UCD Smurfit Business School hits top 50 in world rankings

Smurfit and IMI both feature in Financial Times Executive Education list for 2017

Niall Fitzgerald, chairman of UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School, and Prof Pat Gibbons, academic director of Smurfit Executive Development. Photograph: Shane O’Neill

Niall Fitzgerald, chairman of UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School, and Prof Pat Gibbons, academic director of Smurfit Executive Development. Photograph: Shane O’Neill

 

The UCD Smurfit Business School has been ranked 48th in the world and 26th in Europe in the ranking of open enrolment programmes, according to the 2017 Financial Times Executive Education Rankings. The school was identified as the highest climber in the rankings, jumping 21 places since 2016.

The Smurfit School is the only Irish provider to feature in the open enrolment rankings. The Irish Management Institute (IMI) achieved 54th position globally and 25th in Europe in the customised programme ranking, based on schools which customise programmes for companies. The IMI is the only Irish provider to feature in this category.

IMD, based in Switzerland, and IESE Business School in Spain have tightened their grip on the top spots of the rankings, monopolising first and second places for both open-enrolment and customised programmes.

IMD comes top in the 2017 ranking of open-enrolment courses, available to all working managers. It also jumps two places to second in the ranking of customised programmes, which are tailor-made for corporate customers. IESE holds on to the top spot in the custom ranking and remains second in the open ranking.

Top two spots

It is the first time in the rankings’ 19-year history that two schools have between them held the top two spots in both categories.

The 2017 FT Executive Education Rankings include the best 85 customised programmes and the best 75 open-enrolment programmes worldwide. The rankings are based principally on measures of participants’ and clients’ satisfaction, as well as the schools’ growth in revenues, their international reach and faculty diversity.

In a statement, UCD said that Smurfit Executive Development school was ranked fourth for growth and repeat business, 36th for quality of faculty, 39th for teaching methods and material, and 42nd for aims achieved.

Prof Ciarán O’hÓgartaigh, dean of the UCD College of Business, said that “today’s achievement marks continued evidence of excellence as three of our programmes are now ranked in the Top 50 in the world by the FT”.

Last year more than 600 executives undertook various open-enrolment programmes at UCD Smurfit Executive Development, across a variety of disciplines. Programmes on offer include a range of short courses and industry programmes; 12 specialist Diplomas and two MSc pathway programmes.

Simon Boucher, chief executive of the Irish Management Institute: said that the IMI’s consistency in the rankings is a testament to the dedication of the school’s team
Simon Boucher, chief executive of the Irish Management Institute: said that the IMI’s consistency in the rankings is a testament to the dedication of the school’s team

The IMI said it had now retained its global ranking for customised programmes for a ninth consecutive year. It pointed out that the the IMI is now ranked 20th globally in the “future use” category, climbing 11 places. This measures whether companies would use the school for future programmes. In the “follow up” category, which measures the quality of follow-up offered after the course finishes, the IMI now sits in 24th place globally and fifth in the UK and Ireland.

Dedication

Dr Simon Boucher, CEO of IMI, said that the IMI’s consistency in the rankings is a testament to the dedication of the school’s team and the high reputation of the school in Ireland and internationally.

In the open ranking, IMD, in Lausanne, scores particularly highly in the top 10 criteria based on a survey of executives who attended programmes. It is ranked first in three criteria and in the top five for the remaining seven.

IMD participants praised the way their training pushed them out of their comfort zones and also the one-on-one coaching sessions tailored to their individual business situations. “It was an eye-opener about what a good leader is,” commented one participant. “We learnt about ourselves first, what drives us and why, in order to manage others.”