The 2024 Financial Times MBA Ranking
Maria |
February 21, 2024

In this episode of Business Casual, the hosts dive deep into the nuances of the 2024 Financial Times Global MBA Ranking. They meticulously examine Wharton’s resurgence to the number one spot after last year’s exclusion, highlighting the complexities and controversies surrounding MBA rankings. The episode doesn’t shy away from discussing the unexpected ranking drops of Harvard Business School to 11th and Stanford to 23rd, providing a critical analysis of what these changes signify for the institutions involved.

A significant portion of the discussion is dedicated to the evolving emphasis on sustainability within MBA programs. The hosts also argue for the integration of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) considerations into business education, underscoring the urgent need for future business leaders to be adept in these areas. This episode offers an in-depth exploration of the shifting landscape of MBA rankings and the increasing importance of sustainability, making it an indispensable listen for anyone interested in the direction of business education globally.

Episode Transcript

[00:00:07.450] – John

Well, hello everyone, it’s John Byrne with Poets and Quants. You are listening to business casual, our weekly podcast. And as it always occurs around this time of the year, the Financial Times came out with its 2024 global MBA rank ranking. There’s quite a bit of news to cover in this ranking. Wharton makes a big return. Last year, you will recall, Wharton disappeared entirely from the list for the first time ever, and it was because the FT couldn’t get Wharton alumni, or at least enough of them, to respond to its survey. And Wharton failed to meet the minimum response rate that satisfied the FT. So they were kicked off the ranking altogether. This year, they returned to the number one spot, which is actually a fairly familiar spot for Wharton. In this ranking, they have won the number one spot. Twelve out of the 26 times that the Financial Times has ranked full time MBA programs. That’s more than any other school. Number two, in fact, is Harvard at seven and Stanford at three, along with London Business School at three and INSEAD at three. So twelve times. That’s quite a remarkable record of success, given the ups and downs of all these rankings.

[00:01:28.470] – John

Perhaps bigger news than Wharton’s return to number one is where Harvard and Stanford ended up. I will tell you that where they ended up is completely and totally shocking. Harvard plunged seven places to rank 11th. That’s the lowest Harvard Business School’s MBA program has ever ranked in the Financial Times. Stanford did even worse. The school took a complete nosedive. It dropped 19 places, hard to believe to rank 23rd, 23rd among full time MBA programs. Now, I’m going to point out that obviously that’s a ridiculous result. But when you’re dealing with numbers and metrics, and the FT uses 21 different metrics to crank out its annual ranking, almost anything can kind of happen. And if you look closely at the FT’s charts, one of the weird things about it is that Stanford was given an absolute zero in one category. And even though that category only accounted for a 3% weight in the ranking, getting a zero really is a wallop. The zero that the school got was for international faculty. Yes, the Ft rewards schools if they have a high percentage of faculty who are not from the home country of the school. Now, the year before, Stanford did just fine on this measure, but apparently the school failed to respond on this question on the survey.

[00:03:10.450] – John

And so the FT, instead of reverting to the score that it gave Stanford a year earlier, simply basically gave them a zero, even though last year the FT reported that 45% of the school’s professors qualified as international. So I think that glitch somehow accounted for the dismal performance of Stanford in the ranking. Yeah, there were other factors as well, and we’ll get into them and I’ll just give you the top ten because that’s always important. Wharton, as I said, is number one. INSEAD repeated as the number two school. And I have to say that in many recent years, INSEAD has performed consistently in this ranking. Columbia business school was third and fell from first place last year, which was something of an anomaly because Columbia has never been first in this ranking other than last year. That third place was a tie with SDa Bocconi in Italy, which went up three spots. IESC in Barcelona was 5th. 6th, there was a tie between northwestern, Kellogg and MIT Sloan. Eight was London business school. Nine was Cornell, which is actually a drop of one, even though that would feel rather high for Cornell. And then Chicago.

[00:04:32.700] – John

Booth came in kind of low too, in 10th place, even though that was a one place improvement over the year before. Caroline, what do you make of this?

