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Aug 1 2017

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The Australian MBA ranking systems follow a number of different process including listings in the global world MBA rankings and other domestic rankings with a local approach. Most of these involve an analysis of various components relating to a mixture of objective factors such as business school metrics and graduate outcomes and also more subjective factors relating to the student experience. However there is an ongoing problem in determining which is the top MBA in Australia or even the best Australian MBA because of the metrics used and how the criteria for assessment relates to a prospective student’s particular requirements in pursuing this form of postgraduate business studies.

The Australian MBA programs provided by AGSM and MBA have been the only Australian entries listed over previous years and have both been dropping from once being in the top 50 to now only remaining in the top 100. However things have changed in 2015 with Macquarie entering the top 100 for the first time and securing position 68 making it the top ranked Australian MBA in the FT ranking system. This is good news for Macquarie and the university would be hoping it provides a boost to its general university rankings.

University of Melbourne

The FT (Financial Times) Global MBA rankings is one of a set of international rankings conducted by the media entity. The Global MBA FT ranking system focuses the ranking on objective criteria rather than on alumni responses, but the problem is that a very high weighting is giving to alumni salary and this skews the results towards countries and cities with higher rates of pay for MBA graduates. FT attempts to deal with this problem by applying purchasing power parity to salaries (PPP), but it is not clear how well this achieved.

The main criteria used in the rankings (with the percentage weighting in brackets) are:

  • Weighted salary (20): average alumnus salary three years after graduation
  • Salary increase (20): average difference in alumni salary before the MBA to now
  • FT research rank (10): from the number of research articles published in approved publications

Other factors used in the rankings include: Value for money (3), Career progress (3), Aims achieved (3), Placement success (2), Employed at three months (2), Alumni recommend (2), Female faculty (2), Female students (2), Women board (1), International faculty (4), International students (4), International board (2), International mobility (6), International course experience (3), Languages (1), Faculty with doctorates (5), and FT doctoral rank (5).

The Boss / Australian Financial Review AFR Australian MBA rankings have become a popular reference source partly owing to their promotion through Fairfax Media. The rankings are released on a biennial basis and rely on business school and alumni participation for completion. The key features of the ranking system are:

  • Schools that participate can earn a maximum of 100 points.
  • 55 points based on responses from alumni who have graduated within the past three years.
  • 35 points based on data provided by the schools
  • 10 points allocated to research output based on Excellence in Research Australia

The Economist MBA ranking methodology covers a range of components grouped together within four categories. These categories with their weighting percentage and number of components are:

  • Open new career opportunities (35% – 4 components)
  • Personal development / education experience (35% – 12 components)
  • Increase in salary (20% – 2 components)
  • Potential to network (10% – 3 components)

Forbes’ main MBA ranking focus is on the domestic American program offerings and it accordingly presents a separate MBA rankings table for MBA programs outside of the United States. The main emphasis of the Forbes rankings is on salary increase, years it takes for this increase to pay for the tuition, and the medium GMAT score.

AGSM was the only entrant In the latest round of the Forbes rankings of MBA programs outside of the United States, coming in at number 24.

Forbes Rankings of MBA Programs Outside the US


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