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# Has Oxford finally gatecrashed into elite list?

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Has Oxford finally gatecrashed into elite list? [#permalink]  12 Jan 2009, 18:15
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Dear all,

I have been researching on the history and rise of Oxbridge schools(typically oxford). It truly has seen a meteroic rise in rankings and prestige and has truly leveraged the brand Oxford. Typically. In FT rankings it has risen from mid 30s to a consistent player in top 20.(Lets wait for 2009 rankings.). In terms of ROI, it already has been ranked the best globally. On stats, it is at par with the best in the world(Average Gmat 690, starting salaries, average work ex 6 years, very high diversity) etc. The networking oppurtunities are infinite courtesy the collegiate system and hence rectifies the fact that it is a young school. I dont think that any other school(other than ISB from india , and to some extent Judge has seen such a quick rise.)
There was a fear that Oxford might go the Yale way(World class university but average to decent B school). No offences I am talking only in relative terms.

The new building, infra etc has also come up very quickly and is world class. It already has occupied the position of top school in Europe for non-profits/social entrepreneurship.(a courtesy Jeff skoll , skoll centre and skoll social forum).

On searching BW forums around 2002 to 2004. I found that even at that time there was high expectation from Said(primarily bcoz of brand Oxford). However applicants(typically US) didnot view it at par with other elite Us schools(Haas, Duke, darden, Cornel, UCLA, yale, Tuck, Michigan etc.). Although it was expected to compete with the ultra elite(H/S/W chicago, MIT) in 5/10 years of time.

Now that we are in 2009, and 5 years have lasped, I wanted to ascetain the opinion of current applicants(Both in US as well as Europe and Asia). can we now consider it at par with the elite US B schools(definately not ultra elite)? although I understand the difficulty of comparing 1 year schools with 2 year schools. But then in general Insead and LBSalso IMD( are also considered at par with ultra elite.

In My opinion. It has broken into the elite category. and can be comfortably considered at par with them.Pls share your view opinion on the same.

Clarification: I am no ranking whore
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Last edited by devil420 on 12 Jan 2009, 19:54, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Has Oxford finally gatecrashed into elite list? [#permalink]  12 Jan 2009, 19:04
In general, I guess INSEAD/LBS/IMD are the H/S/W of Europe. Even amongst consulting colleagues in the USA (who aren't entirely familiar with all European schools), those three tend to be the most recognized.

But the rankings for European schools also tend to be more inconsistent -- I seem to recall some results where one of the Oxbridge schools outranked the other three schools. So unlike H/S/W, the results for INSEAD/LBS/IMD may not be completely clear-cut.

Still, I think Oxford and Cambridge are up there as well, and in some aspects may be even better. A lot of my consulting clients in traditional industries (telecom, chemicals, automotive), even at the director and above levels, were excited to hear about my application to Oxford, but didn't know anything about LBS or INSEAD. I would be interested in seeing what Said and Judge's endowments are as well -- they might be larger than IMD or LBS.

In the end, I agree that looking at future reputations is an important part of school decisions. Oxford has risen significantly and personally I would say it is at the elite level for Europe -- with the potential to go even higher.
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Re: Has Oxford finally gatecrashed into elite list? [#permalink]  12 Jan 2009, 19:52
Thanks Prashok for adding cambridge as well. infact at most forums it is Oxbridge, with very little difference b/w the two. other than subjective perceptions . although my research has been more on Oxford. Lets see how does others percieves our views.
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Re: Has Oxford finally gatecrashed into elite list? [#permalink]  12 Jan 2009, 23:28
I donno what to percieve, cos i've been talking to a lot of people and each had dissonant opinions...(these are the alums opinion, and i feel it is better than BW, or Forbes or ft etc...
one Ox alum said that the career services was bakwaas... and that it did not help much....
In fact another alum i spoke to said that OX Brand helped, but he did not say much about the bschool ......
The only area i see of advantage is that a lot many guys have heard of the brand and are thus headed in taht direction,rather than to any other school....
guys... i believe one thing... convince yourself rather than someone else's view.....
i have done a good amount of research and other school alum are of the opinioin that there are even better schools in the region.....
devil has given some useful data on top..... but the thing is that there are other schools also having similar features.....,so the question we want to ask is this....
why Ox?and why not some other school , which is already established and old and has similar things to boast abt
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Re: Has Oxford finally gatecrashed into elite list? [#permalink]  13 Jan 2009, 19:19
Quote:
Surprisingly not much response for the thread. Greenoak, Buffdaddy, togafoot where art thou??

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Last edited by devil420 on 15 Jan 2009, 09:33, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Has Oxford finally gatecrashed into elite list? [#permalink]  15 Jan 2009, 09:05
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Hi Devil,

It’s great that you started this topic. Sorry that I did not respond earlier: it took me some time to write this (way too long) reply.

