The ranking lists the 100 best programmes worldwide for working senior executives.

Kellogg/HKUST invariably ranked first from 2009 to 2014 before losing out to Trium in 2014 and to Tsinghua University/INSEAD in 2015.

While INSEAD’s joint programme dropped back into second place, its single-school programme moved up three places to fourth, a position it last occupied in 2011. It is the first time in five years that a single programme has broken into the top five, so strong has been the hold of the main five global EMBAs.

The full Financial Times top 100 EMBA list can be seen on its website.

This is the 16th edition of the FT global executive MBA ranking. It is based on two surveys, one of business schools and another of their alumni who graduated in 2013. The data measure how successful alumni have been in their careers in terms of salary, seniority and achievements since graduating.

Alumni are key

The strength of Kellogg/HKUST is the quality of its participants. Not only does its small cohort of about 50 allow the school to select highly experienced participants, it also creates a strong bond between them. Its alumni enjoyed by far the greatest financial rewards, with an average salary of USD 469,000 three years after graduation.

It is the first time that the joint EMBA programme delivered by London Business School and Columbia Business School has dropped out of the top five. The programme entered the ranking in second place in 2006 and was ranked top in 2008. However, this year it is ranked in eighth place. EMBA-Global is the only programme in the top 10 that saw a slight drop in the average salary of its alumni compared with last year (the other nine recorded strong increases).

Check out: The 2015 Top Global Executive MBAs

Haub School of Business at Saint Joseph’s University in Pennsylvania is the only school ranked for the first time, in 98th place. Seven schools made it back into the top 100 after having missed out in the past year or two. The highest ranked of these is Fudan University School of Management in Shanghai at 40, down eight places on its previous rank, in 2014.

Female and male participants typically have similar profiles at the start of their EMBA. At 36, women are about two years younger than men but senior positions are fairly well distributed between genders, with only slightly more women in relatively junior positions — 26% of them are professionals compared with 24% of men. Fewer women than men have worked abroad for at least six months (42% and 52% respectively) but they share exactly the same motivations — to develop management skills, build their network and increase their earnings.

Wide salary gap

However, before starting their EMBAs, there is already a wide gap in salaries, with women earning on average 15% less than men, at USD 111,000 and USD 128,000 respectively.

Men and women rated the strengths of their programme equally. However, significantly fewer women (59%) occupy positions as department heads or above three years after graduation than men (68%) .

The pay gap has increased to 17%, with women on an average of USD 170,000 compared with nearly USD 200,000 for men.

Source: The Financial Times

Top EMBA Programmes in 2016