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# Ranks and clusterings of various International b-schools

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06 May 2009, 21:50
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I am trying to determine the rankings of the top international schools in a clustered format. As we all know that the US schools have been categorised among Ultra Elite (UE), Near Elite (NE), Elite (E), Trans Elite (TE). I believe that we can create similar categories for international (i.e. outside of US) schools. Except here, I have added an extra level of Regional Elites (REs). Regional Elites would be extremely strong and elite schools within their own region but not quite so strong globally / internationally. Note that all schools grouped as RE may NOT be considered peer schools because they operate is vastly different regions. For instance what sense would comparing Rotterdam School of Management from Netherlands to HKUST make ??? However, it makes perfect sense to consider Australian School of Business and Melbourne Business School peer schools. To make this easier I've tried to put Regional Elites in a regional bucket.

This is my initial categorisation of international schools (dominated by European schools at the moment). Keep in mind that this is a subjective criteria and I will update this list if I get new information/data about a school. Also I need to know whether I've covered most of the schools. The intention is to make this post an announcement (replacing the current international schools announcement), with links to information about each school and because of that I'd welcome good healthy debate, but will delete any post that is not reflective of the importance of this thread.

Ultra Elites (UEs) :

London Business School (LBS) :School Info |2011 Discussion | 2010 Discussion | 2009 Discussion | 2008 Discussion
INSEAD : School Info | 2011 Jan Discussion | 2010 Jan Discussion | 2009 Sept

Elites (Es)
Oxford (Said): School info | 2010 Discussion | 2009 Discussion | 2007 Discussion
Cambridge (Judge) : 2010 Discussion | 2009 Discussion
HEC Paris : School Info | 2010 Discussion | HEC FAQ
IMD : School Info | 2011 Discussion | 2009 Disscussion | LBS vs IMD
IESE : School Info | 2009 Discussion

Near Elites (NEs)
ESADE : Discussion | School Info
IE : School Info | Opinions
Cranfield SOM : School Info | Discussion
Warwick : 2009 Discussion| Warwick vs Cass vs IE vs Imperial

Trans Elites (TEs)
Manchester Business School
Cass
Imperial
Lancaster

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Regional Elites

Europe : Discussion of European b-schools
St. Gallen (Switzerland) : School Info
SDA Bocconi (Italy) : 2010 Discussion
RSM Erasmus (Netherlands)
Mannheim (Germany)
WHU (Germany)
ESMT(Germany) : comments on ESMT
Trinity College Dublin (Ireland) : School Info
University College Dublin (Ireland) : School Info
Vlerick Leuven Gent (Belgium) : School Info

India All about Indian schools and applicants
ISB : 2010 Discussion
IIM-A : IIM-A vs IIM-c
IIM-B
IIM-C

China
Tsinghua : Discussion
CEIBS : School Info

Other Asia : Discussion of Asian b-schools
HKUST (Hong Kong) HKUST Student Ambassador
Nanyang (Singapore)
NUS (Singapore)
SMU (Singapore)

Pacific : List of all Australian programs
ASB (FKA AGSM) : School Info | Opinions
MBS

Canada : Discussion of Canadian MBAs
Queens : School Info
Ivey
Rotman : School Info
York : School Info

Africa
University of Cape Town GSB
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09 May 2009, 17:49
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I am actually quite puzzled by the lack of love/respect (maybe both) that IMD gets in this forum. Perhaps it is the age issue, since IMD does look for MUCH more experience than most places.

IMD is a fantastic school. It is a school built by businesses, and it is a school for businesses. Note, IMD is NOT a school built by banks or consulting firm, it's a school built by BUSINESSES. What is your definition of an UE b-school? IMD qualifies in any definition that comes to my mind, that's why I don't see how it doesn't belong in the UE category.

I understand where bsd_lover is coming from but let me try to address his concerns.
1) Class size. Would you rather have a larger network that you know loosely or a much smaller but much more intimate network? Additionally, it is not the size of the network that matters, but the "value" of the network. IMD selects some of the most accomplished applicants from the world. In terms of accomplishment, I think IMD alums rank up there with the very best.
2) Finance and MC. Yes, these two industries offer some of the most competitive starting salaries coming out of b-school, however we are talking about BUSINESS schools, not banking or consulting schools. I don't necessarily even view this as a negative. As long as the placement stats are among the best, why should the industry matter that much? If IMD consistently places its graduates in fantastic companies with great compensation, should it matter what industries they are in if we're trying to compare UEs vs Es? Remember, we are trying to rank the very best BUSINESS schools, not just schools for banking and consulting.