In my opinion, Oxbridge b-schools (I will not make Ox/Cam distinction at this point) are already comparable with US Elite – that is, if we look at this issue from general perspective.

But you know that the perception really varies among regions and industries. For traditional industries, as Prashok noted, Oxbridge is in fact perceived higher than US Elite. However, for typical MBA-related jobs (big consulting, finance) Oxbridge schools are not considered strong enough yet. As to geographical factor - I guess that the majority will agree that in the UK, Oxbridge schools have an advantage over US Elite. But again, even there their reputation is different for different companies.

What Oxbridge schools need to do in order to win respect not only as part of great universities, but as strong b-schools by themselves is a very interesting question. Nice buildings and state-of-the-art facilities are good, but in the end, its people who make the difference. After all, the reputation of school depends on whether its graduates are valued by job market. You certainly came across the opinions of those who complain that the career service at Oxford was not of much help. But the reason for that, IMO, is not that the career service is weak per se – but that the school’s reputation among recruiters is not good enough yet.

No secret that Oxford b-school is relatively young, and people tend to be rather conservative in their opinions, so it takes some time to establish a strong reputation. But we also can’t ignore the fact the recruiters at the moment just don’t think that the school graduates are ‘of high enough quality’. Well, I can see that this position is to some extent grounded: Oxford b-school is still generally perceived as a safety to Europe Top3, and so we can expect that the students’ stats there are less impressive compared to, say, those of LBS ones.

Unfortunately, the most efficient way for the school to change the situation is to increase its selectivity. I guess Yale SOM is the school that takes this approach almost to the extreme – to the extent they often disregard the candidate’s true fit in favour of, let’s say, ‘marketability’. I know that many people blame Cambridge for the same, but from what I saw, they manage to keep the balance so far (and it’s not easy). Still, they are very selective.

To say the truth, it surprises me why Oxford b-school didn’t go that way. Don’t take me wrong. I’m glad that they are not as crazy-selective, so we all have a realistic chance there, and that those whose goals are really relevant to the school strengths get in regardless of certain weaknesses in their stats. But building solid market reputation is very complex and time-consuming process, and, unfortunately, there are not so many ways available to achieve this goal. I really hope that they’ll succeed in this.
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Re: Has Oxford finally gatecrashed into elite list? [#permalink]  15 Jan 2009, 19:47
+1 for a top quality post. I have no doubt that with admits such as greenoak, the recruiters' opinions of the quality of Oxford students is only going to go UP.

The interesting thing is that I don't think that stats wise LBS is that hot. The GMAT average was mid-690 where most American elites and UEs average 700-720. However, I believe that pure numbers (GMAT average etc.) are a NOT good way to assess the quality of student body.

greenoak wrote:
But we also can’t ignore the fact the recruiters at the moment just don’t think that the school graduates are ‘of high enough quality’. Well, I can see that this position is to some extent grounded: Oxford b-school is still generally perceived as a safety to Europe Top3, and so we can expect that the students’ stats there are less impressive compared to, say, those of LBS ones.
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Re: Has Oxford finally gatecrashed into elite list? [#permalink]  20 Jan 2009, 05:53
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Re: Has Oxford finally gatecrashed into elite list? [#permalink]  20 Jan 2009, 06:10
devil420 wrote:

i don't want to jinx my application that is will read by the Oxford Adcom in the next few days.

All I can say that it is a top 10 EU school and the Oxford name gets bigger as one gets further away from Oxford. Given my intentions of going back to New Zealand in a few years time, this can only be a good thing. The last time I checked NZ was about 18000km away.
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Re: Has Oxford finally gatecrashed into elite list? [#permalink]  20 Jan 2009, 07:07
Oxford name gets bigger as one gets further away from Oxford.

Hmm. And I was planning to remain in the UK. Too close, I'm afraid
Btw, how about to say smth about Cambridge? I'm almost sure that their adcom didn't read this forum (otherwise they'd have included the name into the marketing section of their app)...
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Re: Has Oxford finally gatecrashed into elite list? [#permalink]  20 Jan 2009, 09:23
There was a presentation on Lovemark - a relatively new concept of brands- at SBS a few weeks back.

It was done by the orginator of the Lovemark and he is on the board of Judge Business School.

In USA, only three were considered to be eligible for the lovemark, the UEs. Out of the H/S/W, he considered only the "S" to possess the quality to have a lovemark.

As per his idea of brands, in Europe, it was only the Oxford's SBS which had the lovemark!
Re: Has Oxford finally gatecrashed into elite list?   [#permalink] 20 Jan 2009, 09:23
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