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French Business Schools Shine In The FT Masters in Management (MiM) Ranking 2023

HEC Paris has ranked #1 in the 2023 FT Masters in Management (MiM) Ranking (MiM), finally ending the 12-year domination at the top by St Gallen.

The leading French business school was waiting to claim the crown almost as long as Prince Charles, having ranked #2 since 2014. When the FT launched the MiM ranking in 2005, HEC Paris ranked #1 for the first three years. Now they are back.

You have to rewind to 2010, when the world was emerging from the financial crisis for an FT MiM ranking without St Gallen at #1. No other business school has dominated the top of a business school ranking without interruption for so many years, not even Harvard Business School, Stanford GSB or Wharton in any of the five major media MBA rankings.

The Swiss school was #4 in the FT MiM ranking that year, with ESCP Business School at the top of the table with average graduate salaries three years after the MIM around US$63,000. 
In 2023, the average MiM graduate salaries of the top 10 schools in the FT ranking are close to US$114,000.

Vive le Masters in Management!

2023 was another good year for France, with HEC Paris, ESCP Business School, ESSEC Business School and emlyon business school filling 4 of the top 7 places. These are the ‘grandes écoles de commerce‘ – think of them as the F4 in comparison to the M7 of HBS, Stanford, Wharton, CBS, Booth, Sloan and Kellogg. Several were established well before Wharton or Dartmouth Tuck, with a history that goes back over 100, 150 or even 200 years. For decades they have dominated the French management education landscape.

They are joined by other great French schools including Edhec Business School and NEOMA Business School, which is in now for the first time in the FT MiM top 25.

The French results are all the more impressive when you consider how many students they are graduating each year. ESCP, emlyon, Edhec and NEOMA all have well over 1,000 in their MiM programmes, with ESSEC close behind with 935. So achieving overall satisfaction scores above 9.0 is a considerable achievement.

They can also claim some of the most gender-balanced business masters classrooms in the world – ESCP has 50% female students, while emlyon is at 49% and HEC Paris and ESSEC are at 48%.

Advantage Europe

London Business School also has a good year, bouncing back to #3 with Spain’s Esade Business School and Italy’s SDA Bocconi also breaking into the top 10. IESE Business School was the highest new entrant, jumping straight in at #14 just ahead of Portugal’s Nova School of Business and Economics.

Belgium’s Vlerick Business School is another school with 50% female MiM students and this year they climbed an impressive 17 places to #23, closely followed by WU (Vienna University of Economics and Business) at #24.

European business schools fill 22 of the top 25 places in this year’s FT Masters in Management ranking. As BlueSky Thinking has written in the past, the Masters in Management is where European are the world champions, much like Djokovic, Nadal and Federer in men’s tennis.

When it comes to ESG and the FT’s net zero teaching rank, Sweden’s Lund University School of Economics and Management leads the way, with Spain’s IESE and France’s emlyon business school making up the top 3.

Asia still rising, but US on the sidelines

There were no business schools from Asia or North America in the first FT MiM ranking back in 2005. This year there are 17 schools from Asia, and China’s Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management has achieved the highest rank of any school from the region, climbing 5 places to #6.

Special mention goes to Rabat Business School in Morocco, which rose 32 places to #54. As the country faces the tragedy of an earthquake and many lives lost, our thoughts are with the staff and students of the first business school in North Africa to achieve such global rankings recognition.

But US schools are still far and few between. There are only two in the 2023 FT ranking – Hult International Business School continues to rise and is now #39, and University of South Carolina Darla Moore School of Business is at #62.

Since 2020, University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce participated as part of the Global 3 Master in Global Strategic Management, with Spain’s Esade and Hong Kong’s Lingnan University. The programme ranked as high as #11 in 2021, but after a fall of 22 places last year they are not in the 2023 ranking.

So where are the others? Poets&Quants has identified 32 MiM programmes, many of whom will be joining John A. Byrne and myself for the CentreCourt Specialized Masters Festival on October 24 & 25

Chicago Booth and Emory Goizueta recently announced their launch of an MiM, joining a growing list that includes Northwestern Kellogg, Yale SOM, Michigan Ross, Duke Fuqua and the MSMS at MIT Sloan.

These are all world class schools, so why are they shying away from the FT ranking? The international focus of the methodology is likely a deterrent. Measures of the % international students, faculty and board members as well as weightings for international work mobility and course experience are worth a combined 23%.

Add to that the FT ranking team’s growing emphasis on sustainability, where European business schools are often far more advanced and engaged than their US counterparts. The recently introduced carbon footprint rank is worth 4% and the ESG and net zero teaching rank is worth 3%.

