Vlerick EMBA program now only 90th in the FT rankings – should I worry?

From time to time, you wonder if you chose well your business school (well, that’s also when you procastinate instead of working on your statistics assignment – that’s another story). It all started with an e-mail stating that the MBA at Antwerp Management School earned a 50th position in the FT EMBA ranking (while Vlerick EMBA is down from the 77th position to the 90th) …

Ok so let me gather some facts first (best of each row in bold):

Ranking Vlerick B.S. Antwerp M.S. Solvay B.S.E.M. IAG-L.S.M.
FT European Business School Rankings 2011 16 (↓ from 13) 62 (↓ from 57) 46 (↓ from 42) 51 (↓ from 48)
FT EMBA Ranking 2012 90 (↓ from 77) 50 (entry)
FT Global MBA Ranking 2012 70 (↓ from 71)
The Economist Full time MBA ranking 66
Aspen Institute Beyond Grey Pinstripes Vlerick

There is a limited number of rows because I was focused on Belgian business schools that are not in the WSJ ranking nor in the BusinessWeek ranking for instance. Thus Vlerick is in three types of configuration: either ranked alone (we don’t know how the other would behave), either in first position (EU ranking 2011), either in second position. Why can’t Vlerick be first everywhere? (and also I’m only comparing Belgian business school).

Before going into the details of what components are in the EMBA ranking of 2012, there is something that is worrying: whatever business school, whatever ranking, all Belgian business schools are going down! How come? I thought that more and more students were chosing European business schools, mostly because they seem more prepare to face the economic crisis and cheaper (this does not necessarily mean of better quality I agree).

So let’s compare VBS and AMS (again, best of each row in bold, “Past” column indicates if this factor includes data from past years in the FT comparison) …

Vlerick B.S. Antwerp M.S. Weight in FT (%) Past in FT
Rank 2012 90 (↓) 50
Rank 2011 81 (↓)
Rank 2010 61
3 year average 77
Salary total (US$) 115,204 175,930.00 20 y
Salary increase (%) 54 53 20
Career progress rank 41 2 5 y
Work experience rank 90 35 5
Aims achieved rank 33 82 5 y
Women faculty (%) 23 22 3
Women students (%) 19 35 3
Women board (%) 16 0 1
International faculty (%) 25 14 5
International students rank 81 67 5
International board (%) 100 86 2
International course experience rank 66 30 5
Languages 2 2 1
Faculty with doctorates (%) 95 84 5
FT doctoral rank 80 88 5 y
FT research rank 77 92 10 y

So clearly we see the AMS is recruing people declaring a much higher salary (entrance fee is approximately the same) and declaring a very good career progress after the EMBA. AMS classes has nearly the double of women than VBS. And where the VBS makes a good difference with AMS, the FT doesn’t give that much weight to it (e.g. women on board, international board, etc.).

What is interesting is that AMS alumni declared being very pleased with their career progress. While Vlerick alumni declared being very pleased with their aims achieved. The first sentence is not surprising. Let’s compare the two graphs of alumnis’ current job title 3 years after graduation:

So – back to the title – should I worry?

I don’t think that Vlerick should change its behaviour (exclusively) according to rankings. However it could work on recruitement, career counselling / progress and research in order to improve some criteria in the FT ranking. But on a personal level, you know where you should work on your own and where Vlerick can help you …

PTMBA students in the press – 2012 version

After Danny on YouTube last year, this year it is Mark on Vimeo – as an investor for the Battle of Talents 2011. Enjoy (it starts at 3:16)!

It is really stupid the 2012 version of Battle of Talents is only in Dutch. This is a big FAIL! But this is another topic …

Robert Tudor now in the FTMBA blogosphere

I may be a bit blinkered on this but I really think a business school should live with the tools currently available. By 2020 who knows if you could survive with just a static website. So I am always delighted to read that new people are taking the challenge of maintaining a blog when they start a MBA.

This time, let me highlight Robert Tudor’s blog at http://on-mba.robert-tudor.com/. Robert is a Romanian FTMBA student in our beloved Vlerick Business School. On his blog you’ll be able to follow his first steps in Leuven, trying to cope with the Belgian culture and way of doing things. Very few post yet on courses, their content and his feelings about professors, etc. But one about the start of the new academic year and one about the party that accompanied it. Good luck, Robert!

P.S. you can also follow Robert on Twitter, obviously!

Dear Apollo this is Jean speaking …

Well, this one is called Christophe but whatever … (source)

As Colbert (another Jean … “Jean-Baptiste” this time) worked on the greatness of France (aaah, la France!) I will one more time illustrate the greatness of Vlerick Apollo!

It all started again last Friday afternoon with Prof. Louis Verbeke‘s European Business Law. I realized it is the first time I am writing about this course so let me explain some concepts … Contrary to what the title of the course may suggest we are not reviewing European Law articles nor discussing lawsuits where businesses are culprits or victims. The course is defined as “the unteachable” in the introduction. Prof. Verbeke likes to repeat that the only goal of his course is to avoid us ending in jail (as if other courses were leading us to jail, by the way …). But what is this course about then? I was tempted to write that it is “undescribable” but it wouldn’t be fair. We are looking at ethics, organisation of ownership and power, different sovereign models, governance, and the rule of law. Sacrified in honour of the new brand the Apollo group is quite small this year and the class is quiet – or is it because everyone is religiously listening to Prof. Verbeke’s extensive collection of personal experiences illustrating theoretical concepts? I am looking forward to the 10 hours of Business Law, next week! In the meantime I let you read Martin Wolf’s column in the FT on the end of unlimited growth.

The other course of the week is Operation Management (already mentioned previously). I don’t know exactly what happened but people apparently complained that it was too theoretical (or was it made up to introduce the subject of today?). The positive side of things is that we are most probably going to visit some delicious Operation-In-Action production facility – with some chocolate on top, please! ;-) The first part of the course was also a practical exercise, showing us that we have been speaking lean all our lives without knowing it (a bit like Monsieur Jourdain – honestly, France is everywhere!). I must admit I dozed a little bit during the second / last part of the class. But that was because the lean game in the first part was so exciting! Check the pictures below:

(let me reassure spouses, boy-/girl-friends staying at home entire evenings while we are following MBA classes: we are doing more serious stuff also – sometimes)

Last but not least, for those interested, Prof. Deva Rangarajan‘s Sales Excellence Club is here and started already in Ghent (guys, you have to follow: it was already mentioned on Twitter two weeks ago). They are on the official Vlerick Youtube channel and it is already full of small video-tutorials to give you a glimpse of what it is (see intro video below).

If you are interested to be part of such club in Leuven, just send an email to our beloved student reps! (By the way there is also a sale competition with a very interesting prize attached … :-))

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