Yes, IMD may not be the right school for the less experienced, nor for those wanting to make a career switch (note, this is for career switchers) into banking, nor for those who want to switch into consulting. However, it is an extremely competitive school to get into, it does offer a world-class education, it is academically rigorous and demanding, and it does offer an international network of amazingly successful alumni. In what area is IMD lacking that stops it from being classified as a UE? Some superficial like class size? Surely not!
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06 Nov 2009, 13:23
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to keep my previous post from running too long, i'd also like to speak separately about the 2 Chinese programs - CEIBS and Tsinghua (and also Beijing University should be mentioned here as well, as it is considered to be on par with or slightly behind Tsinghua in China). i'm Chinese and have worked for a yr in Shanghai, so i can offer a bit more of a "local" view of these programs.

CEIBS is a very strong program. its graduates get great offers and are very immersed in the international business scene in China. it's located in Shanghai, which is the major international business hub in mainland China (more so than Beijing, which is more political...although more multinational companies are setting up their HQ's in Beijing these days). however, their problem is that they're simply taking people who are already working (and doing well) in multinationals and churning them out for a promotion within a yr's time. there is very little value in this program for others who do not possess a strong corporate background already and who's not already in mid-management. the program is very 1 dimensional and does little to help its students transition from say...nonprofit into IB or vice versa.

Tsinghua has the best undergrad program in China hands down. its alumni network permeates the top of the political structure and the business world of China. the strength of this network really cannot be underestimated. however, its not as well known internationally as CEIBS, whose alumni are all in multinational corporations. in this sense, Tsinghua is comparable to programs such as oxford and yale...great undergrad reputation and lots of senior leadership within its alumni ranks. however, the MBA program is quite new and not as internationally recognized.

in terms of reputation, i believe that CEIBS will have the upperhand in the near future. however, eventually Tsinghua will overtake CEIBS as the top program out of China (and possibly all of asia excluding INSEAD's singapore campus). Tsinghua is already staffing up on better faculty than CEIBS, drawing from their alumni pool that pursued phd's and other graduate studies in North America and Europe. they also have a very interesting joint IMBA program with MIT-Sloan, which offers a degree from Tsinghua and a certificate from Sloan, as well as a chance for a handful of top students to study at Sloan for their 2nd yr for an IMBA from Tsinghua and a MSc from Sloan in Management.

however, for anyone interested in these programs, they should definitely keep in mind that Western brand names carry much more weight in China. people there LOVE someone with a western mba...obvious i'm not saying an MBA from Idaho or somewhere is going to be better than Tsinghua in China. but for those interested in a career in China, they should definitely consider getting a decent Western degree first and then moving to China to work...
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06 Nov 2009, 13:01
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hi guys, i just wanted to throw in my 2 cents here for the Canadian schools. being from toronto, i can say that the vast majority of canadian IB/banking/corporate/MC/other MBA related jobs are in the toronto market. the strongest program here locally is Ivey (University of Western Ontario). they feed into a lot of the top IB and MC jobs here.

then it's likely between Rotman and Schulich. however, there are drawbacks with both programs. the Rotman programt ends to focus more on GPA than GMAT/WE, which attracts a bunch of career students and not as many business minded people. i see a lot of Rotman grads in banks doing mid-office risk management or valuations type of work. they're also not very strong in consulting.
imo this program has not been successful in leveraging its strong undergrad reputation into a top tier MBA program.

Schulich on the other hand has a traditionally strong MBA program. their joint EMBA program with Kellogg is top notch. however, they've gone too international these days and the reputation of the graduates is that half of them can't speak proper english...not exactly what i'd people to think of when they hear where my MBA's from. also the academic rigor of the school is questionable, as the campus is located in one of the scummier areas of toronto and the undergrad program of the school is considered vastly inferior to University of Toronto (Rotman) or University of Western Ontario (Ivey) or even Queen's.

after Rotman and Schulich comes Queen's. they've been on the rise lately, developing a specialty in graduates with engineering backgrounds. however, they are also much less selective (and thus prestigious) than programs like Ivey or Rotman. a graduate from Queen's would need to be quite exceptional in order to compete with the other programs for popular IB/MC positions. because it's located about 3 hrs east of Toronto, Queen's also suffers from its location vs. Schulich or Rotman, which are both in Toronto.

all in all, while these are all regional elite schools, i think the ranking goes like 1. Ivey, 2. Rotman, 3. Schulich, 4. Queen's, and internationally, i believe only the Ivey name carries any weight at all. however, i think that if Rotman plays its cards right, they can really build a much more globally reputable name in the long run based on the undergraduate institution's strength in academia.
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27 May 2009, 15:46
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It's really hard to distinguish Trans and Near elites from Regional elites. I think the situation is similar of US schools and I think I understand why you have put british schools such as Cass, Lancaster and Warwick in NE and TE clusters.

