[photopress:CEIBS.JPG,full,alignright]When the Financial Times published its first global rankings in 1999 there was uproar in the popular American online MBA forums that a European business school – London Business School – ranked at number eight. This was not an acceptable result. The Americans have got used to it.
In 2001 two European schools – London Business School and Insead – were in the top 10, but that no longer bothered the aspiring US MBA population. ‘So what?’ noted one forum participant. ‘Everybody knows that.’
This rapid change of view among American would-be MBA students bore out their growing realization that a handful of world-class business schools in Europe could compete with the big brand-name US schools.
These days European schools are facing a similar challenge from business schools in other regions.
The 2008 Financial Times rankings just 57 of the top 100 schools are still in the US but, more significantly, only 28 are in Europe.
While schools such as LBS and Insead have retained their star ratings.
Last year when Ceibs, the China-European business school based in Shanghai, jumped 10 places to number 11 there was an outcry.
This year, the top 20 schools include four programs that barely existed, if at all, a decade ago.
These are the one-year MBAs at the University of Cambridge’s Judge Business School and the Saïd school at the University of Oxford, Ceibs and the Indian School of Business, in Hyderabad. This year Ceibs consolidated its number 11 position.
This suggests that with appropriate support and branding, the time it takes to set up a world-class business school is much less than was thought.
It helps to have a strong university brand such as Oxford or Cambridge.
But, perhaps more important is a strong program in a region of the world where there is a shortage of highly-trained managers, such as China.
Ceibs, for example, graduates close to 200 full-time MBA students a year, almost all of whom are fluent in both English and Chinese.