Management Education Institutions - Rankings and League Tables
Business schools are keen on promoting their positions in media surveys and rankings. This is understandable, with no easily measurable criteria by which to compare one school against another it is often difficult to make a useful judgement as to how they stack-up against one another. If a respected media organisation, acting as a third party, independently rates a business school as better or worse than its competitors then it is a viable marketing "weapon" for the school.
However, rankings are inevitably subjective as they rely on people’s opinions of how they benefited personally or their business benefited from having an executive attend specific business schools. This leads to the problem that where, for instance, two people had the same experience and benefits one may give an enthusiastic 9/10 while another a more conservative 7/10 – for no reason other than their own approaches to such surveys. Obviously the bigger the surveys the less these variances matter – but given that often some 200 or more schools are being ranked, no survey is likely to be sufficiently large to allow for all responses to average out evenly in terms of equality of feedback.
Furthermore, and this is a point made by the members of EQUAL (see www.the-abs.org.uk article "A Responsible Approach to League Tables"), not everyone is seeking the same objective from management education – so a school that is perfect for one person or organisation may be less than ideal for another. The biggest and most prestigious schools are not always the best choices on all occasions, especially if you are factoring travel times, cost and local knowledge into the equation.
That said Rankings are about as useful a third party measurement of management education institutions as are available and as such are worth using – even with the above caveats.
There are many rankings of MBA courses, but fewer for executive education. Some of the most well-known executive education rankings are done by:
Business Week: http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/index.html
Wall Street Journal: http://www.careerjournal.com/reports/bschool05/
Financial Times: http://news.ft.com/management/mba
When searching for programs and providers on the IEDP database you can select by these acceditors: AACSB, AMBA, EQUIS, UNICAM and for schools ranked by the FT.