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Salamanca Returns?

September 28, 2005

The Economist magazine's ranking of business schools lists, for the first time ever, a non-American institution at the top. The University of Navarre's IESE Business School bumped Northwestern University from the number one ranking because of its particularly strong performance in the areas of opening new career opportunities and in starting salaries. (Note: Harvard and Penn were no longer in the top ten.)

But The Economist thought it necessary to to add the following disclaimer at the end of its announcement of this year's results:

Choosing a place to study an MBA is a complicated decision that depends on a wide range of factors including geography, price and reputation. The listings, and the information they distil, can help a student with that choice. There are plenty of things, however, that they cannot convey. None of [The Economist's rankings], for instance, captures the distinctive culture of [the University of Navarre's IESE Business School]. The institution is run by Opus Dei, a controversial Catholic order founded in the last century, and its professor of business ethics is a Roman Catholic priest.

This might be a matter of concern for some of the editors of a British magazine. But for others, it might simply reflect that region's Spanish Scholastic roots.

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