Macquarie, UQ Business School Soar In 2021 The Economist MBA Rankings

Australian MBA programs have had a mixed performance in the latest global MBA ranking from The Economist magazine, with COVID-19 and the non-participation of some of the biggest business schools in the world causing a major shake-up of the influential list.

The University of Melbourne’s Melbourne Business School retained its place as Australia’s top-ranked full-time MBA program despite falling six places to 34th. Macquarie Business School jumped 33 places to 41st, while the University of Queensland Business School climbed seven places to 47th.

To determine the rankings The Economist surveys thousands of MBA students and asks them why they decided to enrol on a full-time MBA programme. A number of different criteria – including quality of the faculty, facilities and career services department – are used the weighting for each criteria are based on the importance students themselves place on different criteria.

Data were collected over two different surveys in 2020. The first was completed by schools with eligible programmes and covers quantitative matters such as the salary of graduates, the average GMAT scores of students and the number of registered alumni. This accounts for around 80% of the ranking. The remaining 20% comes from a qualitative survey filled out by current MBA students and a school’s most recent graduating MBA class.

All three Australian business schools performed particularly well in the student quality criteria with UQ being the top-ranked school in the world, while Macquarie ranked third and Melbourne Business School ranked 16th.

Dean and Head of UQ Business School, Professor Michael Brünig, said the ranking reflects both the world-class and regional stature of the UQ MBA.

“UQ Business School has built a competitive international reputation for the excellence of our MBA program and continues to attract the brightest calibre of students,” said Professor Brünig.

“The Economist MBA ranking is a testament to the work and continuous program refinement from our teachers, designers and industry partners; to produce an MBA degree that equips graduates with a competitive edge as leaders who are capable of exceeding during global disruption.

”The prestigious ranking surveys MBA alumni from 2018 to 2019, capturing their feedback on several critical success factors, including career opportunities, salary progression, personal education, networks and student quality.

It’s the metric of ‘student quality’ that the UQ MBA continues to lead internationally, claiming the number one global position for the fifth consecutive year – overtaking renowned international business schools worldwide.

UQ MBA Director, Dr Nicole Hartley, said the program recruitment focuses on attracting a diverse cohort.

“We work hard to ensure our MBA candidates are surrounded by some of the brightest minds in business, who challenge and support each other, becoming a strong network post-degree,” said Dr Nicole Hartley.

“Despite challenges the pandemic posed, we’ve been able to offer an enriched online and face-to-face learning experience, implementing cutting-edge learning approaches that ensure our graduates embrace transformation and professional growth even during mass disruption,” said Dr Hartley.

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UQ Business School MBA Director Dr. Nicole Hartley

Macquarie Business School’s MBA was ranked second in Australia and third in the Asia-Pacific region and third internationally for student quality.

A key accolade for the Macquarie MBA is being ranked third internationally for student quality and first in Asia Pacific for opening new career opportunities.

“We attract a diverse MBA student body, but they are united in their ambition, motivation and professional achievements,” says Eric Knight, Executive Dean at the Macquarie Business School.

“Our overarching goal is to get close to how our students experience and benefit from their time at Macquarie so we ensure we are delivering the best possible educational experience and fostering excellence in our students.

“We will continue to strive for the best teaching, networking and learning experience for our MBA students.”

Big Changes At The Top

More than 60 of the world’s biggest business schools including Harvard, Wharton and Stanford did not participate in this year’s ranking due to challenges of gathering reliable data. The release of the ranking has been which has been delayed by a number of months as the business schools that did participate struggled to meet deadlines.

The absence of many big US business schools opened the way for European schools to increase their rankings five of the top ten schools based outside of North America.

Spain’s IESE climbed nine places to be the best ranked full-time MBA program in the world, while HEC Paris Business School in Franc climbed one spot to second. The University of Michigan rounded out the top three.

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Ben Ready founded MBA News in 2014 and is the Managing Editor. He is a former business and finance journalist with Australian Associated Press (AAP) and Dow Jones Newswires in London. Ben completed his MBA in 2012 and was awarded the QUT GMAA Entrepreneurship Prize. He is also the founder and Managing Director of RGC Media & Mktng (rgcmm.com.au).

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