Insead pips Harvard to become top MBA school

Insead is the first school with a one-year MBA course to lead the ranking. Its graduates command an average annual salary of over $237,500.
Insead is the first school with a one-year MBA course to lead the ranking. Its graduates command an average annual salary of over $237,500.PHOTO: INSEAD

NTU placed 29th, NUS 32nd in Financial Times' global ranking of MBA courses

Insead, a graduate business school with a campus in Singapore, has topped an annual global ranking of Master of Business Administration (MBA) programmes, while the Nanyang Technological University's (NTU) Nanyang Business School and the National University of Singapore (NUS) Business School came in 29th and 32nd respectively.

In the latest Financial Times (FT) Global MBA Ranking released yesterday, Insead - which has over 400 MBA students here - climbed three spots to place ahead of elite business schools such as Harvard.

Harvard, which held the top spot for the past three years, slipped to second this year. The London Business School, Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and Stanford Graduate School of Business all moved up a spot to third, fourth and fifth, respectively.

This is also the first time a one-year MBA has led the ranking. The other four top schools offer two-year programmes.

Insead explained that its stellar performance is the result of significant improvement across a number of parameters such as the salaries of its graduates and the return on investment for the MBA. Its programme is considered to provide value for money.


  • 1. Insead, $237,553

    2. Harvard Business School, $246,284

    3. London Business School, $221,344

    4. Wharton School of University of Pennsylvania, $253,449

    5. Stanford Graduate Schoolof Business, $264,724

    29. Nanyang Business School, $170,168

    32. National University ofSingapore Business School, $167,466


"Early on, Insead recognised the importance of the rise of Asia in the global economy. We launched our campus in Singapore more than a decade ago and the results have been astounding," said dean Ilian Mihov, who is based at the Singapore campus.

"Our students benefit from the faculty's thought leadership on subjects ranging from emerging markets, Asian business leadership and global strategies. I am confident Insead will continue to play an important role in grooming tomorrow's global business leaders."

Its alumni command an average annual salary of over $237,500.

The ranking of the world's top full-time MBA programmes, which started in 1999, is based on data from the schools and a survey of their graduates of 2012. It considers alumni career progression and diversity of students.

This year, the Nanyang Business School leapt 11 places to 29th. The average annual salary for its graduates is $170,000 - a 105 per cent increase in earnings three years after getting their MBA. Their peers from the NUS Business School, which slipped one place to 32nd, earn about $167,000 - a 121 per cent jump.

Professor Ravi Kumar, dean of Nanyang Business School, said competition at the top is intense. "We are pleased that our robust curriculum and strong diverse faculty provide training that is rigorous and relevant to boost careers globally."

The programme's curriculum was revamped in 2014 to focus on leadership and allow students to consult face to face with business leaders.

Associate Professor Susanna Leong, vice-dean of graduate studies at NUS Business School, noted that Singapore business schools are gaining recognition globally, and graduates are valued by organisations around the world. "Our consistent performance in the global ranking proves that we are attracting top talent and producing dynamic leaders," she added.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 26, 2016, with the headline 'Insead pips Harvard to become top MBA school'. Print Edition | Subscribe