Cambridge Judge Perspective on FT MBA Rankings

Director of Cambridge Judge Business School comments on the most recent Financial Times rankings in The Cambridge MBA Admissions blog:

Lessons of the latest FT MBA rankings

This is my first blog post as Director of Cambridge Judge Business School. Five months into my tenure, I have already spoken with many of our alumni and other interested parties. For example, I have just returned from Abu Dhabi, where I met up with alumni, corporations, government bodies, and the UAE University as a potential partner. But it’s not possible to meet all of you, and I needed another way of telling you about what’s going on at the School. The result is this monthly blog.

So, what’s new? Well, we have a strategy that is emerging – an evolution of what Cambridge Judge has begun in the recent past, rather than a revolution – and I would like to tell you about that. But this is the time of year when the FT Global MBA Rankings are released. Several members of the Alumni Advisory Council suggested that it would be a good idea to comment on these, so we’ll save strategy for next time.

Our MBA programme appears at 26th place in the FT rankings – the same position as last year. Now, we could launch into a microscopic reading of the indicators used to compile the rankings. On the one hand, we did quite well in “Employment after three months”, and “Aims achieved”, as reported by alumni. On the other hand, we did less well in the crucial factors of “Weighted salary (US$)” and “Salary percentage increase”.

We were also marked down in some indicators relating to the School as a whole, such as size of the PhD programme and the percentage of faculty that is female. Putting aside opaque technical issues (for instance, what are the exchange rates used to calculate these figures?) we need to ask ourselves what this assessment really means.

The FT rankings are most heavily influenced by high alumni salaries and high salary jumps after completing the MBA. So if we really wanted to increase our rankings, we could close down our arts-management and not-for-profit specialisations, and force every student to major in more traditional areas with a view to finding a high-paying job in finance or consulting. (And we could also balloon our PhD programme, irrespective of quality, because size gets a good rating in this metric.)

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