Lets compare them to US schools that are Elites but lack global recognition. For this example I would use UVA Darden and UNC Kenan Flagler. These schools are in elite cluster but truly are regional schools since they have very limited recognition outside East Coast. Outside of what? East Coast? What other recognition do you need? Graduates from these schools will compete for most prestigeous and highest paid jobs in the Wall Street. On the West Coast, graduate from one of these probably wouldn't perform that well in the labor market, don't even mention outside USA. Outside USA I assume University of Virginia = University of North Carolina = University of Colorado = University of North Dakota. Said but true. Nevertheless, can you say UVA and UNC aren't elites but RE? Probably not beacuse their graduates earn 120k+ earnings in New York on a regular basis.

Now to the british schools... They are truly REs but they compete with LBS and Oxbridge for highly paid financial services positions in London. Yes, they have almost no recognition outside of UK, but can't be considered true REs because their graduates live in London and earn GBP100k+ salaries. Of course, we are talking here in the terms of the normal market conditions, before this crisis. Could someone expect to find such a position in Milan after graduation from SDA Bocconi in Milan or RSM in Amsterdam. Well, I wish them all the best luck, but I doubt my wishes be of any help...

I think that is the reason bsd_lover put those schools in NE and TE bracket. US and British schools have some privileged status because of Wall Street and London. Anything that put one in the position to work in such a financial center and earn huge salary can't be really considered local school.
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07 May 2009, 04:57
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Based on all the rankings I would put IMD in the UE bucket.

One idea I have is to take multiple rankings of programs - eg: FT, EIU, BW and any others and come up with a meta ranking. I will take a stab at it sometime over this weekend.
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07 May 2009, 06:25
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Two objections. IMD is in UE. Second: you can't put Cranfield in the last category, since it is in all rankings over Bocconi, GISMA, ESMT, ASB, Rotman, etc. RSM is over Cranfield only in FT.
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07 May 2009, 06:27
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I personally think that Rankings within one region with a large pool (e.g the American Business Schools) can work with some applied logic. But Even then rankings can be dubious, let's leave the discussion to the folks over at BW .

So how does one go on about ranking all non-American schools amongst themselves? These schools are so different based on their location, their history and the cultures that it doesn't make sense (to me anyway).

However what makes sense is putting them in regional buckets and then putting them in the UE,E,NE buckets.

So to take India as an example, IIM-A might be an UE and Univ. of Bangalore (not sure if this even exists) may be a NE.

In short, let's compare apples with apples, and then accept that fruits can cater to quite different personal tastes
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13 May 2009, 12:48
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Useful post. But I am surprised you don't have Warwick here, not even on Regional elite!
It is easily an Trans-elite from what I know. It was the first business school in the UK to gain triple accreditation. It was ranked 29th in the world in 2008 by the FT and been around that for the last 5 yrs. It is definitely ranked above Cass and Imperial in all these rankings.

To compare with Cranfield as my other post says,
Cranfield
Average Age: 32 years, work ex: 8 yrs
40 nationalities
150 students
Alumni: 11,000 contacts in 115 countries

Warwick
Average Age: 32 years, work ex: 8 yrs,
24 Nationalities
70 students
Alumni: 24,000 graduates in over 130 countries

This is from my limited knowledge, any comments appreciated.
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14 May 2009, 18:15
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Great initiative bsd_lover. i was mulling to do the same . even i agree that IMD belongs to the ultra elite though i agree with your logic nevertheless I believe IMD makes the UE league even though by a whisker.

In india one cannot lump all IIMs together as there are many younger IIMs(Indore , shillong etc) which obviously are not in the same league. perhaps one can add just IIM Ahmedabad and Banglore as regional elites here.

similarly IMHO spanish schools though very good are truly not elites but can be very potent RE but not elite. it is like saying that if you want to work in India IIM A(a RE) is better than Harvard but for working anywhere in rest of the world a harvard is a harvard. same applies to spanish schools. other opinions are solicited
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Last edited by devil420 on 18 May 2009, 17:43, edited 1 time in total.
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27 May 2009, 08:35
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bsd_lover wrote:
*edit by bsd_lover - lets just keep one version of this list at the top

Nice job putting together the list!

I find it difficult to accept all those British schools (except LBS, Oxford, Cambridge, and Manchester) classified into the Near and Trans Elite buckets," yet put St. Gallen into a regional bucket....

