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FT and Bloomberg Release European and International Business School Rankings

This week brought not one but two rankings of international business schools: Financial Times’s 2016 ranking of European business schools and Bloomberg Businessweek’s 2016 ranking of non-U.S. business schools.

This year, London Business School is the big winner, grabbing the number one spot in both rankings. UK schools Oxford Saïd and Cambridge Judge also made a strong showing, taking third and fourth in Bloomberg.

FT and Bloomberg Release European and International Business School

Here are the top ten schools in Blooomberg’s ranking:

  1. London Business School
  3. Oxford (Said)
  4. Cambridge (Judge)
  5. IESE
  6. IE
  7. IMD
  8. SDA Bocconi
  9. Melbourne
  10. Western (Ivey)

And here are the top ten from Financial Times:

  1. London Business School
  2. HEC Paris
  4. IE
  5. University of St. Gallen
  6. ESADE
  7. SDA Bocconi
  8. IESE
  9. IMD
  10. Erasmus (Rotterdam)

Although many of the same names show up in both top ten lists, the two rankings emphasize different things. Most obviously, Bloomberg’s ranking looks at all non-U.S. schools while Financial Times’s considers only European schools, so many schools are included in the former but not the latter.

However, there are also some more fundamental differences in what the rankings are actually measuring.

Financial Times’s ranking is a general ranking of European business schools. It’s an aggregate of how the schools performed on Financial Times’s 2016 rankings of five different degree programs: MBA, EMBA, MiM, customized executive education and open-enrollment executive education.

Therefore, the Financial Times ranking is intended to capture the all-around quality of business schools rather than the quality of any one program in particular. To do well in the ranking a given school has to make a good showing in all five of the Financial Times degree program rankings.

For example, London Business School took the number one spot overall without appearing first in any of the five constituent rankings. Instead, the school performed strongly across the board, making the top ten in all five degree rankings, and ended up with the highest average score.

By contrast, Bloomberg’s ranking is a more traditional ranking of MBA programs. Its methodology is analogous to the one it uses to rank MBA programs in the United States, looking at factors like job placement among MBA grads.

These different focuses (on MBA programs vs. entire schools) account for some discrepancies between the two rankings, like the fact that HEC Paris was second in the Financial Times ranking but narrowly missed the top ten in Bloomberg. Of course, methodological differences also played a role.

Still, there’s as much in common as different between the two rankings. Not the least of which is that London Business School is welcoming the results from both! For more information, see Bloomberg’s and Financial Times’s summaries.