This is the second time the FT has ranked the top schools in the Americas and Asia-Pacific. These top-25 tables reflect both the quality and breadth of business schools offerings. The FT measured performance in the main 2018 rankings: MBA, executive MBA, Masters in Management (MiM) and the two rankings for executive education. The tables use the same methodology as for Europe; the exception is that placings for the Americas do not include the MiM as too few schools participate

It has been a torrid few years for the US business education market. Most schools have suffered declining application volumes for the past four years, according to data from the Graduate Management Admission Council, administrator of the business school entry exam. Some of the biggest declines have been for two-year, full-time MBA courses, the foundation stone of the US business school market.

The FT’s ranking of the top 25 schools in the Americas — based on their performance in other FT rankings — reflects how the market is changing and also how it is not.

The biggest climbers since last year’s inaugural Americas list are not those that rely on the full-time MBA, but those business schools that have proved adept at providing courses that fit in with student demands for greater flexibility in the way they learn.

Washington University’s Olin Business School, the highest climber on the Americas list, is a stronger performer in the ranking of part-time EMBAs than the list of full-time MBAs.

In contrast, Stanford, which was top of the global MBA ranking this year, is in ninth place on the Americas ranking because of its lack of a part-time EMBA programme. It is just ahead of Harvard Business School in the Americas ranking, which created the MBA as a full-time residential course 110 years ago and does not offer an EMBA alternative.

For all the gloom about the US market, there are few signs of other countries, at least in the Americas, stealing significant market share from US institutions.

This has been a bumper year for applications at many Canadian business schools. However, only three make it on to our Americas ranking and none have moved up the order on this year’s list.

It is notable that all the new entries on this year’s Americas ranking list are US schools. While the traditional full-time MBA has been in decline, other areas of business education are growing. Shorter and more specialist business masters degrees have been the success story of recent years. So has executive education, reflected on this list.

Rutgers Business School in New Jersey is an example of how this can affect a ranking position. Its full-time MBA is number 89 in the FT global ranking, but the school makes it on to the Americas list because of its executive education offering. Another example is Michigan’s Ross School of Business: 26th in the Global MBA ranking, but joint fourth on this list because its open-enrolment executive education courses are judged to be the second best in the Americas.

There are success stories in business education in the Americas, despite the difficult US market for full-time two-year MBA programmes. The winners are those that follow the business rules that it always helps to be alert to changes in a market and adapt to the inevitable shifts in consumer tastes.

TOP 25 BUSINESS SCHOOLS: AMERICAS (Based on 2018 global rankings)
2018 Rank 2017 Rank School
CountryMBAEMBA#Open ExecEdCustom ExecEd
11University of Pennsylvania: WhartonUS28712
23MIT: SloanUS65117
32Columbia Business SchoolUS517 (3) (6)1218
4=4University of Chicago: BoothUS/UK/China49420
4=5University of Michigan: RossUS151525
68UCLA: AndersonUS1425 (7)924
76Duke University: Fuqua/Duke Corporate EducationUS/UK/Singapore/S Africa/India12101
817Washington University: OlinUS24415
910Stanford Graduate School of BusinessUS132
107Harvard Business SchoolUS313
11=9Northwestern University: KelloggUS816 (1) (12) (13)
11=11Incae Business SchoolCosta Rica/Nicaragua54*251714
1313University of Toronto: RotmanCanada4724825
1414Western University: IveyCanada50301619
1515Georgetown University: McDonoughUS161810
1612New York University: SternUS1319 (2)
1719Ipade Business SchoolMexico56*54*198
1818Queen’s University: SmithCanada57*48* (29)1427
1916University of Virginia: DardenUS17516
20Emory University: GoizuetaUS223411
21Arizona State University: CareyUS2510
2220University of North Carolina: Kenan-FlaglerUS1820**4
23Cornell University: JohnsonUS1127 (29)
24=University of Maryland: SmithUS2723
24=Rutgers Business SchoolUS494224
# Figure in brackets refers to data from second programme for schools with more than one programme ranked
* School was ranked outside the final global ranking table in 2018
** School participated in this ranking on the basis of a joint programme only

Asian business schools are coming of age. Applications to business schools in the region grew faster than anywhere else this year, up 8.9 per cent, according to the Graduate Management Admission Council.