[00:04:42.750] – Caroline

Well, it certainly grabs headlines, doesn’t it, when Stanford drops to not even the second tier of ten to 20, but below 20th rank. I don’t think it’s going to put many people off from applying to Stanford, to be honest. And it’s a shame that they didn’t sort out that data glitch because do you think that position reflects badly on the ranking or does it reflect badly on the school? I think most people will decide that it reflects badly on the ranking rather than actually being a true representation of Stanford business school. So I think it’s a shame that they didn’t figure that out. Surely they could have called the school and given them a chance to come up with that one data point.

[00:05:30.680] – John

Yeah, that’s a really good point. I mean, what does it take, given the consequences to its own ranking, incidentally, in terms of the rankings credibility, to make a single phone call to a PR person, for God’s sake, at Stanford and say, hey, you failed to fill this out. We have to give you a zero if you can’t give US the number. I mean, as simple as that.

[00:05:51.940] – Caroline

So, Caroline, you’re absolutely, and, you know, as you say, they’ve performed well on that criterion in past years, so there’s no reason to believe that they actually are at a zero. But it also points to the fact that there’s very little to choose between these top scores. Right? So a small difference on one particular element, which only represents a very small weighting in the ranking, can make a huge dramatic difference in the outcome. I think that speaks to the fact that people reading the ranking need to keep in mind that these are great schools and it doesn’t really matter if the school is at number one or number ten, to be honest, it’s a fantastic cohort to be part of. And there’s so little to choose often between those top schools that actually, it’s a somewhat false exercise to put them in a ranking. And also, really, the premise of a ranking, I think is false. Right. It assumes that there is a single order in the world of business schools and that we should all agree with. But everybody has a different view on what is important about the quality of a business school.

[00:07:08.280] – Caroline

And it very much depends for a candidate on what it is they’re looking to get out of the experience. And so I think that the rankings take themselves far too seriously and have way too much influence. Definitely. Much more influence than they merit.

[00:07:23.480] – John

Yeah, definitely true. Maria, your take on this year’s FT ranking?

[00:07:28.750] – Maria

Yeah, I mean, look, I applaud the FT for taking into account so many different variables and also in being so transparent and open in what the results were for each of them. But it’s almost like too many cooks in the kitchen, too many metrics in the ranking. And I do think that some of them, like, I applaud, for example, that they look at, say, the carbon footprint rank of a school. That’s wonderful. We should all be using less carbon on board with that 100%. But I don’t know how relevant something like, say, the carbon footprint rank is to. If I were looking to apply to a business school right now, not sure how super relevant that is in terms of me trying to find the best possible school to attend. So it’s almost like they, I love how much data they have, but it’s almost like they’ve lost sight of what’s actually important in their pursuit of. Okay, we’ve got these 21 different variables that we’re going to ask about, and I agree with Caroline. It’s a little bit strange that if they were missing a data point from Stanford, I mean, if I were applying to Stanford and if one of my recommenders didn’t submit in time, they would probably say to me like, hey, you’re missing a recommendation.

[00:08:39.070] – Maria

What’s up with that? So it feels a little bit odd that they would be penalized because they didn’t. Is it an important data point to have or is it not financial times? If it is important, then you owe it to the school to try to follow up. And if it’s not important, then why are you asking it? So there’s sort of a draconian, got you moment to that part of the story that doesn’t feel good. I don’t feel good about that. I wish that that weren’t part of this.

[00:09:08.910] – John

Yeah, true. In the same know when Wharton disappeared off the ranking last year because it failed to meet the minimum response rate. I don’t even know what the minimum response rate is. Now, FT points out what it is, but they have actually made exceptions because of the pandemic years. And it doesn’t tell you how much lower that response rate is based on its adjustment due to the pandemic. But also, it’s kind of silly to have a ranking without Wharton. And this year, incidentally, they have a ranking without Michigan Ross, which routinely in the US, places among the top twelve MBA programs in the United States. And they’re completely missing from the ranking because they apparently failed to meet this minimum response rate required by the FT. I get that you don’t want to publish stuff that’s basically reliant on really thin or flimsy data, but you have a lot of other data and you have historical data and you have some data. And I think rather than just throw a school out, maybe they’re on the list with an asterisk or something, because it only hurts the credibility of this ranking more than it hurts any given school.

