Seven of the top ten schools in the QS Distance Online MBA Ranking are European, with Spain’s IE Business School beating the UK’s Warwick Business School to the top spot. The UK takes six of the top ten spots, with Warwick joined by Manchester Business School (5), Imperial College (6), Oxford Brookes (7), Henley Business School (8) and University of Strathclyde Business School (10).
Of the 30 schools ranked, 17 are based in North America, with the remaining 13 all from Europe.
The latest QS TopMBA.com Applicant Survey research shows that the proportion of prospective MBA applicants interested in online and/or distance learning programs stood at 23.5% in 2013, up from just 4.4% in 2008.
“The increasing sophistication and variety of online and distance learning options means a growing number of candidates are now pursuing the opportunity to gain a world-class business education without the need to relocate or take a career break,” says Nunzio Quacquarelli, managing director of QS.
“This ranking offers candidates a level of assurance about the relative quality of these programs that has been unavailable in the past,” Quacquarelli continues.
“This year’s results show that employers are increasingly considering candidates from the top online and distance programs as part of their recruitment strategies, with European schools having developed a particularly strong reputation compared to their transatlantic counterparts.”