Financial TimesRankings research help and creative collaboration

November 9, 20200

Welcome to Business School Briefing. We offer you insights from Andrew Hill and Jonathan Moules, and the pick of top stories being read in business schools. Edited by Wai Kwen Chan and Andrew Jack.


Wanted: student social investment projects: We are looking for innovative student-led ESG/social impact investment activities in business schools. Submit your examples here by November 15. The best will be cited in the FT and can attend our Investing for Good US summit.

Can you help us with our rankings research? Are you studying for or about to start or finish an MBA, EMBA, Masters in management or finance? Would you like to take part in our business school rankings research? If yes, you will be compensated for your time. Interested? Do you meet the criteria? Email

Andrew Hill’s management challenge

Leaders received a crash course in remote management when the pandemic hit earlier this year. As many countries enter new lockdowns, they ought to be better placed to help their staff and to prepare them for an aftermath in which hybrid working will become the norm.

As I write in my column this week, remote leadership requires mastery of the “four Cs” — clarity, connection, collaboration and compassion. For my management challenge, I’d like to focus on collaboration and to hear what you have learnt so far about how to energise a remote network of colleagues to work better together. Please send your ideas to and I’ll include the most creative collaboration tips in next week’s newsletter.

On the same theme, in further reading, Yves Morieux and Peter Tollman of Boston Consulting Group have examined “how the lockdown unlocked real work”. They write that the forced adjustment to the “radically new situation” of the pandemic and lockdown meant “much of the complicatedness of the traditional work environment melted away, creating space for people to reset and refocus on the nuts and bolts of value-adding work”.

Jonathan Moules’ business news

A lot has been written about the revival of the MBA in 2020. However, the story of the year has a sting in the tail: student no-shows.

The problem of people not turning up to campus is financial as well as educational. A survey of deans ahead of the annual conference of the Chartered Association of Business Schools, the UK sector body, showed half expect their institution’s revenues to be down either significantly or moderately in 2021 due to no-shows or students deferring until the following academic year.

The counter cyclical nature of education may make recessions a busy time for admissions departments, but it is not an easy time for those running business schools. 

Data line

Over the past five years, the gender diversity in executive MBA courses has been steadily improving according to the FT’s EMBA ranking data. The proportion of female faculty and students has risen by three percentage points over the past four years with the greatest rise in female students occurring in the past two years.

The schools leading the way for gender diversity in the 2020 ranking are IBS-Moscow Ranepa for faculty and Aalto University for students. Both of these schools have a 50:50 gender split for the mentioned category. 

Line chart of Percentage of EMBA faculty members and students who are female — from 2016 to 2020 showing Gender diversity is improving in business schools

Top business school reads

US election results 2020: Joe Biden secures victory Biden wins Pennsylavnia securing enough votes to win presidency

Boris Johnson announces second lockdown for England Prime minister admits current strategy has failed to stem growing rise of Covid-19 in remarkable U-turn

China halts $37bn Ant Group IPO, citing ‘major issues’ Shanghai and Hong Kong stock exchanges postpone listing two days before trading was due to start

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