[00:10:24.900] – John

I think it’s just sort of insane. Now, the other interesting thing that the FT does, and this is relatively recent, okay? So for the last three years, the FT has been publishing a metric that it does not use in its MBA ranking. Now, I know Maria is going to disagree with me about this because she doesn’t think this metric is all that important, but I just want to point out something about this. What this measurement purports to measure is the overall satisfaction in the MBA program that was experienced by alumni. Now, yes, it’s true that if you go to Michigan, Ross, for example, and you rate your overall satisfaction, you don’t know what that person’s satisfaction would have been at Harvard, Stanford, INSEAD, London business school, or any of the other schools that are ranked. But to the extent that in everything that we look at today, whether it’s a Yelp ranking of a restaurant or a rotten tomatoes ranking of a movie, we do look at what other people who have experienced something think about the product, the service. And this data is gathered by DFT, and they do a relatively good job with overall good response rates on their alumni surveys.

[00:11:46.470] – John

And because they’re surveying people three years out. I’m willing to say that those responses are a little bit more honest than surveying people while they’re still in the MBA program or they just graduated because that distance from the school itself helped provide a little more perspective, I think now on this measurement, even though it’s not counted, it is reported by the FT. And guess who’s number one? Stanford, which is the school ranked 23rd. And guess who’s number two? Dartmouth College’s tuck school, which makes total sense to me. And then the University of Virginia’s Darden school actually takes third place. What we did in our coverage of the rankings is we looked at these numbers over the three years that they have been disclosed by the Financial Times and then put them all together. And sure, Stanford, Dartmouth, Virginia, number one, two, three. Harvard is number three as well, tied with Virginia. IESC is fifth, Cornell is 6th, Chicago Booth 7th, Northwestern, Kellogg, a MIT, Sloan nine, and Columbia ten. And we just think that’s really interesting data that deserves to be highlighted. What do you two think about that?

[00:13:10.750] – Caroline

Yeah, I think it’s great that they’re collecting that data, and I agree that it’s useful to look at, and I think with a lot of this data, it’s useful for looking at those individual criteria and house calls, rank, and then a candidate can decide what is important to them and which of those criteria really matter for them individually. I think it’s interesting that in that list that you’ve put together, John, on the satisfaction ranking, then you have a lot of US schools or the international. The European schools are further down the list, which is different to how the overall ranking looks. Right. The overall ranking, the international schools come out much more highly. And I wonder if there’s a cultural element to that, because having studied in Europe, coming from Europe and living in the US, people in the US are definitely much more enthusiastic about their educational institutions, right. And they’re very proud of their educational institution, and that’s sort of part of the culture and tradition in a way that it is not to the same extent in many European cultures. And so I can imagine that alumni from some of the international and European schools may be more vocal about their criticism than a US alum may be, and a US alum may feel that whenever they talk about the business school, then they need to be a champion of that school.

[00:14:44.010] – Caroline

So I do think that cultural differences may play into that. That’s true. Also, there’s very little to choose between the top again, like the top 20. Right. So the top 20 in that list, they all have 93, 94, index with Stanford at 100. So it’s not like there are any big gaps there in that top cohort.