When the FT published its first MBA ranking in 1999, it included the top 50 programmes worldwide, but no Asian schools. This year there were 15, including seven from China. The number would be higher if the list included Insead, which became a dual-centred school when it opened a Singapore campus in 1999. However, the school, second on the FT’s Global MBA Ranking this year and top in 2017 and 2016, is placed in the list for Europe, where it has its original Fontainebleau base, rather than our Asian ranking table.

The highest new entry in this year’s MBA ranking was the Lee Kong Chian School of Business at Singapore Management University. This helped make it the highest climber — rising from 13th to sixth place — on this year’s list of Asia-Pacific schools, based on other FT rankings.

But there is still room for improvement for Asia as a global centre for business education. The China Europe International Business School (Ceibs) broke into the top 10 global MBAs this year, but the Shanghai institution was the only purely Asian school in this top tier.

Asia might have arrived as an economic power, but it is still an emerging market for MBAs and business masters courses. There is a reason for this. Because many Asian schools were founded more recently, it has taken longer for most to go through the accreditation process. The Indian School of Business was the first from India to appear in the MBA ranking, in 2008, while the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta was ranked in 2017.

Business education in Asia is dominated by Chinese schools and this looks unlikely to abate, with yet more Chinese institutions waiting in the wings. Many are in the process of jumping through the necessary hoops to achieve globally recognised accreditation standards, which in turn enable them to be placed on rankings such as this.

Japan has historically been a minor player in business education, despite being a leading economic power. The arrival on this year’s Asian list of NUCB Business School, a privately owned college located in the Tokai region of Japan, is significant for the country’s international standing in the business education market. It has achieved this through its executive MBA, the part-time course that is popular across the Asian region.

However, Nagoya is the only Japanese school on this year’s list, a third of the number achieved by South Korea’s business education market.

Top 25 business schools: Asia-Pacific (based on global 2018 rankings)
2018 Rank2017 RankSchool nameCountryMBAEMBA#MiMOpen Exec EdCustom Exec Ed
11Shanghai Jiao Tong Univeristy: AntaiChina84111
33National University of Singapore Business SchoolSingaporel38 (5) 44
44Indian Institute of Management AhmedabadIndia6286
55HKUST Business SchoolChina21**
613Singapore Management University: Lee Kong ChianSingapore1377
77Nanyang Business School, NTU SingaporeSingapore46
86Indian Institute of Management BangaloreIndia9478
910University of Hong KongChina711 (2)
10=8Tongji University School of Economics and ManagementChina15**6
10=11Melbourne Business SchoolAustralia161664
129CUHK Business SchoolChina129
1314Indian Institute of Management CalcuttaIndia173
1417Fudan University School of ManagementChina1113 (9)
1512University of Sydney Business SchoolAustralia5
16Renmin University of China School of Business (RMBS)China101
1716Indian School of BusinessIndia5
1820AGSM @ UNSW Business SchoolAustralia153
1915Korea University Business SchoolSouth Korea12
2018Yonsei University School of BusinessSouth Korea 149
2119National Sun Yat-sen UniversityTaiwan179
22Sungkyunkwan Univerist GSBSouth Korea14
23Peking University: GuanghuaChina57
24Hong Kong Baptist University School of BusinessChina8
25=NUCB Business SchoolJapan18*
25=Lingnan College at Sun Yat-sen UniversityChina18*
# Figure in brackets refers to data from second programme for schools with more than one programme ranked
* School was ranked outside the final global ranking table in 2018
** School participated in this ranking on the basis of a joint programme only
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