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Best of the Best: Top-5 of Business Schools, Financial Times Rank 2019

The last year was really tough for the business schools all over the world and in USA too, and even those being of the highest interest for the applicants faced a tangible decline in the number of students. Despite this fact, the names of the most remarkable institutions in the top 10 of the FT’s 2019 Global MBA ranking remain the same as the year before.

Though it faces some changes – in the positions of these leaders. For example, China Europe International Business School (or CEIBS) enjoys the fifth place (it was eight in 2018), and Harvard Business School (HBS) is the second, while it was the fifth in the last year ranking. The winner of 2019 is Stanford Graduate School of Business and it occupied the first position in 2018 as well.

Of course, it should be mentioned that the most impressive changes occurred in the positions of different schools above the top-10 and this reveals some really important changes in global education process.

Selection criteria: how the best business schools are selected?

The FT’s 2019 Global MBA ranking is aimed to list the 100 best business schools accredited by EQUIS all over the world. Totally 150 schools participated in the ranking this year. For the school to be included into the ranking, at list 20% of its alumni, who completed the MBA program three years ago, should answer different questions for the survey. For the 2019 ranking they surveyed 2015 alumni. Graduates’ responses to 20 criteria questions are estimated, but they also collect the information from the faculty, new students and latest graduates. There are some other criteria that are estimated as well.

You may look up the entire ranking of the business schools on the FT site.

Top-5 of Business Schools According to the FT’s Rating:

Rank in 2019, by FTSchool nameTuition fees (Full-Time MBA)DurationAverage GMAT ScoreAverage alumni salary three years after graduation, US$
1.Stanford Graduate School of Business141,180 US$24 months737228,074
2.Harvard Business School146,880 US$24 months730205,486
3.Insead87,000 €10 months709179,661
4.University of Pennsylvania: Wharton157,896 US$20 months732197,267
5.Ceibs428,000 CNY18 months685174,115


1. Stanford Graduate School of Business, USA

Advantages: the studies aim to create a unique, innovating and transforming vision for the students, provide them with the profound skills and knowledge, create a strong network of the professionals, who knows each other and are ready to shoulder up all over the world.

Programs: Stanford business school suggests a 2-year full-time MBA program and an EMBA program for the leaders.

Scholarship: a student can ask for a scholarship, which is provided as a student loan or a fellowship award. The second one can estimate 35000 USD per year and is not expected to be repaid. USA students as well as international students can apply for such a fellowship reward.

Famous graduates: Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google’s founding CEO and Google’s co-founder; Sigourney Weaver, a famous actress called the Sci-fi Queen of the Hollywood; Chelsea Clinton, daughter of former U.S. President Bill Clinton; Peter Thiel, co-founder of Paypal; Reed Hastings, co-founder of Netflix.

2. Harvard Business School, USA

Advantages: the school suggests some unique ways for the future professionals to be able to set and achieve goals and be able to manage successfully in the rising challenges of the modern world, such as global politics, changing values, discordant data and immense pressure. The Harvard i-Lab is also a very powerful tool, open to its students and graduates, as well as a network of alumni which can be also called a network of friendship, connections and business opportunities.

Programs: 2-year full-time MBA program and an EMBA program for organizations and individual students.

Scholarship: Harvard business school is highly appreciated for the financial aid it provides. There is a great variety of ways to make the education more affordable: scholarships (according to the student’s needs), student loans, financial support for summer fellowships, post-graduation financial assistance (such as loan reduction or loan repayment programs).

Famous graduates: Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook; Natalie Portman, famous actress; John F. Kennedy, President of the United States; Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft; Matt Damon, Hollywood actor.

3. Insead, Europe/Asia/Middle East

Advantages: This business school has three campuses, the main European campus is situated in France, other two are in Singapore and in Abu Dhabi. It is really the most powerful international school with great possibilities for the students from different countries and different background. Insead is also well known for the diversity of studies, wonderful alumni network and amazing career chances.

Programs: 10-months MBA program, full-time and Global Executive MBA Program (the course lasts 14-17 months).

Scholarship: Insead suggests student loans, grants and spot scholarships, with the total number of different types of financial aid being over 90. Each student can ask for a financial support and apply for a scholarship.

Famous graduates: Huw van Steenis, Head of European Financials Services Research; Niels Christiansen, LEGO’s CEO; Bill Morneau, Finance Minister of Canada; Cameron Stevens, Founder and CEO of Prodigy Finance; Adam Goldstein, CEO of Royal Caribbean International, Roustam Tariko, Founder & President of Russian Standard.

4. The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, USA

Advantages: It is the first business school established in the world. Its history begins in 1881 and nowadays it is one of the educational giants suggesting an exceptionally innovative and unique MBA program to her applicants.

Programs: 2-year full-time MBA program, EMBA program, JD/MBA program, MBA/SEAS program (Wharton college, Engineering) etc.

Scholarship: Business schools of the University of Pennsylvania is supported by individual donors as well as certain companies and foundations, so that the students can apply for financial support. Awards are donated basing on the student’s personal qualities, achievements, professional background and development.

Famous graduates: David Vise, Pulitzer Prize winner; Beth Axelrod Vice President of Employee Experience at Airbnb; Richard A. Bloch, founder and CEO of H&R Block; Rosalind Brewer, COO of Starbucks; Anthony Connelly, president and CEO of Disney Cruise Line; John Sculley, former CEO of Apple Inc; Gerard Kleisterlee, CEO and president of Philips; Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google.

5. CEIBS China Europe International Business School

Advantages: The main goal of Ceibs is to create a profound basis of management knowledge and contribute into the global economic and social development. The school provides the highest quality of education, as well as wonderful faculty, campus and the biggest alumni network in the world (it includes over 22000 graduates all over the planet).

Programs: full and part-time MBA programs, EMBA and executive education programs.

Scholarship: both domestic students and international ones could apply for financial aid. It is represented by loans, scholarships, fellowships etc. In 2019 30% of the students, who entered MBA program in CEIBS, received loans that covered from 25% to 100% of the fees, and over 30% of the total quantity of students received other types of financial support that covered 20-100% of the tuition fees.

Famous graduates: Lan Yu, fashion designer; Maymunah Kadiri, Nigerian mental health advocate; Chen Hao, Governor of Yunnan province.

Financial Times and FindMBA data were used in this article.

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