[00:15:07.310] – John

No, and that’s one of the problems with the data. And it’s probably why the FT doesn’t include it, because the results are so closely clustered together that it makes the result less meaningful on some level. I mean, sure, if you look at the top ten and 20, and then you look at the bottom ten or 20, there’s some good variation, but there’s not a whole lot of variation between the top 20 schools. And also, I should point out, given what you said, that I totally agree with you, because when I was doing the ranking at business Week and we surveyed recently graduated alums, I purposely separated the international schools from the US schools because I felt that our ranking depended so much on that alumni data that the differences, the expectations and how people fill these forms out differed enough that I didn’t think it was fair to include all the schools and bundle them together. Regardless, on our top 20, when we looked at three years of data, the Indian School of Business is on there. INSEAD is on there 18th, IMD is on there at 17th. Cambridge is on there at 14th, Bocconi at 13.

[00:16:25.770] – John

And in that top ten, there is only the one European school, ESA in Barcelona in number five. But if you do look closely at the numbers, man, they’re really close to each other. So you got to be careful in terms of interpreting this or over interpreting it. But I think it’s a fascinating data point. And after all, if a rankings purpose, and this goes back to what Caroline said, is to really measure the quality of the MBA experience for applicants who use a ranking to help choose or target schools. Yeah, carbon footprint certainly isn’t something that reflects on the quality of the MBA program or your MBA experience. Overall satisfaction certainly does. And there are a number of other things that don’t really reflect on the quality of your MBA experience. Like how many internationals or women are on the advisory board of a business school. Or for that matter, how many of the professors have doctorate degrees, regardless of whether they even teach and show up, or they’re in the back room doing research, which the distinction isn’t made in the FT ranking. And how important is scholarly research to the actual MBA experience?

[00:17:43.110] – John

Yes, it’s important that your professors are on the leading edge of knowledge in their fields, but in most cases, the way research plays out in business calls is so much of it is divorced from practitioners and real life that very little of it comes into the classroom and is useful. So there are those things about this ranking that make you scratch your head because it has nothing to do with how much money you might be able to get given the brand, how well the career services office has worked on your behalf. These are things measured in this ranking, or do you think you achieved your aims as a result of the MBA program? What percentage increase in pay did you receive three years after you graduated compared to your pre MBA salary? Things like that are all I think relevant. But what I love is that you can parse this thing, and the Financial Times does a great job in allowing you to parse the data to basically build a customized ranking for yourself. Caroline, I think you would agree with that, right?

[00:18:54.890] – Caroline

Yeah, I really appreciate that they share the data. And another thing I appreciate about this ranking is that they audit the data. So they do go round to the schools, and I can remember that at INSEAD when they came and went through everything, and they are very meticulous and they do go round to the schools regularly. So I think, therefore, this data, on the whole, is probably more reliable than some of the data in other rankings.

[00:19:21.500] – John

Yeah. And they’re the only ranking organization that actually does independent audits. I think it’s every three years they audit results and they use an accounting firm to do so. And that is definitely best practice. And no one does it. And I give the FT great credit for it. It’s also, by and large, I mean, really the only truly global ranking. And you got to give the FT a lot of credit for the fact that it’s trying to look at these programs no matter where they appear in the world. And that’s a plus, too. Maria, is there any other thing you found in this year’s ranking that kind of raised an eyebrow or your thoughts worth mentioning?

[00:20:04.350] – Maria

Yeah, no, I think just to echo what Caroline has said, the best thing about the FT ranking is that they lay out all of those 21 different metrics, and you can slice and dice and you can download a CSV, you can go down all kinds of fun rabbit holes with ordering things in different orders. Yeah, I mean, I think the only thing that I would highlight is that something like 56% of the weight of the ranking comes down to alumni responses versus 34%, which is more quantifiable. Right. More like quantifiable facts. And so I do think that if you’re going to use this ranking as a place to really inform your decision making, try to prioritize the 34% of the ranking that is based on numbers as opposed to, as you alluded to earlier, my biggest concern with this ranking is that with so much of it based on alumni opinion, to the extent that you can only go to one business school pretty much in your life, it’s kind of hard. If I think my career services office was good or not good, how do I know? Because I’ve only really encountered one career services office, so I would just help folks to use it with a grain of salt.

