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22 May 2014 Back

FT Executive Education Rankings 2014

PROVIDER NEWS: For the third year running Duke CE and IMD top the FT rankings in the Custom and Open program categories respectively. The Financial Times executive education rankings (now in their 16th year) are the most respected barometer the sector currently has, with schools expending considerable time and resource in ensuring they perform in the rankings’ chosen criteria.

As with all rankings of course, the FT’s exec-ed league table needs to be read with caution. Box-ticking exercises can overlook the nuance and specifics of a complex area and executive education provision - tackling as it does the whole growing gamut of modern management concerns; from psychology, to ethics, to high-tech supply chains – certainly is that.

Taken with the appropriate scepticism then, the rankings do provide a helpful snapshot of the exec-ed horizon; marking out who the ‘top players’ in the field currently are – if not providing much more detail to dig down into beneath that. For the extra level of detail of course, IEDP will inevitably point to its own expertise – and the rich resources of its course finder, magazine and research library sister site ideasforleaders.com.

Here’s the top-level ‘need to know’ skinny on this year’s FT rankings:

- The rankings are split into two separate streams – custom programs and open enrolment (OE) ones.

- The ranking currently includes 80 business schools from all parts of the world and is based mainly on data provided by participants and corporate clients.

- In determining the overall ranking, different criteria, including course design, teaching methods and materials, and faculty were assessed.

Open Program Ranking

In the open ranking, IMD further improved its performance in the participant survey. It is now ranked 1st in three of the corporate criteria and within the top five for another six criteria. Chicago Booth School of Business climbed three places to 2nd, coming in 1st in both preparation and course design, while Darden Business School at the University of Virginia rose furthest, climbing a remarkable 11 places to rank joint 3rd with HEC Paris (HEC Paris placed 1st in overall in the combined rankings). Darden topped in both teaching method/materials and faculty and also came 2nd in course design, follow-up and food & accommodation. INSEAD was not far behind at number five whilst joint 6th was awarded to IESE Business School who scored well on the business school survey leading in two of the six categories.

In spite of remaining the same position as last year at number eight, Stanford Graduate School of Business topped the rankings in both quality of participants and food and accommodation.

Rotman University of Toronto still managed to lead the way from the Canadian schools, despite dropping five places from last year, coming in at a respectable 20th. Other Canadian Schools making the top 70 included Ivey Western University, Schulich York University and – a new entrant - University of Alberta.

Custom Programs

Duke CE topped the customised ranking for the twelfth consecutive year. Duke’s corporate customers praise the school’s relationship with clients. Suzanne McAndrew, vice president in charge of talent management at American Express, said: “Duke ensured that we deliver the right return on investment on this program and continues to evolve the design to match our short-term and long-term leadership needs”.

HEC Paris is 2nd for the sixth year running and IESE of Spain is 3rd for the third year. HEC Paris was just behind Duke, coming 1st in four of the criteria judged by customers including program design and value for money. CCL climbed one place to number four scoring high in a number of criteria including preparation and teaching methods and materials while IMD Business School ranked at an impressive number five.

Cranfield School of Management, leading the UK schools, and Stanford Graduate School of Business both improved from last year’s ranking coming in at 7th and 8th. London Business School jumped from 17th to a much improved 9th position. Sabine Vinck, Associate Dean, Executive Education at LBS, said:

“We are thrilled by these results. It is wonderful to see our commitment to constant improvement being recognised.”

Despite the fact that Kenan-Flagler didn’t quite make it to the top spot and were one down from last year at joint 9th with SDA Bocconi, Executive Director of Executive Development at Kenan-Flagler David Leonard said UNC’s program has several outstanding qualities. “We differentiate in our faculty, we have a large extensive network, and I think our design and focus at the job site differentiates us”. Leonard went on to say that the school will be aiming to improve it’s ranking by supporting the learning that takes place after the program.

Overall, it is fair to say that Duke CE, IMD, HEC Paris and University of Chicago Booth have lead the way this year on both custom and open programs. However, despite not gaining the top position, several other schools have also scored highly (even going straight to the number one spot) on many different criteria – perhaps supporting IEDP’s own position that a quest or search for the ‘top spots’ may not give you the full picture.

Further Reading:

Read the full Open Program rankings on the FT website

Read the full Custom Program rankings on the FT website

2014 FT Rankings of Business Schools for Executive Education



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