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Where do we rank?

By Gareth Howells, Executive Director, Degree Education & Career Centre

Now that we are well within the midst of autumn, we have entered what is commonly known as rankings season – where most of the largest business publications such as Financial Times, The Economist and Forbes publish their lists of top business schools.

So why do rankings matter? Firstly – and most obviously – they are a key resource of research for prospective students and candidates when applying for a business school place. Consistently ranking ahead of our competitors really helps us to enhance our global reputation and attract the very highest calibre of students from all over the world.

Secondly, they provide impetus and pride for both our current students and alumni who want to see the School do well while feeling rightfully proud of their association with us.

There are many different rankings out there, each with a different methodology which is why you often see quite different results. Each publication selects its own criteria, and along with information provided by schools they typically survey alumni and sometimes even current students.

For business schools, unfortunately, rankings can often be a double-edged sword in that the methodologies they use to measure can vary greatly from one set of rankings to the next, and we don't have input into this. The overall goal of rankings is to attempt to measure the quality of a programme and the success of its graduates, but this can be quantified and qualified in many different ways – which often causes debate among schools around which features provide the most important yardsticks of quality.

Because of this, we strongly encourage candidates and students to take time to understand what they are measuring and whether these measurements are important to them.

At LBS we don’t allow rankings to drive our overarching strategy. Of course, it is always nice when results recognise our work in delivering on the School’s vision and mission, but the focus remains on attracting the most talented candidates and nurturing that talent through the curation and delivery of a rigorous learning journey. By delivering that talent to the world's employers we can have a profound impact on the way the world does business and the way business impacts the world.