Here are the best executive MBAs in the world – including 2 from South Africa

The Financial Times has published its Executive MBA Ranking 2019, a list of the top 100 programmes globally, including two institutions in South Africa.

The FT noted that the market for the degree remains competitive, despite questions being raised about the future of the MBA, with traditional two-year, full-time MBA programmes in the US having declined overall for five straight years.

“But the executive MBA — a part-time programme that tends to be taken by people more established in their careers compared with those on full-time courses — is neither booming nor facing an existential crisis, the FT said.

It noted that HEC Paris takes the top spot in 2019, up from sixth in 2018, and “helped by the career progress and work experience of the graduates surveyed”.

The UCT Graduate School of Business (GSB) is ranked 47th in the world, and the best in Africa, for its MBA specialising in Executive Management (EMBA) according to the Financial Times (FT) EMBA Rankings for 2019.

The UCT GSB EMBA has now been ranked by three separate organisations (including Eduniversal and Quacquarelli Symonds) as the best EMBA in Africa and is the first African programme to be ranked in the top 50 worldwide, the institution said.

“This is a big deal,” said interim director of the UCT GSB Associate Professor Kosheek Sewchurran. “This ranking is a significant endorsement for the innovative work we are doing here in Africa to find better ways to produce ethical, aware and empathetic leaders capable of leading with impact in the 21st Century.”

The UCT GSB EMBA ranked 10th globally for Career Progress and 5th in the world for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Career Progress is calculated according to changes in the level of seniority, and the size of company alumni work in now, versus before their EMBA. CSR measures the proportion of core courses dedicated to CSR, ethics, social and environmental issues.

Sewchurran said that this is a further endorsement of the UCT GSB’s commitment to developing leaders who are morally, socially and environmentally aware.

The EMBA programme is one of the fastest growing postgraduate degrees at UCT and is known for its focus on the practice of management and leadership rather than on traditional training in business functions. “We’ve really pushed the boundaries of what business education can be,” said Sewchurran.

“In a sense we have been the academic equivalent of a venture capitalist – investing in our own ideas to build a degree that is truly distinctive.”

The Gordon Institute of Business Science at the University of Pretoria ranks 82nd in 2019, and according to the FT is the most gender-balanced school in the ranking, with women make up half of faculty and 51% of the student body.

The school performed well in other categories, ranking 16th for coverage of corporate social responsibility in its EMBA’s core curriculum. However, it dropped 15 places overall, “partly due to a large drop in the increase in salary for graduates,” the FT said.

FT Executive MBA Ranking 2019

# Institution Country Salary ($)
1 HEC Paris France / Qatar / China $406 149
2 Kellogg/HKUST Business School China $513 014
3 Trium: HEC Paris/LSE/NYU: Stern France / UK / US / China $451 766
4 EMBA-Global Asia: Columbia/HKU/LBS US / China / UK $338 725
5 Ceibs China / Switzerland / Ghana $446 495
6 EMBA-Global: Columbia/LBS US / UK $317 320
7 Washington University: Olin US / China $371 824
8 London Business School UK / UAE $371 824
9 Tsinghua University/Insead China/ Singapore/ France/ Abu Dhabi $292 023
10 University of Oxford: Saïd UK $372 808
47 Graduate School of Business Executive MBA $278 976
82 Gordon Institute of Business Science Executive MBA $225 772

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Here are the best executive MBAs in the world – including 2 from South Africa