[00:21:22.310] – Maria

But I do love the fact that the FT ranking does, it does have that international flavor to it, and I think it does bring forth some programs into the minds of applicants that they might not either be considering, or maybe they’ve heard of the program and they were considering it, but the FT ranking helps them consider it more seriously, whereas before they might not have. So I do appreciate that breadth in terms of also kind of highlighting certain schools, let’s say in China, for example, that you might not otherwise think about. So I do like it from that perspective as well.

[00:21:57.000] – John

Yeah, those are all really good points. And I should say, though, last year there were major changes in the methodology that did result in more of a roller coaster ranking. This year’s ranking was less volatile. Nothing was changed in the methodology. So you were comparing apples to apples this year. And last year I should mention that the FT wanted to modernize its ranking, and so it added a metric on ESG issues and it added the net carbon rank of a, you know, while, you know, I think question these two data points in terms of what does it really mean for a quality MBA experience? It’s interesting. Now, I will say about the ESG measure, and here’s what they’re trying to do. They’re measuring the proportion of teaching hours in core courses dedicated to environmental, social and governance issues and climate solutions for how organizations can reach net zero. Now, this data is all self reported by the schools, and so you really can’t check it against anything. It’s basically put your finger in the air and guess. And I’m assuming that most schools pretty much do that. I mean, how certain can you be about the actual number of teaching hours devoted to ESG topics in the core, never mind how important it is or unimportant, or whether a field project or an experiential learning opportunity in this field might be more meaningful than just devoting an hour or a few hours to this.

[00:23:44.520] – John

But to the extent that it’s self reported by the schools, and it’s like a squishy, goofy kind of number, I don’t know how reliable it can be. And what’s interesting is the European schools do exceptionally well, on this, the US schools don’t do nearly as well. And in fact, in the top ten, the only US school, if you’ll even call it a US school, because it’s really more international, with campuses in London and elsewhere, is Holt International business school at number nine, right behind INSEAD at number eight. The first prominent US business school that comes into play is Yale at 14th and UCLA at 15th and UVA Darden at 16th. But the vast majority of the schools are European. And I think that does make sense to some degree because I think the European schools have been much more pioneering in the area of ESG, sustainability, and sort of the United nations goals on ESG than the US schools have been. And they’ve really been first movers in this area. It’s one of the reasons why we in fact named INSEAD’s MBA program the program of the year last year, given its big emphasis on sustainability.

[00:25:04.780] – John

But it is interesting data. Now, INSEAD number two. Now, what’s your commentary on that, Caroline? Because obviously you’re anciod expert.

[00:25:16.110] – Caroline

Yeah, it’s great news for the school. And I think what matters in these rankings is not the latest headline and how the numbers have shifted from one year to the next, but the longer term trends. And I think that is more meaningful. And I suspect next year we’ll be talking about Stanford jumping back up to the top of the ranking. Right? So this will be a blip year for Stanford. So to me, it’s more about the longer term trends. And INSEAD has been a really consistent performer in this ranking and has done well for many years. And I think that speaks to what an outstanding program it is across many different elements in this ranking. And that reflects the fact that it’s a very rigorous, a very innovative program, that it has an outstanding faculty body, very talented students, great career opportunities for people going off to post MBA jobs all around the world. So I think that that consistent performance speaks volumes about the school.

[00:26:17.210] – John

True. Now let me ask Maria, if you’re an applicant, what’s your advice to that applicant? Should the applicant ignore the FT ranking altogether? Should the applicant come to it with a healthy skepticism over the result? Should an applicant then parse the data based on what’s important to the applicant? What’s your advice to someone out there who is putting together their consideration set for what schools they intend to apply to, what schools to research, what schools to really focus on? How does this ranking help or hurt that process?

