Financial Times EMBA Ranking 2023: Global Executive MBA among International Top 45 for the Fourth Time

October 16, 2023

#15 in the career progress category

The Financial Times (FT) Executive MBA (EMBA) Ranking, perhaps the most prestigious ranking of the year, just placed WU’s Global Executive MBA 45th among the 100 programs ranked, which means it has been designated one of the world’s best 45 MBA programs for the fourth time in a row. In the “international course experience” category, the WU Executive Academy’s flagship program even reached 6th place.

Ahead of this year’s ranking, the Financial Times had reacted to years of criticism of the assessment criteria (“salary today” and “salary increase” used to make up about 40% of the total result) by updating its methodology and adding a new category: the business schools’ carbon footprints.

The WU Executive Academy's Global Executive MBA makes it into the top 45 worldwide in the FT EMBA Ranking 2023 for the fourth time in a row.

The FT EMBA Ranking has been considered the Champions League of globally leading business schools for many years. Only a minuscule percentage of MBA programs offered worldwide manage to meet the FT’s demanding criteria to enter the ranking, which is why people considering MBA studies pay as much attention to its results as to leading international accreditations. 

The most important MBA ranking of the year is once again dominated by the usual suspects: Kellogg/HKUST EMBA (#1) and Ceibs Global EMBA (#2). The third place, however, is a premiere: the EMBA of the ESCP Business School has entered the winners’ rostrum for the first time.

Consistently among the Top 45 Worldwide

Barbara Stöttinger

Barbara Stöttinger

  • Dean of the WU Executive Academy

This is a result to be proud of: at rank 45, our Global Executive MBA has managed to secure a spot among the 45 leading MBA programs of the world for the fourth time in four years. This makes me very happy because these consistently remarkable results reflect our tireless efforts in the past years – all the while withstanding the truly difficult circumstances for European business schools.

The Global Executive MBA was ranked 6th worldwide in the “international course experience” category (# 2 in the EU, #1 in Germany/Austria/Switzerland), faring even better than the London Business School (# 39) or the IE Business School (# 12), which both placed among the top 10, and 15th in “career progress” (# 5 in the EU, #3 in Germany/Austria/Switzerland).

It’s All about the Methodology: (Almost) Everything New in the FT EMBA Ranking 2023

The FT Ranking is based on an elaborate process in the course of which close to 20 criteria are thoroughly examined, primarily focusing on graduates’ salary and career development as well as program quality. For the results, the various criteria, which are divided into the three overarching themes of “career development,” “diversity,” and “research/ESG/carbon footprint,” are weighted in different ways. The majority of data is directly collected from alumni. The remaining data, mainly quantitative data on participants, faculty members, program content, research activities, and sustainability efforts are provided by the business schools.

More Emphasis on Diversity and Sustainability

This year, the Financial Times has changed its weighting scheme for the first time in many years: While both income-related categories, “salary today” and “salary three years after completing the MBA,” made up 40% in the past, they now account for only 33%. At the same time, categories of the “diversity” field were assigned more weight (28% compared to 26% before), and the entirely new category of “school carbon footprint rank” was added. The latter is calculated based on the business school’s target year for reaching zero emissions and a publicly available carbon emissions audit report not older than three years. This category will make up 4% of the overall result in the future.

“This was a very smart decision in our opinion. Diversity and sustainability are so essential for our future. It’s great to see this finally reflected in the ranking,” Stöttinger says.

[Translate to English:] Financial Times Ranking 2020

Read the full Financial Times Executive MBA Report

View the Financial Times Executive MBA Ranking 2023

Update for Leaders

Join 15,000 + professionals and get regular updates on leadership and management topics. Learn something new every time. 

Share this