Posted by: Louis Lavelle on February 26, 2010
The Economist magazine just came out with its rating of top distance MBA programs, something not many publications have attempted but that the Economist has been doing for a few years now. Before I get to the winners, there are a few things you need to know about this rating.
First, it is a rating: schools are assigned ratings of excellent, good, average, and poor—not a number. It’s a rating of 15 “selected” online programs, not all the programs that are available. It’s based on ten quality measures grouped into three broad (equally weighted) categories: program content, student quality, and effectiveness of distance learning elements (such as learning materials). And most of the information for the rating comes from the schools themselves or surveys of students in the programs.
So who came out on top?
In the "excellent" category, only two schools made the cut: the University of Florida's Internet MBA and the International
Executive MBA offered by IE Business School in Spain. Here's what the magazine had to say about those programs:
Both schools scored well across the board. IE’s students, for example, have an average of 13 years of work experience, and although students are spread as widely as Nigeria and Turkmenistan, they also say they feel incredibly connected to the school. Furthermore, despite its hefty price tag—programme fees of €52,000 ($76,440) make it the most expensive surveyed—students still consider it to be excellent value for money. It is a similar story at Florida. Although its students have much less work experience than those at IE, they do rate their classmates as being the best of the schools surveyed. They also rave about the quality of the distance-learning materials used by the school. And it, too, scores well on value for money. Both schools also have a low student attrition rate.
In the "good" category, there were three schools: Indiana University's Kelley School of Business, Thunderbird School of Global Management, and the Euro MBA, a partnership among schools in the Netherlands, France, Germany, Spain, and Poland.
What's everybody think?