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David Saunders, dean of Queen's University’s School of Business. (Donald Weber/Donald Weber for The Globe and Mail)
David Saunders, dean of Queen's University’s School of Business. (Donald Weber/Donald Weber for The Globe and Mail)

Queen's MBA falls from top spot in Businessweek ranking Add to ...

Queen's University fell to the No. 2 spot in Bloomberg Businessweek's bi-annual international master's of business administration rankings, overtaken by France's INSEAD.

Still, David Saunders, who is dean of the university's school of business, says the position is a recognition of the school's quality.

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"We're a great school and it's nice to have that confirmed," he said.

Queen's has enjoyed the No. 1 spot for the past six years, but was bumped from its throne this year by France's INSEAD. Still, there are no hard feelings on Dr. Saunders's part.

"In 2002, we took [No. 1]away from INSEAD, so it's only fitting that they should take it from us this year," he said.

In fact, according to Dr. Saunders, to even be a part of Businessweek's Top 10 is an honour.

"Businessweek is the ranking for us because it's most heavily weighted towards what the graduates say," said Dr. Saunders. "It's the toughest survey; it holds your feet to the fire. If you're not satisfying your own students and their recruiters, then you don't do well in the survey."

Businessweek uses three surveys of recent graduates, which represent 45 per cent of a school's total score. They also survey MBA recruiters, which accounts for another 45 per cent. Published faculty research over the previous five years accounts for the remaining 10 per cent.

A spokesperson for the magazine said that the methodology hasn't changed since 2008, but the number of schools included in the rankings increased from 40 to 75 - the majority of which are located in the United States.

Dr. Saunders outlined a few reasons he thinks the school continues to maintain its international reputation every year, including what he describes as "teaching teams" - a unique program in the MBA world where students are assigned a single team for the year, rather than for each class, as is customary in other programs.

Queen's students also undergo extensive coaching by faculty to ensure they are ready for a variety of real-world scenarios.

Other Canadian programs that made the Top 10 of the international list include:

  • The University of Western Ontario's Ivey School of Business placed sixth, falling two places from 2008's fourth place.
  • The University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management held onto their eighth-place ranking.
  • York University's Schulich School of Business also made the Top 10, in ninth place.

Businessweek has been ranking MBA programs internationally since 1988.

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