For aspiring MBAs who are just making up their mind as to what school they should enroll into, it’s often unclear how exactly American business schools manage to cope with the ever expanding international competition. However, it’s not usually easy to compare such drastically different schools as, for instance, Harvard and Oxford.
In global rankings prepared by sources like the Economist and the Financial Times, European, Asian and other overseas schools are often favored, as the methodology used in making the rankings makes these schools look like a much bigger threat to U.S. universities than they really are.
According to Poets and Quants, the recent U.S. News global business schools rankings are slightly better, because they make the global MBA picture look more realistic. In this list, only six non-American schools are present: Oxford (5th place), Cambridge (7th place), Imperial College London (17th place), University of Toronto (20th place) and Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (25th place). The first four spots are taken by U.S. business schools: Harvard, MIT, Stanford, and Berkeley.
Business And Economics Research As Base For Rankings
This new ranking has more lists compiled according to a specific subject, like academic research in business and economics. There is an obvious flaw in this methodology, as the university’s prominence in academic research often makes student educational experience worse. Universities focused mostly on research allocate less time and effort to actually teaching students. Extracurricular activities and student networking also suffer from this kind of approach.
Anyway, it’s actually interesting to observe how world-famous schools do when ranked according to their academic research in the fields of business and economics (which covers more than just business). This ranking still has Harvard and MIT in the first and second places, respectively. The third spot is occupied by the University of Pennsylvania; the fourth and fifth – by Stanford and Berkeley, respectively. Among the top ten, the only non-American business school is the London School of Economics (9th place). The sixth place belongs to the University of Chicago, the seventh – to Columbia University, and the eighth – to New York University. The tenth place is taken by the University of Michigan.
This list holds a considerable amount of unexpected data: according to its research, Oxford (14th place) does a lot better than Cambridge (23rd place). Michigan State University and Arisona State University both make the top 25 list (24th and 25th places, respectively). There are even two Dutch schools on the top 25 list: Erasmus University in Rotterdam (15th) and Tilburg University (18th).
The Research List Can Only Be Made By Big Global University Brands
All in all, the higher the university stands in international rankings, the more likely is the fact that both its academic prowess and interdisciplinary successes will be higher. For decades, business schools have been regarded as standalone parts of any university. In modern education, it’s just not true anymore, as interdisciplinary studies – combining business and economics with environment, health, law and any number of other subjects – are growing in popularity.
The research-based list shows clearly how many resources each of the schools has. Only global brands known in all the world can afford to pay for this amount of academic research. If this is the case, it automatically means that the school is wealthy enough to provide students with the best learning experience. Still, one should not forget that if the school treats academic research like a pressure point for professors, taking time from classroom teaching and extracurricular activities, it might lose its popularity among students.
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