The QS Distance Online MBA Rankings 2016 placed Warwick Business School of the UK, Spain’s IE Business School and Alliance Manchester Business School, also of the UK, in first, second and third places respectively.
Warwick is one of seven UK schools in the top-10 this year. The others include the Open University’s Business School, Oxford Brookes, Durham University Business School, and the Robert Gordon University.
In total 30 online MBAs have been ranked — the largest ever report undertaken by higher and business education analysts QS.
There has been an explosion of online learning in recent years as managers show greater need for flexibility in their careers — many online MBAs allow students to maintain jobs.
“An online program provides that flexibility for employees and allows them to learn and apply what they have learned immediately in the workplace, and balance family and other life needs,” said Phil Powell, chairperson of the Kelley Direct online MBA, ranked fourth this year by QS.
Cost is also as significant factor, which has spurred somewhat the interest in Moocs, or massive open online courses, which are increasingly being monetized by edtech companies like Coursera, Udacity and edX.
Some 18 performance indicators are used to calculate the QS ranking, including: employers’ perceptions of MBA graduates; quality and diversity of students and faculty.
There have been concerns that the quality of online degrees is questioned by employers. But Mark Taylor, dean of Warwick Business School, said it brings the “same quality and creative teaching to our distance learning MBAs as is enjoyed by our students here on campus”.
To see the full ranking, click here.