Joking aside, I am not recommending placing my MBA program into the same league as the top 9 European business schools, but I do question why such schools as Cass, Cranfield, Lancaster, Imperial, or Warwick would garner "Trans Elite" or "Near Elite" status when they are virtually unheard of outside of UK/Ireland. Hence, they should be classified as "regional elite" schools. OK, I understand you're following the FT rankings, but don't forget the British-centric bias. St. Gallen, the overall university, is regarded with the same prestige as Harvard/Wharton in the USA in the context of Switzerland/Germany/Austria. Can that be said about any of the UK b-schools besides LBS and "Oxbridge"?

On another note, I would take out GISMA and ESMT from regional elites for Germany, and I would replace them with Mannheim and WHU which have much, much stronger reputations as b-schools.
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19 Jul 2009, 15:16
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The business school of University of Toronto is called Rotman, which is on the list classified as a regional elite under the Canadian Schools.

eresh wrote:
Where would "University of Toronto" be in the list?
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02 Sep 2009, 00:48
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Ive currently exchanged out to Berkeley and they only exchange with 7 schools :-

IESE, LBS, HEC, Erasmus, SDA Bocconi, Columbia and HKUST.

http://www.haas.berkeley.edu/MBA/academ ... grams.html

I beleive these sort of alliances show some sort of indication as to the quality of the schools.
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09 Jun 2010, 15:49
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York would be under regional elite section in Canada. I dug up some info on York here :
york-schulich-13628.html
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20 May 2011, 12:18
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Hi,

I am new to this forum and it has helped me a lot already. Now, I would like to make a contribution myself to the regional elites category.

I am thinking of the Goethe University Frankfurt am Main. However, I must say, that my recommendation is only valid for the masters degree in money and finance and the prospects of being employed in the Finance industrie. The "House of finance" also offers executive studies,but I dont know anything about that. Generally, Germany seems to be a place where MBA´s are not as accepted or at least offered as in some other countries. But I think that is no reason to withhold the community from its outstanding masters degree in money in finance.

If this appropriate for this thread, let me know. We then can discuss whether it matches the criteria to fit into the ranking.
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01 Sep 2011, 01:30
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I read throught the thread and see there are major two concerns from minority of people on the thread who believe IMD should not be UE.

1. Class-size too small

This led us to an old question, go for quality or quantity?. From quality perspective, IMD alumni are not any poorer than other UE schools. When I was preparing my MBA application (I applied to IMD/INSEAD/Cornell/Tuck), I have sent a lot of e-mails to alumni in order to try to understand the program better. As a result, IMD alumni really impressed me that 100% of IMD alumni replied e-mail and most of them are really helpful. Some alumni who lives in same region, even called me to give me a lot of insights.

From absolute quantity perspective, Yes, I agree. IMD has only 2950 MBA alumni, which is much lesser than Kellogg (41503), Wharton (39779), Booth (44722) and Columbia (39000).

But is the absolute number of alumni really meaningful? We should go for quality or quantity? Try to ask yourself: “Do you really have time to network with 40,000+ alumni?” A quality network will not automatically built because people came from same school. A quality network built because you invest into it.

For my personal standpoint, 2950 alumni are already more than I believe I can have enough time to network with them.

2. Low placement in Finance and MC
Tuck and Kellogg are famous for placing their students into consulting industry. Let’s compare the figure:

In 2010,
IMD placed 4/90 (4.44%) students to McKinsey and 2/90 (2.22%) students to BCG.
Kellogg placed 18/1126 (1.6%) students McKinsey and 23/1126 (2.04%) students to BCG, 7/1126 (0.62%) students to Bain.
Tuck placed 5/537 (0.93%) students to McKinsey and 9/537 (1.68%) students to Bain.

I put more M7 schools stats for reference.
Wharton placed 44/1690 (2.6%) students to McKinsey; 43/1690 (2.54%) students to BCG and 18/1690 (1.07%) students to Bain.
Booth placed 24/1177 (2.04%) students to McKinsey; 19/1177 (1.61%) students to BCG and 15/1177 (1.27%) students to Bain.
Columbia placed 18/1278 students to McKinsey; 15/1278 students to BCG and 12/1278 (0.94%) students to Bain.

From above data, I don’t see IMD shown that they are in a more difficult position to place their student into Top consulting firms.

In fact, I have questioned some IMD alumni, why there are not much IMD graduates go to Consulting. One of the major reasons is salary. IMD graduates normally can get higher salary from industry job than from consulting job.

