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Stanford MBA tops alternative MBA rankings on sustainability

Full results of Beyond Grey Pinstripes published on TopMBA.com

For immediate release

London, 21st September 2011

QS TopMBA.com, one of the world’s leading sources of information for MBA candidates and business schools, has partnered with The Aspen Institute, producer of the Beyond Grey Pinstripes report, exclusively for the second time to publish its biennial alternative MBA ranking which highlights the most sustainability-conscious MBA programs around the world.

The ranking identifies business schools which are best at preparing their students for the environmental, social and ethical complexities of modern-day business. Results are based on four “raw score” metrics; availability of relevant courses (20%), student exposure (25%), relevant courses on for-profit (30%), and faculty research (25%)*.


Key highlights

* Stanford Graduate School of Business ranked first in the 2005 and 2007 surveys, bounced back from a #4 ranking in 2009 to rank number one in the 2011 survey

*149 business schools from 22 countries participated

* Schools are adapting their curricula to focus on responsible decision-making in business and to examine the social and environmental context in which business operates and thrives

* Increase in the percentage of schools requiring students to take a course dedicated to business and society issues. This figure has increased from 34% in 2001, 63% in 2007, 69% in 2009, to 79% percent in 2011

* 60 percent increase in the number of courses being offered on social entrepreneurship among schools surveyed internationally between 2007 and 2011

* Faculty research covering relevant headline topics of the past few years, such as the recession and climate change, increased significantly compared to previous cycles

Top ten business schools in the 2011-12 Beyond Grey Pinstripes report


Business school Country 2011-2012
2009-2010 Ranking

Stanford Graduate School of Business




York University (Schulich)




IE Business School




U. of Notre Dame (Mendoza)




Yale School of Management




Northwestern University (Kellogg)




U. of Michigan (Ross)




Cornell University (Johnson)




U. of North Carolina (Kenan-Flagler)




UC Berkeley (Haas)






















While many MBA rankings exist, Beyond Grey Pinstripes is the only one which looks beyond employer reputation and test scores. The rankings are now seen as a popular alternative ranking and complementary to much more traditional MBA rankings and ratings reports such as the QS Global 200 Business Schools: The Employers’ Choice, which identifies the top business schools preferred by MBA employers from around the world.

This year’s survey marked the first opportunity since the global economic downturn to comprehensively measure the extent to which MBA programs have altered the content of their courses, and whether faculty are pursuing research that questioned assumptions about the role of business in society.

Judith Samuelson, executive director of the Aspen Institute Business and Society Program says, “In the wake of the financial crisis we’re seeing an increased willingness to address these issues,” Samuelson said. “That willingness is coming from a variety of factors, including student demand, faculty readiness and a desire on the part of business schools to clarify what exactly they’re doing to prepare business leaders to serve the needs of society, such as job creation and energy conservation."

Nunzio Quacquarelli, managing director of QS says, “In an age where CSR is becoming increasingly crucial in the strategic planning process of multinational organizations around the world, the research provides a different perspective to traditional MBA rankings which are primarily focused on financial-based data such as return on investment and starting salaries.”

To see the top 100 business schools ranked in this year’s Beyond Grey Pinstripes report, visit TopMBA.com where you can also compare the performance of top-ranked business schools with the latest QS Global 200 Business Schools: The Employers’ choice.

*Full methodology can be found on the Beyond Grey Pinstripes website

For more information on the reports, contact:


Simona Bizzozero                                                                                           

Head of Public Relations                                                                                                      

Mobile: +44 (0) 78 80 62 08 56                                                          

Tel: +44 (0) 20 72 84 72 48                                                  
[email protected]

Vickie Chiu

PR Manager

Tel:+44 (0) 207 284 7292
[email protected]




Notes for editors:



The Aspen Institute

The Aspen Institute’s mission is twofold: to foster values-based leadership, encouraging individuals to reflect on the ideals and ideas that define a good society, and to provide a neutral and balanced venue for discussing and acting on critical issues.

The Aspen Institute Center for Business Education (Aspen CBE) equips business leaders for the 21st century with the vision and knowledge to integrate corporate profitability and social value. We help business educators incorporate issues of social and environmental stewardship into teaching and research by offering targeted resources, networks and a platform to share cutting edge practice among peers.

As part of the Aspen Institute Business and Society Program, Aspen CBE maintains close ties with over 150 MBA programs in 28 countries. Our websites draw over 100,000 visits monthly and our events and networks attract over 1,000 participants each year.


QS TopMBA.com

TopMBA.com is the complete solution for information and advice on business school and MBA programs. It is a leading specialist MBA website providing over 150,000 visitors a month with MBA information and trends, guidance on admissions and GMAT, finance, scholarships and career advice, business school profiles and regional MBA news from North America, Europe, UK/Ireland and Asia. In 2011, the website is predicted to receive of 2 million visits.


QS Quacquarelli Symonds Ltd

QS provides guidance for higher education and career choices, enabling high achievers to progress towards their leadership goals. Through our exclusive events, publications, research and interactive web tools, we link undergraduate, graduate, MBA and executive communities around the world with recruiters and education providers. Our communities include: QS TopUniversities.com, QS TopGradSchool.com  QS TopMBA.comQS Global Workplace.com. The QS team of over 150 individuals from the four corners of the world represent the experience and goals of the achievers we aim to assist. They include internationally recognized experts in the higher and business education arena. QS operates globally from offices in London, Paris, Singapore, Stuttgart, Shanghai, Sydney, Washington DC, Boston, and Johannesburg.


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