These 2 South African executive MBAs are among the top 50 in the world

QS Global has published its global executive MBA (EMBA) rankings for 2019, which includes two South African institutions in the top 50 for the first time.

The Wharton School has scored a perfect 100 in two of the five indicators used to compile this year’s ranking. QS pointed out that Wharton also offers its students one of the highest post-graduation salary increases, with the average student increasing their earnings by 84% after graduation.

Only three schools have reported a higher percentage this year: Leeds University Business School (100%), Yale School of Management (103%) and Warwick Business School (114%).

The QS Employer Survey and Academic Surveys accounted for 30% and 25% of the ranking weight, respectively.

Schools were asked to submit data relating to their EMBA programmes covering a variety of topics.

Executive Profile, which includes average years’ work experience, managerial experience, and c-suite experience make up 15% of the ranking weight.

Career Outcomes make up 20% of the ranking weight, which includes salary uplift within a year of graduation, as well as the percentage of students who were promoted within a year of graduation.

The remaining 10% of the ranking weight is Diversity of class, which includes both the representation levels of women and number of nationalities among a program’s students.


The Graduate School of Business, University of Cape Town, is ranked 46th on the list.

Its EMBA is aimed at senior and executive managers “who have proven themselves in the business world and would like to enhance their abilities to respond effectively to change and conjure new solutions to old challenges”.

“The EMBA works with emerging areas of scholarship to equip leaders and executives with the necessary soft skills and organising principles that will enable them to build resilience and offer profound decision making skills. The programme builds a crucial bridge between theory and practice.

The average class size is 75, while the average age for a student is 40, QS noted. The average salary for graduates $190,000 (R2.7 million), it said.


University of Pretoria’s Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS), was ranked 48th.

The intake of five MBA classes (full-time, part-time and modular) during a single year is 337 at an average of 70 students, while the average salary for graduates of the 24 month course, according to QS, is $89,505 (R1.25 million)

GIBS attained perfect scores of 100 in two of five metrics QS used to rank the programmes: Diversity and Career Outcomes.  The other three metrics are: Academic Profile, Employer Reputation and Executive Profile.

The business school was on par with global averages alongside leading business schools, on these metrics, GIBS noted.

The GIBS EMBA programme participants show an average salary increase of 57% compared to the global mean of 38.9%. With 42% women on the programme, the GIBS EMBA is significantly above the global average of 31%.

Dean of GIBS, Professor Nicola Kleyn, said: “We believe that it is critical to provide our students with a rigorous, engaging and impactful experience and this ranking is a reinforcement that our students are getting this and more. This is an affirmation of our standing as a globally recognised business school.”


QS Global EMBA Rankings 2019

# Institution Programme name Location
1 The Wharton School MBA for Executives Philadelphia (PA), San Francisco (CA)
2 MIT Sloan School of Management Executive MBA Cambridge (MA)
3 London Business School Executive MBA London, Dubai
4 IESE Business School – University of Navarra Global Executive MBA Barcelona, New York (NY), Silicon Valley
=5 The University of Chicago Booth School of Business Executive MBA Chicago (IL), London, Hong Kong
=5 HEC Paris Executive MBA Paris, Doha
7 The Kellogg School of Management Executive MBA Evanston (IL), Miami (FL)
8 Haas School of Business Executive MBA Berkeley (CA)
=9 INSEAD Global Executive MBA Fontainebleau, Abu Dhabi, Singapore
=9 UCLA Anderson School of Management Executive MBA Los Angeles (CA)
46 Graduate School of Business Executive MBA Cape Town, South Africa
48 Gordon Institute of Business Science Executive MBA Pretoria, South Africa

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These 2 South African executive MBAs are among the top 50 in the world