Financial Times Global MBA Ranking 2020 – Harvard at The Top while Wharton follows

If there’s one word that has gained traction in recent years among business school deans, admissions team, current students and alumni, it’s undoubtedly ranking. We are living in a world of continuous evaluation. From cab services to food delivery apps to eCommerce platforms we are constantly rating our experiences and creating a ranked ecosystem.

Financial Times Global MBA Ranking 2020 were released earlier this week and Harvard Business School has taken the pole position for 2020. The ranking had taken into consideration 100 full-time MBA programs of 156 business schools for the exercise. In the 21 years since inception of FT rankings, Harvard has taken the top spot 6 times. Interestingly, it was HBS that pioneered the case study teaching method which is now a common scenario across major business schools in the world.

Harvard Business School was ranked at the second place in 2019 and the rise to the top position can be attributed to higher average weighted salary. Interestingly, the audit year for 2019 FT Rankings for HBS was 2015 and in 2020 FT rankings it is 2018. The school’s alumni recommended rank stayed at 1, while it improved its CSR rank by 23 places. The Value for Money rank for HBS declined 18 places from 60 to 78 while its Career Service rank improved 5 places from 23 to 18. Harvard saw a slight decline in % share of international students from 42% in 2019 to 37% in 2020 while female students increased from 41% in 2019 to 43% in 2020.

HEC Paris is one of the most notable gainer of the year—the school climbed 10 spots from 19th position in 2019 and came in at the 9th place in 2020. Some new business schools also entered into the ranking with Renmin University of China Business School, the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics College of Business, Northeastern University: D’Amore-McKim, Miami Herbert Business School, University of California at San Diego: Rady, University of Georgia: Terry, EDHEC Business School (France), and the City University of Hong Kong included the FT global MBA ranking 2020.

Talking about India, 4 business schools namely IIM-Bangalore, ISB, IIM-Calcutta and IIM-Ahmadabad made it to Top-100 in FT Global MBA ranking 2020. IIM-Calcutta saw the largest gain in ranking across the 3-year period with an improvement of 36 places while IIM-Ahmadabad saw the largest decline of 30 places and is now at 61st place in Top-100. Part of IIM-A rankings poor performance has been its research, the school ranks 99th out of 100 in FT research rank.

We went a step ahead and compared the FT Global MBA rankings from 2010 to 2020. In the last decade, 8 out of 10 B-Schools have maintained their position in top 10. While many B-Schools, entered and made an exit in the top 10 ranking in the last decade, the majority of the top 10 bunch has remained unchanged.


These 8 business schools saw an average increase of 30% in weighted average salary in the last 10 years. Stanford Graduate School of Business has seen the largest increase in weighted average salary in the last 10 years both in dollar terms and per cent terms among the Top-10 global b-schools who featured in 2010 and 2020.

The declining number of applications in most US business schools is a cause of concern, yet 6 out of top-10 business schools are based out of US. Overall, there are 51 US B-Schools in top 100 rankings and it shows that their is still a strong market for high quality management education.

Strong ranking in these turbulent times would be reassuring to business schools while for others, it is time to up their game to get the best talent on board.

Curios about how the FT MBA Rankings changed between 2010 and 2020? Take a look at our post, that gives you the comparison of FT Global MBA Ranking from 2010 and 2020 with some interesting insights.

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