The 2020 Financial Times Executive Education rankings: full coverage

The 2020 Financial Times Executive Education rankings: full coverage

The 2020 Financial Times Executive Education rankings: full coverage

The Financial Times recently released their annual Executive Education rankings for 2020.

Among the highest rankings were several UNICON member institutions:

IMD was ranked number one for open programmes and IESE is the leading school for custom courses. Duke Corporate Education was ranked the top US school for executive education, while Imperial College saw the biggest rise in programs and SKOLKOVO was ranked highest among FT newcomer schools.

FT Executive Education Rankings 2020: analysis amid the pandemic

Jonathan Moules May 10 2020

The decline in business caused by coronavirus is significant but has been partially offset by an uptick in online enrolments and by converting some in-person programmes into online courses. This brings its own challenges, according to Mike Malefakis, associate vice-dean of Wharton Executive Education.

“That takes a considerable amount of co-ordination and work, but we are lucky to have such extensive experience delivering online programmes to thousands of learners per year for the past five years,” he says.

It is too early for the school to assess the full impact of the pandemic, but the business education market has become used to crisis management since the turn of the century, Malefakis says.

“Over the past 20 years, the exec ed market has had a few major shocks, post 9/11, [the virus] Sars and of course the 2009 global downturn, and each time it has come back but at a slight reset. “The Covid-19 impact will likewise cause a significant reset into a more creative and blended way of delivering Executive Education.”

The University of California Berkeley’s Haas School of Business developed fully or partially digital alternatives for all of its open enrolment and custom executive education courses up until May. This was much harder than the parallel operation to convert the degree courses into totally online programmes, according to Mike Rielly, chief executive of UC Berkeley Executive Education.

Mike Rielly: “Peer-to-peer networking is still important”

“Senior level executives are not necessarily interested in fully online learning,” Rielly says. “Exec ed pedagogy is also highly interactive and in some instances performance-based, with an emphasis on peer-to-peer networking. Exec ed pricing and audience expectations therefore require a more robust production strategy and quality.”


“You could see a lot of disappointed people and a big hole appearing in executive education revenue this year,” says Andrew Crisp, co-founder of business education research company CarringtonCrisp.

“Part of the benefit of executive education is the small-group experience with intense study. The networking benefits of this form of study are huge and with coronavirus measures that has not been happening.”

However, business schools are rising to the challenge and there are signs that the market will embrace more online delivery if the teaching makes effective use of the available technology.

The University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School’s eight-week short courses have been successfully built as an online business model, for example.

Detailed FT Rankings


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