Covid and the Class of ’20

This is the FT’s first business school ranking to survey the Class of ’20, and there are over twenty schools from 2022 that did not feature this year. Among them are France’s SKEMA Business School as well as Catolica Lisbon School of Business and Economics from Portugal and IIM Bangalore from India.

So what role did the pandemic play on alumni response levels? It may have made securing alumni responses more difficult – an issue already affecting many business schools including The Wharton School in the FT MBA Ranking of February 2023. And for smaller programmes the minimum threshold is often a challenge.

This was the case for Imperial College Business School in London, whose MSc International Management programme accepts only a small number of exceptional candidates every year. That means that with the FT requiring a response rate of 20 per cent of alumni, with a minimum of 20 responses for a school to enter the ranking calculations, the school needs a relatively larger percentage of alumni responses to qualify versus other larger Master in Management programmes.

More MiM programmes than ever, with more to come

But the Masters in Management has been one of the major growth stories of business education in the past decade. There were only 25 schools in the first FT MiM ranking of 2005, but according to Leo Cremonezi, responsible for managing all the FT rankings, a record 142 MiM programmes took part in the ranking process in 2023.

They include University Carlos III de Madrid, which came straight in at #35, Canada’s Western University – Ivey and HEC Montreal, and five new school.s from India including IIM Calcutta, IIM Kozhikode and Xavier School of Management.

So competition for a place in the top 100, let alone in the top 25 or the top 10 is increasingly tough. Next year will likely see the entrance of INSEAD into the ranking, and if the US schools do decide to engage with the FT then we can expect to see a lot more movement up and down in the years to come.

So who are the winners and losers in the 2023 Ft Masters in Management ranking?

Winners in the top 10

HEC Paris – finally back at #1 after 12 years at #2

London Business School – ranked the #1 alumni network, up 4 places to #3

Tsinghua University – best ever performance by a MiM from Asia at #6

emlyon business school – the early makers keep climbing, now at #7

Esade Business School & SDA Bocconi – both made double-digits jumps to share the #8 spot

Losers in the top 10

University of St Gallen – defying gravity for so long, but still #2

Rotterdam School Management – Still in the top 10 after the #3 of last year

Winners in the top 25

Shanghai Jiao Tong: Antai – another Chinese success, jumping 18 places to #12

IESE Business School – launched a MiM in 2018, and now straight in at #14

Prague University of Econ and Business – second smallest MiM class size which helps employment %, up 7 to #18

Vlerick Business School – the alumni network and international study experience behind a 17 place climb to #23

NEOMA Business School – campus carbon footprint in Paris, Rouen and Reims may be low, but climbing high to the top 25

Losers in the top 25

UC Dublin, Smurfit – luck ran out with a 9 place slide to #17, but still one of the highest overall satisfaction levels

Stockholm School of Economics – weighted salary couldn’t keep up with the top 10 this year, and a slump of 15 places to #19

ESMT Berlin – one of the highest scores for aims achieved, but down 10 places to #20

Other winners in 2023

NEW ENTRANTS – Carlos III de Madrid – #35; EBS – #58; IIM Calcutta – #60; Western, Ivey – #73; IIM Kozhikode – #77; Xavier School of Mgmt – #85; HEC Montreal – #91; IMT Ghazlabad – #92 MDI Gurgaon – #93; CUHK – #97; Leeds University – #98

UP BY DOUBLE DIGITS – Grenoble – #27 (up 20); Luiss – #30 (up 23); ICN – #36 (up 21); TBS – #37 (up 13); Singapore Management University – #41 (up 28); Lund University – #44 (up 13); Henken – #46 (up 16); ZHAW School of Mgmt and Law – #50 (up 18) Institut Mines-Telecom – #52 (up 19); Nyenrode Business Universteit – #53 (up 25); Rabat Business School – #54 (up 32); University of Ljubljana – #57 (up 22); Iscte – #62 (up 12); Jönköping – #64 (up 20); U Victoria – #65 (up 11); ESC Clermont – #67 (up 26); NMIMS – #83 (up 13); IMI New Delhi = #84 (up 13)

Other losers in 2023

DOWN BY DOUBLE DIGITS – HHL Leipzig – #34 (down 15); EADA – #44 (down 11); HEC Lausanne – #54 (down 24); TU Munich – #61 (down 14); USC Moore – #62 (down 16); Rennes – #71 (down 22); Antwerp – #76 (down 10)

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