INSEAD Leads 2018’s Top International MBA Programs

If you mash together all three global MBA rankings from The Financial Times, The Economist and Bloomberg Business, IESE would come out on top in tenth place behind nine U.S. MBA programs

HOW EUROPEAN MBA PROGRAMS STACK UP AGAINST THEIR U.S. COUNTERPARTS

Readers often ask, however, how international MBA programs stack up against those in the U.S. If you were to simply mash together the three global MBA rankings from the FT, The Economist and Businessweek (Forbes still publishes separate rankings for U.S. and international programs), six of the top 25 full-time MBA programs in the world are outside the U.S. and every one of them is in Europe. The highest ranked non-U.S. program is IESE Business School in Spain in tenth place, just behind Yale’s School of Management and just ahead of INSEAD in 11th place.

London Business School comes in 17th on the trio of global lists, tied with New York University’s Stern School of Business, behind the No. 14 University of Virginia’s Darden School, Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and No. 16 University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business (see table below). IMD makes its appearance right behind London in 19th place. Cambridge and Bocconi both tie for 23rd place along with the University of Texas at Austin, behind No. 20 Carnegie Mellon University, No. 21 University of Washington, and No. 22 UCLA.

Not surprisingly, the differences among school positions across the three global rankings are even more wildly divergent when you include the U.S. MBA programs. Only at the very top mainly for U.S. schools is there much agreement The National University of Singapore, for example, gets much love from The Financial Times which awards the school’s MBA program a global rank of 18th. But NUS gets little respect from Bloomberg Businessweek which places the school at 108th, 90 spots lower, or The Economist where it is ranked 73rd.

HOW INSEAD FARES ACROSS THE THREE GLOBAL MBA RANKINGS

Another example is INSEAD, which has been a consistent No. 1 winner in our ranking of the best international MBA programs. The FT showers great praise on the school, ranking it second behind Stanford and ahead of Harvard and Wharton. But INSEAD ends up in 19th place on The Economist and 25th on the BW list.

The University of Virginia’s Darden School, which cracked the Top Ten this year in Businessweek and The Economist, which both ranked Darden ninth, gets something of a snub from the FT which places it 32nd on its global MBA ranking.

These major differences help to explain why you should never look at a single ranking but instead take a broader view of a school’s standing across the most influential lists. That is exactly what Poets&Quants attempts to do with its annual composite rankings. In one glance, you can see where each school ranks on all the influential lists, how their ranks changed year-over-year, and then how it all comes together in an uber ranking.

DON’T MISS: THE 2018 U.S. BUSINESS SCHOOL RANKING

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.