London Business School (LBS) climbed to the very top spot on Bloomberg BusinessWeek’s Best International Business Schools of 2016 list, released yesterday, up a notch from last year’s second-place showing. INSEAD, which has campuses in France, Singapore and Abu Dhabi, followed right behind, inching up from number three last year to second place this year. The United Kingdom’s other powerhouse business schools, Oxford’s Saïd Business School and Cambridge’s Judge Business School, fell in line at third and fourth respectively, representing a three-spot jump for Saïd over last year and a four-spot jump for Judge. Spain’s IESE also experienced gains year over year, sidling up two spots from last year’s seventh place to round out this year’s top five.
But as some schools inched up, others fell—most notably Western University’s Ivey Business School in Canada, which plummeted from the number one spot last year to 10th in 2016. Spain’s IE Business School and Switzerland’s International Institute for Management Development (IMD) each slipped two spots, to sixth and seventh this year. But Italy’s SDA Bocconi School of Management sauntered up four spots from 12th last year to land comfortably within the top 10 this year, at number eight. And Melbourne Business School has perhaps the most cause for celebration. The Australian school shot up a whopping 14 places to come in at number nine.
Like Bloomberg BW’s U.S. MBA rankings, released last month, its international MBA rankings are compiled using a methodology that assesses schools based on five factors: a survey of MBA recruiters, weighted at 35 percent; an alumni survey, weighted at 30 percent; a survey of the 2016 graduating class, weighted at 15 percent; the school’s placement rate, weighted at 10 percent, and the starting compensation for the class of 2016, weighted at 10 percent.
What this means, as the magazine points out, is that “it’s possible to rank highly without knocking every category out of the park.” Case in point, INSEAD came in second overall even though it ranked a meager 25th (out of 31) for job placement. (Bloomberg BW measures job placement as the percentage of graduates who land full-time employment within three months of graduation out of those seeking it—the figure reported by INSEAD was 81.6 percent, compared to an average 85.9 percent among all schools.)
In terms of pay growth enjoyed by graduates of the 31 schools included in Bloomberg BW’s list, students came in at an average salary of $50,000, jumped to an average starting salary of $90,000 for their first job out of school and reported an average salary of $141,750 six to eight years out from graduation. The average MBA debt taken on by graduates across all ranked schools, meanwhile, was $40,000.
At a glance, here are the top 10 best international MBA programs in 2016 as ranked by Bloomberg BW:
- London Business School
- Oxford (Saïd)
- Cambridge (Judge)
- SDA Bocconi
- Western (Ivey)
As always, those of us here at Clear Admit encourage applicants to use rankings as just one of many means of evaluating which MBA program is the best fit to their individual needs and goals.