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Roula Khalaf, editor-in-chief of the FT, selects her favorite stories in this weekly newsletter.
America’s college campuses are facing domestic upheaval and external political scrutiny not seen in decades. The Israel-Gaza conflict and allegations of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia have been compounded by broader debates around diversity and academic plagiarism.
While much of the controversy focuses on undergraduate education, even business schools have not been exempt from a level of criticism and antagonism not seen in more than half a century – since the McCarthy era in the 1950s or the Vietnam War in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
But while the current debate is partly driven by the highly politicized “culture wars” of this year’s election season in the United States and beyond, it also reflects more existential issues: increasingly polarized between those who have and those who have not had higher education; university tuition fees; their quality/price ratio; and the broader responsibilities of graduates.
In this global MBA rankings report, we pay particular attention to the United States, the country at the center of the current turmoil and the home of the MBA. We explore ongoing disruption, with stagnant demand for the flagship two-year, full-time, in-person MBA and the emergence of more flexible, part-time, lower-cost specialty and hybrid degrees.
We examine the continued growth of undergraduate business majors – reflecting a growing appetite for faster, cheaper ways for students to develop employable skills – and call for a greater emphasis on affordability, social mobility and the return on education costs.
Global MBA Rankings 2024
Read the rankings and report, plus how we came up with our rankings. February 21 MBA Webinar Spotlight: businesseducation.live.ft.com.
In the article, we include a table, drawing on official U.S. data, listing schools by their salary scores and student debt, which highlights the value of many public and state universities over beyond the often disproportionate emphasis on elite “Ivy plus” private institutions. .
At a time when new technologies are disrupting work, our guest columnist, dean of a business school, shares research findings on the decreasing share of added value assumed by labor rather than capital, and argues that t is increasingly necessary for business school students to be mindful of putting people first.
We highlight the rise of Indian-born academics to leadership positions in business schools and beyond: a sign of the power of the American education system and the country’s traditional openness to immigration – even if both are now in the political spotlight.
In the UK, we explain how the government’s recent crackdown on immigration, by preventing international students from bringing their families with them, risks reducing their numbers, weakening universities as well as the economy and society in their whole. In fact, the “surviving spouse” of an MBA student often actively contributes to campus life.
Our final business dilemma for classroom discussion explores some of the implications for business of political decoupling between the United States and China. This caselet focuses on the complexities of “reshoring” and “friendshoring” globally integrated supply chains.
And, as usual, our MBA rankings offer advice to potential applicants, as well as employers, professors, and anyone else involved in business school teaching, research, and students.
Reading the tables as a strict ordinal ranking based on the FT’s assessment of important factors is one approach, but they are also designed to be used as ratings grouping leading business schools. This year there are eight schools in the first tier, although the 100 schools in the final table are all high quality.
This year, our methodology has been updated to take into account alumni assessments of sustainability education and Scope 3 emissions – those that are not controlled by the school but result from its activities.
We also offer information in our data section on the correlation between GMAT business school admissions test scores and post-MBA earnings.
As our interviews with students and admissions officers emphasize, rankings should, in all cases, be used in combination with other information, including discussions with current students and recent alumni.
We offer advice to potential candidates, emphasizing the importance of authenticity and curiosity; and preparations to help admits get the most out of their courses, including the need for prioritization and good time management.
For more information on ranking and studying business schools, register for our free online event, MBA Spotlight, on Wednesday, February 21 at: businesseducation.live.ft.com.