For all of the angst out there about the growing international competition to U.S. higher education, you may be surprised to learn that in The Economist magazine’s new rankings of full-time business schools worldwide, institutions in the United States do mighty well.

How well? Well, seven out of the top 10 schools are American and 20 of the top 30 are American.

The Economist rankings are one of the few of a number of business school rankings that attempt to compare international programs. Whether you hold much stock in any of them, it still seems interesting that American schools still reign supreme.

Here are the top 10 (the full 100 are here):

1. Dartmouth College, Tuck School of Business

2. University of Chicago, Booth School of Business

3. International Institute for Management Development — Switzerland

4. University of Virginia, Darden Graduate School of Business Administration

5. Harvard University, Harvard Business School

6. University of California at Berkeley, Haas School of Business

7. Columbia University, Columbia Business School

8. Stanford University, Stanford Graduate School of Business

9. York University, Schulich School of Business — Canada

10.University of Navarra, IESE Business School — Spain

Any reader of this blog will know I’m not a big fan of school rankings, given that some of the criteria used is subjective, and evendata said to be entirely objective is often open to question about validity. The Economist asks schools and students/alumni to answer a host of questions that includes those that can be answered with data and others that require a person’s perceptions. Categories are career opportunities, personal development/educational experience; increasing salary and the potential to network.

A reader’s comment on the methodology portion of the magazine’s rankings package makes the point that the factors used in the ratings don’t take into consideration anything about how much MBA graduates do to actually help improve the human condition, which would be far more important than how much money someone earns.

The magazine itself includes as part of its package a piece with this headline: “Should a school’s ranking be a serious consideration when choosing an MBA programme?”

It doesn’t really answer the question, but asks readers to do so. You can see their comments here.


Follow The Answer Sheet every day by bookmarking And for admissions advice, college news and links to campus papers, please check out our Higher Education page. Bookmark it!