[00:26:57.990] – Maria

Well, I think what I would tell folks to do is, I think, look, any source of data, any data can be good data depending on what you’re trying to figure out. I would tell them, I think for this specific ranking in terms of how to best use it, I would have them pull up the page where the FT defines each one of these metrics and tells you exactly how they figured it out, like the methodology page, because that is really going to help you realize, for example, that the salary numbers are not absolute dollar or euro figures, that the salary numbers are adjusted for purchasing power parity, which might matter a lot for you or it might not matter for you. And so I think as long as you’re aware, if you take it with a grain of salt or a little bit of skepticism or not, maybe not even skepticism, just awareness of which different metric. What’s the source of this data? How are they mixing and matching and parsing and slicing and dicing the data? Because that’s going to then help you say to yourself, okay, if I go to the site and I say, okay, I want you to rank it according to whatever career services effectiveness or whatever that one is.

[00:28:02.640] – Maria

If I then look on the methodology page and I realize that that’s more of a subjective one versus an objective one, then I will then know, okay, maybe I should take this with more of a grain of salt. So I think my biggest piece of advice, and this is probably true for any ranking, but especially just because the FT has so many different pieces of data in it, is really look behind the headline or the top of the chart where it says, okay, this is the weighted salary. This is the value for money, right? Like the value for money rank, right. Okay, well, how do they figure that out? Oh, this is how they do it. Do I think based on how they do it that this is what matters to me, or should it not? But I love the rankings as at least a starting point. If for no other reason, if you are completely new, especially folks who are new to the business world in general, right? Because if you’ve already been working in banking or consulting or the corporate world, you’ve probably encountered people who went to some of these schools. So you might be coming into it with already a bit of a decision set in your head.

[00:29:01.610] – Maria

But if you are completely new to the world of business schools, sure, use this as a starting point to at least highlight some schools that you should perhaps look at. But don’t take anything as etched in stone or the gospel. The truth. This is the truth. Go into it with an open mind.

[00:29:20.550] – John

And that’s really good advice because the problem with most rankings is that people look at the list and they don’t look under the hood at all. They don’t really know what’s getting measured and whether it even matters to them. And yet they’re using these rankings to make very important decisions for themselves. And if anything, just being more knowledgeable and aware of what is being measured and whether it matters to you, and whether in fact it’s, let’s say, a factual result or a result that you can basically pull out of a hat, is an important element in bringing a healthy evaluation to what the ranking is saying. And you mentioned value for money. It’s worth pointing out that while Stanford MBAs have the highest alumni salaries, according to the Financial Times, and that’s nothing new, we’ve been reporting that Stanford MBAs generally make the most money out of business school, and shortly after business school, more than any other MBA program in the world. Yet on the FT’s value for money rank, the Stanford ranks 95th out of 100 schools. Now, how is that possible if Stanford MBAs are among the highest paid, not among are the highest paid MBAs in the world, period.

[00:30:40.580] – John

It just doesn’t seem to make a whole lot of sense. And incidentally, I should point out that in terms of value for money, Stanford’s scholarship assistance is very generous, probably second only to Harvard, which is the most generous when it comes to financial aid and scholarship or fellowship money. So it’s heavily discounting its MBA for a good number of students, just as Harvard is, and they’re making the most money. And yet the value from money rank is 95 out of 100. That’s just hard to compute or believe. And there are a lot of anomalies like that in this ranking, as there are with all attempts. The other thing that Caroline pointed out and Maria pointed out is a number of metrics here, which are overwhelming 21 different metrics. And what that does, it makes it harder to read the ranking because it’s more difficult to figure out what was it that caused a school’s rise or decline. Because there’s so many metrics to look at, and this is a moving target. The ranking is dynamic, meaning that everyone’s rank on any one of these 21 metrics can change from year to year. The changes can be incredibly small and insignificant, and yet they all loom large in the overall ranking.

[00:32:03.520] – John

And you can’t quite tell very easily why a score is going up or down or why it should matter to you. And this is somewhat problematic as well. I like really simple approaches, which for years, while you can argue with this, the simple way that Forbes used to rank MBA programs when they ranked them is basically return on investment. So they would look at what the cost of the degree was and then what the return was on it. And even though it’s a short term measurement, because you’re not looking long term, what that reward would be, it’s just very helpful and simple. You get one data point, you can look at it, you can agree with it, disagree with it, but it’s simple to understand, and you can quickly see why a score would go up or down in that ranking. I’m not saying that rankings should only be one or two data points, but I think 21 is like everything thrown into a stew that you have left over in the refrigerator and you don’t know what to do with it. I don’t know that your stew comes out really well when you throw 21 different ingredients in it and you can’t taste one from the other because they’re all blended together.

