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HEC Paris: The Business School Which Produces the Highest Number of Global CEOs

20 September 2013

The weekly ‘Times Higher Education’ publication has issued a new world ranking of universities which measures the quality of their training according to the careers which their graduates go on to obtain – The Alma Mater Index: Global Executives 2013. With a large proportion of CEOs at the head of global businesses graduated from the school, HEC Paris has been ranked 5th worldwide, and is the first Business School.

Does higher education have a role to play in the current business environment? Does your choice of university have an impact on your professional development? The ‘Alma Mater Index: Global Executives 2013’, published by the Times Higher Education for the first time, responds favorably to both of these questions. When looking at the University education of the CEOs of the 500 biggest, global companies (according to the ‘Fortune Global 500 List’), this ranking demonstrates the link between their careers and the reputation of the higher education establishment where they studied. HEC Paris performs exceptionally: ranked 5th globally, it is ahead of the Ivy League big dogs such as Columbia (16th), Yale (14th) and Princeton (36th), and even ahead of MIT (8th). While the top of the rankings have been dominated by Harvard, Tokyo and Stanford, HEC Paris is the number one Business School.


More generally speaking, France itself confirms that it is a pillar of excellence for training global leaders, with three establishments in the top 10: Polytechnique (4th), HEC (5th) and ENA (6th). France outstrips its European counterparts: one has to look to 21st position before finding a British University (Oxford) and 28th place before finding a German one (Stuttgart University).

By proposing this new Ranking, in conjunction with its already very influential ‘World University Rankings’, the weekly British publication offers a new way to classify higher education establishments, in what is a very globally competitive context. The Ecole des Mines ParisTech had been the first to propose a classification method of this kind, ranking universities with regard to the number of graduates they could count amongst the Executive Boards of the 500 biggest, global companies. By replacing the criteria of the number of Fields Medals (used by Shanghai) with the number of alumni who hold the position of CEO, the aim is to ‘put emphasis on the teaching and training given at the Universities, rather than on the work of the researchers there.’ In the latest ranking of this sort conducted by the Ecole des Mines Paris Tech in 2011, HEC was ranked 4th in the world.


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