outcomes information re US schools?

  • Farina

    totally agree. god bless you.

  • Grand Ecole Crap

    Be careful people. Many schools, which are ranked amongst the top 50 here have MBA programs with dismal employment rates & disastrous post MBA salary figures. Most West European schools, except the elite ones, have strong local reputation but no international standing at all. Its a threat in disguise for international students who get trapped. The schools provide minimal career/job search support & the language barrier rules out a plethora of job opportunities. In the end, international students get forced to take up entry level roles if available & those who return to their homeland face another daunting task of selling themselves in a market where the school that they have graduated from has no reputation whatsoever. Indian students who study in Europe get hit very badly when they get back home. May God be with them.

  • Kecenga

    comments here are not active at all, on the US schools page, it is live and gets lots of comments, my thought is: either the MBA is highly regarded in US and not so in the rest of the world OR people who interested in international schools do not come here or in any american website.

  • abitsurprised

    It is a bit strange, that top 5 places in this ranking are taken by stand-alone business schools, unlike the US ranking, where all top business schools are based in major Universities.

    I think the reason is the reluctance of major European universities to adopt MBA degree during 20th century, which allowed nimble stand-alone players to emerge as a top ranked business schools. But since the situation has changed in the past decades, I believe in the long run these institutions stand no chance against the top universities, which are real juggernauts in education in terms of brand value, resources and expertise.

    So I believe top 5 places are likely to be occupied by university-based business schools in the next 5-10 years. I personally would love to see Cambridge, Oxford, HEC, St. Gallen and HKUST in the top 5 🙂

  • abitsurprised

    Dear JIM,

    You seem to argue that US-originated MBA education is:
    1) Useless outside the US. This point can be proven wrong by looking at career reports of business schools all over the world.
    2) Can not be taught by any non-US top educational institution such as Oxford, Cambridge or HEC, which are able to teach all other degrees with the highest level of quality. I haven’t grasped your reasoning behind this statement, but in case you are referring to the lack of demand for MBAs outside of US, I think that number of business schools emerging in Europe and Asia in the past decades may serve as a proof of demand exceeding supply of MBAs in these parts of the world.

    Basically MBA is just one more US-invented technology, such as conveyor-belt assembly lines or internet. And just as those technologies it has successfully spread to other parts of the world, some of which are well on the way to surpassing pioneer institutions from US in terms of quality and career outcomes, just as German and Japanese car makers have long surpassed Americans in their respective industry.


    The today’s rank is not for MBA. It is for European business schools. For MBA, FT publish one ranking in Jan every year.

  • JIM

    John, I really appreciate your tremendous work and the extensive experience you have business schools rankings and classifications, but I see ranking the international schools adds no value as they are not really a true MBA. They are totally different than the real MBAs in US schools. MBA is highly regarded degree in american corporate culture but it is not seen as so in for example europe. So, if you just keep the ranking for a US based business schools, and you make a list with no ranks for the international schools.

  • Henry

    Ivey isn’t ranked by The Economist or Forbes because they do not to participate in those rankings. It seems that you are implying that they don’t get ranked instead.

  • Hi John,

    Thanks for this list. One quick methodology-related question: when a school is not ranked (NR) by one of the four publications, does that counted as a “zero” ranking?

    I imagine that’s the case as it explains how a a school like The University of Hong Kong, ranked only by The Economist and listed as #9, ends up at #52 on this list. That approach would disadvantage any school that, for some reason, is ineligible to participate in one or more of these publications’ rankings. Do you think it might make more sense only to include those schools which received a ranking by all four publications in order to be consistent?

  • clarkharry86

    my co-worker’s sister-in-law makes $83 an hour on the internet .. She has been fired for nine months but last month her paycheck was $19782 just working on the internet for a few hours…..

    go to ths sit…………




  • Strongholder

    In today’s FT ranking of the best European MBAs Oxford is 10th and Cambridge is 19th. So, who is doing better? ))))

  • paul

    I thought HEC offers an MBA?! Is the MBA considered an undergraduate degree in france???


    HEC Paris is NOT for undergrad. Its majority offerings are an undergrads YES, but they do offer an MBA, full time, executive, and in partnership with other top universities. They offer the Master of management which is the flagship program, people sometimes call it an undergrad because the difference in the french educational system. Oxbridge just came yesterday to MBA industry, however, look what they did, they placed themselves as top in europe and worldwide. This is not a propaganda, this real evaluation that Oxbridge, NOW is comparable to INSEAD and LBS, in fact they are far better when it comes to prestige and reputation. The Mckinsey MD could not believe himself when oxford offered him a place in its business school board, and he is always telling everyone everywhere how proud he is to be in that post.

  • Jokes

    HEC Paris is for undergrad while INSEAD is for grad, especially an MBA. Oxford and Cambridge are to be perfectly fair still a second-tier school for MBA education. LBS is far better than OxBridge..

    This gotta be a branding propaganda from OxBridge MBA folks!

  • tempa

    I seriously mean it, no jealousy at all. I strongly believe INSEAD is a good school and offers good education, but if you talk about top tier, prestige, cream of the cream, and the very best, INSEAD can’t stand beside the old french grand ecole such as HEC Paris, let alone the elite english prestigious universities such as Oxford and Cambridge. Let us be honest, an MBA today is not only a mere accounting and finance, it is about the whole experience and belonging, would you like to be associated to Oxford or With a gloomy poor buildings across the road in a miserable village called fontainebleau? I think it is clear, and these rankings publications just did not do their work properly.

  • question

    are you from one of the schools in the vicinity of 10-15? what’s all the jealousy

  • tempa

    I think that INSEAD is overrated here, it should be placed somewhere around 10 to 15.


    Yeah, cambridge did very well recently, even in the job market, it outperformed Oxford. I think it should be ranked as #3 after LBS and INSEAD.

  • obeniehimer

    It seems to me that Cambridge’ Judge has emerged to be the next best after LBS, INSEAD, IMD, given that the spanish schools do not really enjoy the fame of Cambridge. However, I wonder how much does it take for this school to overcome the best three schools europe. I think that Cambridge is clearly ahead of oxford in the MBA.