These are the top MBAs in the world – including 2 from South Africa

Global higher and business education analyst, Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), has published its rankings of the world’s best MBA programmes, which includes two from South Africa.

The QS Global MBA Rankings 2022 highlight the best MBA programs across the world, ranking 286 programs from 45 study destinations.

Data for the ranking was collected in early 2021, using three surveys; the QS Global Employer Survey, the QS Global Academic Survey and a survey completed by the business schools themselves.

A total of 13 criteria form the basis of five key indicators that programs were ranked on.

According to the group, employability accounts for the largest portion of the ranking score (40%) and focuses on employers’ preferences on which businesses schools they like to hire graduates from.

“Employers across all sectors and industries take part in the survey and include Facebook, Google, Uber, Wells Fargo, Bank of America etc. The survey helps us have an accurate impression of the reputation of a school compared to its peers among relevant employers who are hiring MBAs,” it said.

The employment rate of a school’s graduates is also factored into this score, tracking the percentage of graduates who get snapped up by companies within three months of graduating. For the 2022 ranking, the average rate was 84%.

The other factors assessed are:

  • Entrepreneurship and alumni outcomes (15%) – which tracks where MBA graduates end up getting employed, often at top companies;
  • Return on investment (20%) – which tracks graduate salaries before and after graduating, over a 10-yer period;
  • Thought leadership (15%) – which tracks reputation and research output related to the business schools; and
  • Class & faculty diversity (10%) – which tracks graduate and faculty representation in terms of gender and nationality.

Best MBAs

According to Quacquarelli Symonds, the 2022 rankings contain some of the most competitive business schools on the planet.

“This year we have a new face in the top 10 – IESE Business School, with the business school’s MBA programme earning a perfect score for return on investment, landing it the joint highest position for ROI in the world – shared with HEC Paris MBA in the top 10,” it said.

However, topping the rankings for another year, the Stanford Graduate School of Business has held its number one position.

“This may seem unsurprising when taking a closer look at the ranking indicators and how Stanford fared. Stanford ranks first in the world for alumni outcomes, joint third for employability, 14th for thought leadership, joint 23rd for return on investment (ROI) and joint 76th for diversity.”

QS said that with the Stanford degree, MBA students can customise their curriculum with courses, electives, or seminars taught at other Stanford schools, or students can choose to undertake a joint or dual degree.

“Moreover, they must complete a Global Experience Requirement, where they study and work abroad for a minimum of 10 days. Previous destinations have included South Korea, Greece and Brazil,” it said.

The HEC Paris MBA ranked as the best MBA in Europe (4th overall), with the MBA programme earning a perfect score for return on investment, making it the highest-ranked programme in the world for this particular indicator.

Two South African MBAs are ranked among the 286 schools listed, with the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business (GSB) ranked the top in Africa and second in the Middle-East and Africa region.

Following UCT, the Wits Business School ranks sixth regionally, and third on the continent. Overall, the UCT GSB ranked between 111th and 120th in the ranking, with Wits’ business school placing 151st-200th.


Read: South Africa’s top-ranked executive MBAs

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These are the top MBAs in the world – including 2 from South Africa