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Global EMBA Programs Top Financial Times 2009 Rankings

Executive MBA (EMBA) programs have had trouble attracting as many students this year as they did last, with the exception of programs that feature classes taught across multiple continents. This according to data collected for the Financial Times’ 2009 EMBA ranking, released October 19th.

Among schools surveyed by the FT, overall enrollment in EMBA programs has dropped 9 percent – and it is believed to have dropped even more among lower-ranked schools. But multi-continent EMBA programs are proving the exception. They are the only programs to have increased enrollment this year, the FT reports.

Unlike regular MBA enrollment, which is often counter-cyclical to the economy, EMBA enrollment generally drops when times get tough, especially as corporate sponsorship dries up. But multi-continent programs are bucking the trend this year, and topping the FT rankings.

Each of this year’s top four programs is taught on at least two continents. They include partnerships between Kellogg and Hong Kong UST Business School (No. 1); HEC Paris, London School of Economics and NYU Stern (No.2); Columbia and London Business School (No. 3); and a program at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business taught in the United States, the United Kingdom and Singapore (No. 4).

Even with a price tag of more than $100,000, these and other multi-continent programs are still attracting students, including many who opt to sponsor themselves. According to Vince Frillici, a Washington, DC-based political lobbyist, his decision to pursue an EMBA now through the OneMBA program at the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler school is already paying dividends. ““I feel it is adding value for my clients already,” he told the FT.
Taught at five schools in Brazil, China, Mexico, the Netherlands and the United States, Kenan-Flagler’s OneMBA was particularly attractive to Frillici precisely because of its global scope. “It’s a cliché, but the whole world is like a global village,” he told the FT.

A change in format for part-time EMBAs has helped support the growth of multi-continent programs. In place of the evening and weekend format of years past, EMBAs now often feature a modular structure in which students study in one-week blocks.  “We find that people will fly one hour for each day [of the module],” dean of EMBA programs at INSEAD, told the FT.

To read the full FT Global EMBA special report article, click here. To view the interactive 2009 EMBA rankings, click here.

Posted in: Part-Time/EMBA News, Rankings News

Schools: Columbia, INSEAD, London Business School, Northwestern / Kellogg, NYU Stern, U. Chicago Booth, UNC Kenan-Flagler

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