Vlerick programs now 14th in the FT European rankings – should I worry?

Yooohoo! After the (very) bad performance of the EMBA this year, a rebranding exercise and a new website, the whole schoool is back at the 14th position in the FT rankings for 2012! The Academic Dean can of course be very proud of his cursus. As usual let’s have a look at the numbers …

14So, Vlerick Business School is at the 14th position, a stable position on a 3 years average (up from 16th last year however). There are of course big names before Vlerick: HEC Paris (2nd), London Business School (3rd), INSEAD (4th), IMD (7th), etc. But there are also big names after Vlerick: Cranfield (16th), Imperial College (18th), ESSEC (19th), London School of Economics (27th), etc.

Compared to other Belgian business school, Vlerick is better placed (than for the EMBA rankings e.g.):

  • Antwerp Management School is climbing from an average 52nd to the 40th rank;
  • Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management goes down from a 42nd to the 46th rank;
  • IAG-Louvain School of Management goes down from a 52nd to the 59th rank.

So if I take again my table from the previous “ranking” post (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 2012 14 (=) 40 (↑ av. 52) 46 (↓ av. 42) 52 (↓ av. 59)
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

The methodology used by the FT is well explained. There you will learn that this ranking assesses the performances of 4 MBA programs in each school. And it looks at the breadth but also quality of these programmes. So indirectly it represents the aggregate of lots of parameters (see here for the list on Vlerick). But is seems to put some emphasis on the salaries (at program entry and after) as well as the number of female, international and PhD faculty.

So – back to the title – should I worry? ;-)

Well, just go to the previous post about rankings and read the conclusion ; I haven’t changed since. But congrats anyway to the Vlerick team for this good performance!

Photo credit: 14 by xiaming, on Flickr (licence CC-by-nc-sa)

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A 1st-year-student’s look at the IMEx game

Since a few weeks, some strange beasts are invading the Leuven campus. Oh not as strange as a few years ago when people used to see this:


But it is strange enough to see simple A4 papers with names of toys companies like iToyz, Jamis Toys, etc. As well as a team of strange animals with green T-shirts in the wild. If we stay in the comfort of our home, just simply sitting in the sofa with a tablet in our hands (an iPad for iJules!), we could even spot a few e-mails sent to the Apollo mailing-list and browse the wonderful website of Jamis Toys ;-) (at least they have one).

They all said to belong to the IMEx game. Even other students in the full-time MBA as well as other part-time students in Ghent played or are playing this game. It is supposed to be the culmination of the MBA, the nirvana that transforms everything you learned in silos during 1 or 2 years in a giant soup of knowledge, a bit like a ligand in a metal complex. So, as first years students, we are a bit intrigued, we try to take advantage from the last moments we will be with 2nd students to grab some information about this “thing”.

Ok but what is the IMEx game? First, it’s an acronym for Integration Management Exercise. Well, it’s immediately less sexy … But it tells what it is: it is about developing and implementing a strategic plan, in group of 5 to 7 students representing a company, each of the participants having a role to play (the documentation states the following roles: CEO, HR manager, Finance Manager, Purchasing manager, Productions Manager, and Marketing Manager). The goal is obviously to beat other teams in terms of market share/share price but also employees happiness and environmental consciousness. The underlying goal is to apply what participants learned in the last 2 years: HR, marketing, finances, strategy, negotiations, etc. I guess this is also the place to put a bit of your personality since some “unplanned events” happened in this Apollo session: a fire in the factory, strikes (ok, both not so sexy again) and claims of child abuse (as in “child labour”) or environmental issues (and probably others, kept behind closed doors – and closed curtains – of break our rooms in Leuven).

So, yes, it’s a business game. And Vlerick has a web-based system as a technical backbone for it. From an external point of view, it seems to be a bit like a turn-based, role-playing game – only a bit more serious with tables and charts instead of real-time, gorgeous 3D characters ;-)

Of course there are business games in other business schools: FORAD, Industrad, Stratpharm (among other games) at INSEAD for instance. But since there is an association of business game producers (ABSEL, also using WordPress :-)), I wonder if there is also a kind of classification of business games. Which one is better overall or in specific domain(s)? Which one is the most user-friendly? Which one is the closest to reality? Can we make them compete one against each other (like in chess)? And is there any of them (including Vlerick IMEx) that can beat Capitalism (*), apparently the best business game out there?

So, ready for IMEx, next year?

(*) Capitalism is apparently so complex that one said “it should come with a free MBA in every box” :-)

Vlerick MBA Experience Day 2012/1

The first annual Vlerick MBA Experience Day is announced and will take place on Friday 27 January at 6.30PM in Leuven. Ok, if it starts at 6.30PM, it’s not really a “day” but whatever …

On this Open Day, we (part-time MBA students) will follow our usual class (it will be a session of Negotiation Skills with Prof. Dr. David Venter). But at the same time, people interested or curious about the MBA at Vlerick can join us, follow the class with us and also interact and ask all kinds of questions during the pauses around an informal drink.

Open Day 2010

Everyone has her/his own interests and her/his own way to get information about Vlerick and its MBAs. One way to track the interest of people is to watch how they landed on your website or blog. For instance, here are some questions typed in Google that led to this blog in the last 7 days:

  • admission test Vlerick
  • classes start 2013 mba Vlerick
  • day of a vlerick student
  • does an mba have exams?
  • educational leave Belgium MBA
  • HEC Paris vs Vlerick
  • how to succeed your interview at vlerick
  • motivational interview for mba
  • ranking belgian business schools
  • Vlerick admission test calculator
  • Vlerick ft ranking, 2011
  • Vlerick incompany project modular
  • Vlerick Leuven on campus assessment
  • Vlerick modular mba exams
  • Vlerick MBA [+study] [+INBEV] [+ranking]
  • Vlerick PTMBA
  • what i remember from my mba at Vlerick
  • what questions do Vlerick ask

(One good thing for me is that by typing them in a post, I re-inforce the position of this blog on these topics in search engines :) )

I am not saying everyone will be able to answer all of these questions during the Experience Day (but the presence of the Programme Director and the Programme Manager will certainly help). But imho it’s a good way to have a glimpse on MBAs at Vlerick. If you are interested, just leave a message below or contact me directly via e-mail and I will forward your request to the Programme Manager (she wants your name, job title, organization and e-mail address).

Photo credit: Open Day 2010 by WTO on Flickr (license CC-by-nd)

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