[00:33:21.910] – John

Caroline, you got to agree about that.

[00:33:24.660] – Caroline

Yeah, that’s a great analogy. I love it. It is quite a hodgepotch. Just one thing going back to ESG, I do appreciate that they are shining a spotlight on this. And though I absolutely agree that it’s very debatable and it won’t be something that is important to some MBA candidates, it is something that a lot of MBA candidates do care about deeply. And I agree with you that this is much more central to the strategy at European schools than it is in the US. And I see that reflected across society and in the US. I think ESG is just. It is coming to the surface more, and it is more of a concern, but it is not fundamental to the strategy and the day to day concerns of businesses and government and schools in the same way here that it is in Europe. And that needs to change. Right? Otherwise, we are all in deep trouble. We will not have the next generation. They’re going to have to resolve this climate crisis, and business schools need to take a lead. And we talked about this on the podcast last week about how business schools need to stake a claim, and they need to set a good example and help to point the direction that businesses need to go in.

[00:34:54.860] – Caroline

And so I appreciate that the FT is shining a spotlight on this, and I wish that US institutions across the board would integrate this more into their strategy and their day to day practices.

[00:35:08.700] – John

Yes, agreed. So, for all of you who want to read more about this, we do our typical two story treatment of it. We do the ten biggest surprises. So you’ll see the Financial Times 2024 MBA ranking, ten biggest surprises. Look it up. A lot of data, a lot of parsing of the ranking in a way that you’ll never get anywhere else. And then we have, of course, our big story on the ranking itself and our initial analysis of the ranking. What’s good about it? What’s not good about it, what? The big movers are both up and down on the list. And you’ll find that fascinating as well. I’ll just say this because it’s true and it’s a mystery to, okay, because every organization that ranks business schools does a horrible job of covering its own ranking. This was true over at Business Week. This is true at the US News and World Report. This is definitely true at the Financial Times. You get the most superficial coverage. And it’s kind of remarkable. Like if you read the Financial Times own coverage of its own MBA ranking, which it’s making a major investment, editorial investment in this ranking every year, and yet its story is just a disjointed hodgepodge of things that are just so superficial.

[00:36:27.330] – John

It’s like shocking. You won’t know that Michigan Ross is not on the list. And why? Because the FT won’t tell you. You won’t understand that Harvard fell to its lowest rank ever and so did Stanford. And that Stanford is ranked 23rd. You got to look in the table. You came not in the story. And up and down. The coverage is abysmal. And I’m not just signaling that for blaming the FT for that. Every organization that does a ranking, despite the investment they make in it, does a poor job of reporting it. And this opens the door for US to do a really good job. And we are in the weeds. And I think if you really want to understand this and any other ranking, this is our forte. We get under the hood and we point out the crazy stuff and the stuff that might matter and help you make sense of these lists. So if you don’t want to read the footnotes, if you don’t want to read the methodology table, if you don’t want to really get into it in a level that, that would require some time, read our coverage. I think it would be really helpful to you.

[00:37:34.880] – John

And thanks for listening. This is John Byrne with Poets and Quants.

The 2024 Financial Times MBA Ranking
Maria |
February 21, 2024

Maria

New around here? I’m an HBS graduate and a proud member (and former Board Member) of AIGAC. I considered opening a high-end boutique admissions consulting firm, but I wanted to make high-quality admissions advice accessible to all, so I “scaled myself” by creating ApplicantLab. ApplicantLab provides the SAME advice as high-end consultants at a much more affordable price. Read our rave reviews on GMATClub, and check out our free trial (no credit card required) today!