Double first

Harvard Business School has topped its second major ranking in the space of two weeks. After heading US News & World Report’s list of American graduate business schools (see article), it has now also retained its crown as the world’s best provider of non-degree, executive-education courses according to the Financial Times. Swiss school IMD came second in the overall ranking, which combines the results of separate ratings of schools’ open-enrolment and customised programmes. Duke University’s Fuqua school and Spanish institution IESE were joint third. In the individual categories, Harvard topped the open-enrolment section, while—for a seventh consecutive year—Fuqua won out for its customised programmes.

With executive education budgets being cut by companies as the recession bites, these are tough times for business schools. The FT says that a 20% drop in demand for non-degree courses is being commonly reported by the top schools, while a report from Icedr, an industry research body, says that 60% of companies have reduced their training and development budgets. The paper says that open-enrolment programmes seem to have to been hit harder than customised ones. With one of the major issues being a moratorium on air travel at many companies, schools are having to change their models away from campus-based programmes, in favour of delivering more programmes at companies’ headquarters or remotely using distance learning technology.

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