10 Biggest Takeaways In The Financial Times 2019 MBA Ranking

7. Research Remains An American Domain

Why does research even matter? Isn’t teaching and networking what it’s all about? Doesn’t research just end up in some dusty old journal?

You’ll hear that from time-to-time, usually from someone who doesn’t understand the critical precision and gritty imagination needed to bring new insights to the market. Fact is, research and expertise produce cutting edge insights and best practices – the kind of value-adds that make the classroom experience all the more rich and memorable.

When it comes to research prowess, American business schools are blessed with deep pockets – and even deeper industry relationships. That makes them perfectly equipped to help researchers flourish. That’s exactly what they do in the graduate business space.

How dominant are American schools in research? In the Financial Times ranking, American schools represented 39 of the 50 highest research scores (which are based on the number of articles published in 50 leading journals by full-time faculty from 2015-2017). Sure enough, the ‘Big Three’ – Wharton, Stanford, and Harvard – lead the pack. MIT Sloan and Chicago Booth round out the Top 5 as well.

That’s not to say there aren’t outliers in research, which is deemed so important to the Financial Times that it accounts for 10% of a rank’s weight (the third-highest of any criterion). The University of Washington, for example, punched above ‘name’ brands like NYU Stern, Northwestern Kellogg, and Berkeley Haas. Similarly, boutique beauties like Washington Olin and Texas-Dallas also managed to outperform state juggernauts like Texas McCombs and Michigan Ross in research.

In fact, international schools are often reduced to the proverbial underdogs in this category. The London Business School notched the highest score for research but managed to finish just 10th. INSEAD ranked 20th, with a score that tied it with Indiana Kelley, Minnesota Carlson, and Boston College Carroll. Even a household name like the University of Oxford finished behind football schools like Ohio State, Florida, and Texas A&M.

Why is this important? For international programs to take the next step in the FT rankings, they’ll need to compete with American business schools on their terms. That means raising research output and quality. Considering the high cost of competing here, the price and commitment may be higher than many schools can bear.