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Financial Times Releases 2010 Global EMBA Rankings

Collaborative programs between business schools spanning the globe reigned supreme in this year’s Financial Times’ rankings of top Executive MBA (EMBA) programs, released today.

The Kellogg/Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Business School (Kellogg-HKUST) program held the top spot in the rankings for the second year in a row. Following at number two, up a spot from last year, was the Columbia/London Business School program. And coming in at number three, slipping a spot from last year, was the Trium: HEC Paris/London School of Economics/New York University Stern EMBA program. EMBA programs at INSEAD and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business rounded out the top five.

In a special report accompanying the rankings, the FT cited several emerging trends in the EMBA field. First, more and more EMBA students are financing their own programs today, in sharp contrast to the days when it was de rigueur for corporations to foot the bill. The recession, certainly, has lessened companies’ willingness to sponsor the programs, which can top $150,000 in some cases.

But according to the FT, recent financial constraints have only exacerbated a situation that began to emerge more than a decade ago when corporate sponsorship first began to decrease. Contributing to the shift is the fact that sponsoring employees to complete EMBA programs can backfire for corporations, because while doing so can help groom the next generation of board members, it can also give promising executives the credentials they need to jump ship.

As corporate sponsorship dries up and self-financing becomes the norm, business schools are seeing application and enrollment volume for their EMBA programs remain flat or even decrease, according to the FT report. Programs that are growing in this environment are those in countries or regions traditionally underserved by management schools, such as Asia, the report continued.

The shift toward self-financed programs has changed the demographic of the EMBA student as well. Once almost exclusively the domain of corporate managers, EMBA programs now count executives from a wide range of fields.

At New York University’s Stern School of Business, for example, 40 percent of EMBA students are either doctors or have PhDs, the FT reports. “Physicians seem to have more reasons than most,” Liane Kentas, director of EMBA admissions and marketing at Stern, told the FT. “If they are to become the bosses of doctors and administrators, they need leadership and management skills,” she continued.

As EMBA students are increasingly paying for the programs out of their own pockets, they are also demanding more services from business schools as part of the package. Most notable among them is career counseling, which would have been unheard of when companies were financing the degree.

“If you look back 10 years, you would not have let the words ‘career services’ cross your lips,” Howard Kaufold, director of the EMBA program at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, told the FT.

For the full Financial Times 2010 Global EMBA Rankings and special report, click here.

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

Schools: Columbia, INSEAD, London Business School, Northwestern / Kellogg, NYU Stern, U. Chicago Booth, UPenn / Wharton

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