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Which are the world's best online MBA programmes?

With advancements in online technology, online/distance learning has seen a huge boost in recent years. Noticeably, MBA applicants are increasingly selecting this method of education – not only because of its easy accessibility but also because of the flexibility of a course which can fit around one’s schedule. This gives MBA students the opportunity to continue with their work, family and social commitments.


“… the flexibility of a course which can fit around one’s schedule.”

The latest QS Applicant Survey Research shows that the proportion of prospective MBA applicants interested in online and/or distance learning programmes stood at 27% up from 23.5% the previous year and from just 4.4% in 2008.

Correspondingly, more and more business schools are adding Online MBA programmes in their courses options, in order to meet the increased demand.

With such a diversity of programmes, which Online MBAs are the best in the world?

The recently launched 2015 edition of the QS Distance Online MBA Rankings, which looks exclusively at accredited online and distance learning MBA programmes, confirms for the third consecutive time, Spain’s IE Business School at the top spot.

 In the 2015 tables, the US takes five of the top ten spots, with Indiana University Kelley School of Business (3) leading Thunderbird (5), Temple-Fox (6), UT Dallas (9) and Drexel (10). The remainder spots among the global top ten are taken by UK institutions with Warwick Business School (2) joined by Manchester Business School (4), Oxford Brookes (7) and The Open University Business School (8).


“QS Distance Online MBA Rankings”

A total of 25 schools are included in the ranking, reflecting the relatively narrow range of internationally accredited programmes targeted specifically by international MBA employers. Of these, twelve are based in the United States, eight in the United Kingdom, while the remainder are from Australia, India, Peru, The Netherlands and Spain.



The ranking looks at eighteen indicators, among which there are features such as: the reputation of the programme among employers, the average work experience of enrolled students, average GMAT scores, number of applicants per available place, accreditation of the programme, diversity of nationalities, percentage of female students, the availability of group work and other criteria.

Why do professionals consider online MBA programmes?

Many professionals consider an MBA to be a step further in career and education, whether they want to advance in the roles they are currently holding or considering a career and domain change.

One of the main reasons why people opt for online MBAs is their accessibility and flexibility. Students can attend the lectures, work on the projects, and interact with colleagues from all over the world, while also keeping their commitments regarding their current work, business or personal life. “The increasing sophistication and variety of online and distance learning options means a growing number of candidates are now pursuing the opportunity to gain a world-class business education without the need to relocate or take a career break,” says Nunzio Quacquarelli, managing director of QS.


“… accessibility and flexibility.”

Apart from that, the learning that they gain from such a programme can be applied immediately in their work or day to day life, as they are not taking a break from work for studying.

 The full QS Distance/Online MBA Ranking 2015 can be viewed on alongside an additional list of blended, distance and online MBA programmes.

Interested to see options of Online MBA programmes offered by business schools in Europe? Find out more information on the courses and discuss the advantages of studying an online course by checking the directory at QS Course Finder.



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