MBA Courses on Facebook. Yeah, right

Nothing to see here, move along now

The Chronicle of Higher Education carries a report on a great piece of publicity from a small private London college:

Facebook has changed the way students, faculty members, and administrators communicate outside the classroom. Now, with the introduction of the London School of Business and Finance’s Global MBA Facebook app, Facebook is becoming the classroom.

The Global MBA app—introduced in October—lets users sample typical business-school courses like corporate finance and organizational behavior through the social-networking site. The free course material includes interactive message boards, a note-taking tool, and video lectures and discussions with insiders from industry giants like Accenture Management Consulting and Deloitte. This may be a good way to market a school, notes an observer from a business-school accrediting organization, but it may not be the best way to deliver courses.

Unlike most online business courses, the Global MBA program will not require students to pay an enrollment fee up front. Instead, students can access basic course material free of charge and pay the school only when they are ready to prepare for their exams. School administrators hope that letting students “test drive” the online courses before actually shelling out the tuition money will boost graduation rates.

According to their website they expect, conservatively, to have half a million users in the first year. The courses at this School, which has only been around for a few years, are validated by a number of UK universities, including the University of Wales (which has recently had some issues with validated provision in Malaysia). But this really looks like a fantastic promotional achievement designed to boost profile rather than a major educational innovation. Bit surprising that it got quite so much coverage in the Chronicle therefore.

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Economist MBA league table

Full-time MBA ranking from The Economist.

The latest FT MBA league table has been published and it includes very strong representation from European Schools:

1 IESE Business School – University of Navarra Spain
2 IMD – International Institute for Management Development Switzerland
3 California at Berkeley, University of – Haas School of Business United States
4 Chicago, University of – Booth School of Business United States
5 Harvard Business School United States
6 Dartmouth College – Tuck School of Business United States
7 Stanford Graduate School of Business United States
8 London Business School Britain
9 Pennsylvania, University of – Wharton School United States
10 Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School Belgium
11 Cambridge, University of – Judge Business School Britain
12 York University – Schulich School of Business Canada
13 New York University – Leonard N Stern School of Business United States
14 HEC School of Management, Paris France
15 Northwestern University – Kellogg School of Management United States
16 IE Business School Spain
17 Melbourne Business School – University of Melbourne Australia
18 Cranfield School of Management Britain
19 Massachusetts Institute of Technology – MIT Sloan School of Management United States
20 Columbia Business School United States
21 Henley Business School Britain
22 Warwick Business School Britain
23 INSEAD France / Singapore
24 Virginia, University of – Darden Graduate School of Business Administration United States
25 Michigan, University of – Stephen M. Ross School of Business United States

The Economist methodology is a bit different from the mainstream league tables and includes a significant student and graduate survey component:

Business school rankings are not perfect. What makes a good MBA programme will vary for each individual. Our ethos is to look at business schools from the students’ perspective. Indeed, over the past 21 years we have asked close to 150,000 of them why they decided to sign up for an MBA. It is their responses that inform the criteria we measure and the weightings we apply.

Over that time, four factors have consistently emerged: to open new career opportunities and/or further current career; personal development and educational experience; to increase salary; the potential to network. The Economist ranks full-time programmes on their ability to deliver to students the things that they themselves cite as most important. It weights each element according to the average importance given to it by students surveyed over the past five years.

Dog Earns MBA Online

Dog Earns M.B.A. Online – from The Chronicle of Higher Education

Just goes to show:

GetEducated.com, an online-learning consumer group, managed to purchase an online M.B.A. for its mascot, a dog named Chester Ludlow. The Vermont pug earned his tassles by pawing over $499 to Rochville University, which offers “distance learning degrees based on life and career experience,” according to a news release from GetEducated. He got back a package from a post-office box in Dubai that contained a diploma and transcripts, plus a certificate of distinction in finance and another purporting to show membership in the student council.

Cue a whole series of dreadful puns about hounding the diploma mills and a promo video about the stunt: “Dog Earns Online MBA: A Cautionary Tail.”

New FT 2009 MBA rankings

Latest league table from the FT is now available.

Not too much to get excited about but the top 10 do have something of a lead over the rest of the pack

1 University of Pennsylvania: Wharton
1 London Business School
3 Harvard Business School
4 Columbia Business School
5 Insead
6 Stanford University GSB
6 IE Business School
8 Ceibs China
9 MIT: Sloan
10 New York University: Stern

One particular high point for Nottingham University Business School in the alumni recommendations on CSR:

Best in corporate social responsibility

1 Univ. of Notre Dame: Mendoza

2 Nottingham University Business School

3 Yale School of Management

4 University of Virginia: Darden

5 University of California at Berkeley: Haas

6 IE Business School

7 Brigham Young University: Marriott School

8 Esade Business School

9 University of Michigan: Ross

10 University of North Carolina: Kenan-Flagler

FT Global MBA rankings

2008 Global MBA rankings

Just published by the FT.

Not hugely exciting but what does seem to me to be remarkable is that all of the UK institutions appearing in the top 100 have improved their positions since 2006 and all have improved on their positions over last year’s table (some dipped between 06 and 07 but only a few). Most UK MBAs though remain in the lower leagues with only LBS, Judge (Cambridge) and Said (Oxford) appearing in the premiership. Some definitely angling for promotion though and the trend is positive. (And University of Nottingham Business School charging up the table too!)

Festive MBA rankings

Some interesting contrasts between two recent MBA tables

First up from the FT which has the following ranking of UK MBAs:

5 London Business School
15 University of Cambridge: Judge
19 University of Oxford: Saïd
22 Manchester Business School
28 Lancaster University Management School
36 Warwick Business School
37 Cranfield School of Management
54 Edinburgh University Management School
56 Imperial College London: Tanaka
70 Bradford School of Management
73 University of Bath School of Management
73 City University: Cass
78 Birmingham Business School
93 Leeds University Business School
93 Nottingham University Business School
96 University of Durham Business School

Also Economist Intelligence Unit which includes some of the following highlights, from the UK, many of them at odds with the FT table:

School Rank (out of 100)
Cambridge, University of – Judge Business School 7
Henley Management College 10
Cranfield School of Management 11
London Business School 15
Ashridge 19
Warwick Business School 27
Oxford, University of – Said Business School 31
City University–Cass Business School 38
Lancaster University Management School 50
Leeds University Business School 52
Aston Business School 54
Edinburgh, University of–Management School 56
Manchester Business School 57
Imperial College London–Tanaka Business School 58
Durham, University of–Durham Business School 59
Nottingham University Business School 62
Birmingham, University of–Birmingham Business School 63
Strathclyde, University of – Business School 64
Bath, University of–School of Management 65
Glasgow, University of– Business School 75
Sheffield University Management School 88
Bradford School of Management 93
Newcastle University Business School 98

Another interesting league table

Presented by the Aspen Institute and with the intriguing title of ‘Beyond Grey Pinstripes’.

This table offers an alternative ranking of business schools which focuses on integration of corporate social responsibility issues. And Nottingham University Business School (deservedly) does rather well.