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Business Trends

Asian schools gain ground in business education

Sixteen MBA programs in the global top 100, China's CEIBS at No. 8

CEIBS campus (Courtesy of CEIBS)

TOKYO -- As Asia has grown to become the key driver of the world economy, the need for top-tier management talent has grown along with it. The region better positioned than ever meet that demand, as shown in the latest Financial Times' MBA ranking published Monday. 

Sixteen business schools in Asia made the top 100 list, the largest number since the rankings began. Seven are in China and Hong Kong, four each are in India and Singapore, including Franco-Singaporean Insead, and one is in South Korea.

The FT global ranking of MBA courses annually rates business school programs based on criteria such as job placement and graduate salaries.

Although Insead fell out of the top spot for the first time in three years, dropping to second place in the table, half the 16 Asian schools climbed in the ranking. The most notable improvement was the entry into the top 10 of the China Europe International Business School in Shanghai, or CEIBS.

Rising from 11th place last year, CEIBS ranks eighth in 2018, holding on to the top spot for a business school founded in Asia. It's the second time for CEIBS to make the top 10.

CEIBS was co-founded by the Chinese government and the European Union in 1994. Over 60% of its faculty come from abroad. Recently the school announced the hiring of former French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin as a distinguished professor. Starting in the spring, de Villepin will lecture on diplomacy and global economic competition.

CEIBS specializes in China. Its case studies and consulting projects with companies in the country offer students a deeper understanding of a unique and rapidly emerging market with a very different business culture from that of the West. "The CEIBS MBA is offered from our Shanghai campus, and the city itself, China's economic capital, is an amazing classroom where students have a ringside seat from which to observe and experience how business is done in China," said CEIBS associate dean and MBA director professor Juan Fernandez. 

Such specialization delivers a premium for graduates, and a big selling point for MBA programs is the average salary of alumni. The FT weights it heavily: 40% of the overall ranking comes from the average salary of alumni three years after graduation, based on the dollar equivalent at purchasing power parity.

CEIBS graduates' average salaries are the lowest among the top 10 schools, worth about 24% less than the average for top-earning Stanford alumni. But the boost to their salaries that CEIBS MBA graduates receive, at 168%, is far higher than other schools in the top 10. The No. 2 school based on that criterion is the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. The sixth-ranked school overall delivers an average pay increase of 118%. "Almost 95% of MBA students who graduated in 2017 accepted job offers received, with a salary increase of over 100%," said Fernandez. "Among them, 66.2% found jobs through the school's resources and 78.1% of international students are working in the Asia-Pacific region."

Students in the Kellogg-HKUST e-MBA program listen to a lecture. (Photo courtesy of HKUST)

The high salary premium for MBA graduates is a common characteristic of business schools founded in mainland China. As Chinese companies grow more sophisticated, demand for MBA holders is rising, pushing up the value of a degree. Shanghai Jiao Tong University's Antai College of Economics delivered a 182% average pay increase for MBA graduates, topping the list of 100 business schools in the ranking.

Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Business School secured the 14th spot in the global ranking, third in Asia, second among Asia-founded schools. "Located at the doorstep to the Mainland China market, with a culture of East meets West, HKUST MBA program delivers unique learning experiences with both international and Asian perspectives," said a school spokesman. "Our alumni can benefit from lifelong learning through alumni audits on electives that hit the market trends such as Fintech and entrepreneurship."

Renmin University of China School of Business, Fudan University School of Management, and Singapore Management University Lee Kong Chian School of Business all appeared in the ranking for the first time this year.

Globally, Stanford Graduate School of Business regained the No. 1 spot after a six-year absence. The  University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School came in third, followed by London Business School and Harvard Business School.

FT ranking of Asian MBA programs for 2018

Asia

Global

School

Country

Average weighted salary  (in dollars)

Salary increase (in percent)

1 (1)

2 (1)

Insead*

France/Singapore

177,157

105

2 (2)

8 (11)

CEIBS

China

162,858

168

3 (3)

14 (15)

HKUST Business School

China

158,119

112

4 (5)

18 (26)

National University of Singapore Business School

Singapore

143,917

134

5 (4)

22 (24)

Nanyang Business School

Singapore

132,288

125

6 (6)

28 (27)

Indian School of Business

India

148,974

164

7 (7)

31 (29)

Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad

India

175,801

101

8 (10)

33 (39)

University of Hong Kong

China

128,245

121

9 (8)

34 (34)

Shanghai Jiao Tong University: Antai

China

121,635

182

10 (11)

35 (49)

Indian Institute of Management Bangalore

India

166,651

114

11 (-)

39 (-)

Renmin University of China School of Business

China

100,003

173

12 (-)

42 (-)

Fudan University School of Management

China

103,032

175

13 (9)

43 (36)

CUHK Business School

China

122,866

108

14 (-)

49 (-)

Singapore Management University: Lee Kong Chian

Singapore

112,173

134

15 (12)

51 (54)

Sungkyunkwan University GSB

South Korea

113,701

93

16 (13)

78 (95)

Indian Institute of Management Calcutta

India

139,244

117

Ranking for 2017 in parentheses; weighted salary defined as average salary three years after graduation, based on dollar purchasing power parity equivalent; salary increase shows average percentage change in alumni pay after earning an MBA

* Insead was founded in France in 1957, but now Franco-Asian with a campus in Singapore since 2000

FT ranking of MBA programs worldwide for 2018

2018

School

Country

Average weighted salary (in dollars)

Salary increase (in percent)

1 (2)

Stanford Graduate School of Business

U.S.

214,742

114

2 (1)

Insead

France / Singapore

177,157

105

3 (3)

University of Pennsylvania: Wharton

U.S.

190,826

96

4 (6)

London Business School

U.K.

167,897

109

5 (4)

Harvard Business School

U.S.

192,133

102

6 (9)

University of Chicago: Booth

U.S.

174,153

118

7 (7)

Columbia Business School

U.S.

177,680

103

8 (11)

CEIBS

China

162,858

168

9 (13)

MIT: Sloan

U.S.

173,095

98

10 (13)

University of California at Berkeley: Haas

U.S.

176,167

104

11 (10)

Iese Business School

Spain

148,480

126

12 (12)

Northwestern University: Kellogg

U.S.

168,608

103

13 (5)

University of Cambridge: Judge

U.K.

162,143

100

14 (15)

HKUST Business School

China

158,119

112

15 (15)

Yale School of Management

U.S.

166,458

114

16 (18)

Dartmouth College: Tuck

U.S.

170,706

110

17 (27)

Cornell University: Johnson

U.S.

161,029

123

18 (26)

National University of Singapore Business School

Singapore

143,917

134

19 (24)

Duke University: Fuqua

U.S.

156,876

101

20 (17)

Esade Business School

Spain

143,542

119

For more information on the latest FT MBA ranking, visit: www.ft.com/mba.

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