The IMD graduate’s median salary is $124,700, which is at 10-25% higher than INSEAD$111,900, or Magic 7 school: Wharton $110,000; Kellogg$105,000 Booth $102,000; Columbia$100,000;

Consulting jobs is challenging and gives you a prestige status. But, if I need to get pay 20% less and work 80% more hours every week, I prefer to do similar job by going to Strategy department of Corporate

* All information comes from BusinessWeeks webpage.

In this thread, majority of people believe IMD should be UE, while only 3 believe that IMD should not be UE. bsd_lover, I don’t see your point why you don’t listen to majority of people and put IMD back to UE.
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24 Sep 2011, 10:59
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Traditionally, IMD, INSEAD and LBS are considered the top schools in Europe. HEC is moving up fast, but I'm doubtful about their offering. Cambridge and Oxford moving up fast too, but their place in the MBA world depends ON what they do in the next 10 years. IMD though, has already made its place: It's the king of industry. I find it puzzling that IMD is not in the UE category. They are a small school, but they punch well above their weight. This can be discerned from their salary numbers and placement numbers. Even in MC, though by pure numbers they don't do so great, by percentage they punch at exactly the same strength as nearly all top US schools and European schools (minus INSEAD and LBS).

They may not place as many into MC as INSEAD or LBS by pure numbers, BUT you have to realize that the reason why 50% of people go into MC at all is to gain experience that would lead them towards the CEO track of top companies. If you feel that you can get into the top track without having first getting into MC, and be paid just as well, why would these people do MC?

No defence for finance weakness. I think this is where their real weakness is. But despite this, I'd still put them in UE. Their numbers are still better than others in the E category.
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07 May 2009, 06:27
Hi Scorpio meta ranking is a good idea, however its difficult to come up with something that will please everyone.

I'm hesitant to put IMD in UE category for a two reasons :
1. Class size is way too small (appx 90 ?). Some might say selective, but I will say limited number of MBA alums worldwide to truly hit the UE status. IMD advertises its alum base to be 55,000, however the vast majority of them would be from either the EMBA or one of the other specialist courses.

2. Very low placements in Finance and MC. This can also be perhaps said to be a good thing. After all MBAs were designed to learn about business (i.e. industry), instead of being feeders for IB and MC. However, for a vast majority of MBA seekers, IMD's strength in industry, but lack of placements in IB/MC does not work.

I'm a big fan of IMD nonetheless. Their philosophy of getting folks with plenty of WE and then getting them to truly bond 6 days a week in idyllic Lausanne sounds like a remarkable social experiment that obviously works for the school.

scorpioguy wrote:
Based on all the rankings I would put IMD in the UE bucket.
One idea I have is to take multiple rankings of programs - eg: FT, EIU, BW and any others and come up with a meta ranking. I will take a stab at it sometime over this weekend.
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07 May 2009, 06:32
See my last post for my reasons for not including IMD in UE.

The RE category is NOT meant to be HIGHER than Trans Elite. The RE schools hold a special place within their own geography. However, schools such as Cranfield, Lancaster etc. compete with schools such as Oxford, Cambridge and LBS in the UK, so they can't be considered Regional elites. I will place RE below TE along with separating lines to make this distinction clearer. Thanks for pointing it out.

vbalex wrote:
Two objections. IMD is in UE. Second: you can't put Cranfield in the last category, since it is in all rankings over Bocconi, GISMA, ESMT, ASB, Rotman, etc. RSM is over Cranfield only in FT.
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Re: Ranks and clusterings of various International b-schools [#permalink]

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07 May 2009, 06:41
buff great points. In fact that is exactly what I sought to do originally, but the task got a bit too big. So, I took the short cut by creating an RE bucket for the regionally strong schools that are not truly global. This RE bucket covers all the major regions, and I explicitly state that schools within the RE bucket are NOT peer schools unless they are in the same geography.

This way we'll initially cover all the major regions. If we find that we have a lot of folks interested in a specific region, we can then expand the rankings and add more schools for that region.

buffdaddy wrote:
I personally think that Rankings within one region with a large pool (e.g the American Business Schools) can work with some applied logic. But Even then rankings can be dubious, let's leave the discussion to the folks over at BW .

So how does one go on about ranking all non-American schools amongst themselves? These schools are so different based on their location, their history and the cultures that it doesn't make sense (to me anyway).

However what makes sense is putting them in regional buckets and then putting them in the UE,E,NE buckets.

So to take India as an example, IIM-A might be an UE and Univ. of Bangalore (not sure if this even exists) may be a NE.

In short, let's compare apples with apples, and then accept that fruits can cater to quite different personal tastes
Re: Ranks and clusterings of various International b-schools   [#permalink] 07 May 2009, 06:41

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# Ranks and clusterings of various International b-schools

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