warwick business school notable alumni

Last Updated on August 28, 2023

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Poets&Quants - Meet The Warwick MBA Class Of 2017

Namibian Alumna

1977: Freedom fighter Bience Philomena Gawanas (Warwick Law Alumna) left Namibia and went into exile. During that time, she lived and taught in SWAPO refugee camps (South West African People’s Organisation) in Zambia and Angola. Between 1979 and 1981, She lived in Cuba and taught Namibian exiled children in schools there. Subsequently, She had the chance to study at the University of Warwick and obtained my LLB honours.

Bience Gawanas is the Under-Secretary-General, Special Advisor on Africa to the United Nations Ms. Gawanas has served as Special Adviser to Namibia’s Minister of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare. Prior to this, she was Special Adviser to the Minister of Health and Social Services. A champion of women’s health and rights in Africa, she has been commended for her role in initiating far‑reaching campaigns, such as the continental Campaign on Accelerated Reduction of Maternal Mortality in Africa (CARMMA).

Nigerian Alumni

In 1975: Yakubu Gowon (PAIS Alumni) was overthrown in a military coup, escape to the UK, and was offered a place at Warwick. There is a folklore in Nigeria that says that the British Authority and Warwick stood solidly behind General Yakubu Gowon and ensure he remained safe at Warwick University.

In 2018, current Vice President of Nigeria delivering his keynote address during Warwick Africa Summit and stated “if I was ever to lead a revolution and it failed, like Gowon I would head for Warwick University; a place of freedom and refuge; I will remain here until the dust settles.

Former Warwick students active in politics and government include Guðni Th. Jóhannesson, President of Iceland; Luis Arce, President of Bolivia; Joseph Ngute, Prime Minister of Cameroon; Yakubu Gowon, former President of Nigeria; Sir Gus O’Donnell, former Cabinet Secretary and head of the British Civil Service; Andrew Haldane, Chief Economist at the Bank of England; David Davis, former Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union and former Shadow Home Secretary; Baroness Valerie Amos, the eighth UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator and former Leader of the House of Lords; Mahmoud Mohieldin the Senior Vice President of the World Bank Group; Bob Kerslake, former Head of the Home Civil Service; Kim Howells, former Foreign Office Minister; and Isabel Carvalhais, Portuguese MEP (S&D Group); H.A Hellyer, led the British government’s Taskforce on Tackling Radicalisation and Extremism; George Chouliarakis, Greek Alternate Minister of Finance; and Sir Bob Kerslake, Head of the Home Civil Service.

In academia, people associated with Warwick include: Nobel Prize in Chemistry (1975) winner Sir John Cornforth, who was a Professor at Warwick; mathematicians Ian Stewart, David Preiss, David Epstein, and Fields Medallist Martin Hairer; computer scientists Mike Cowlishaw and Leslie Valiant; and neurologist Oliver Sacks. In arts and the social sciences: Nobel Laureate Oliver Hart; economist and President of the British Academy Nicholas Stern, Baron Stern of Brentford; academic and Provost of Worcester College Sir Jonathan Bate; academic and journalist Germaine Greer; literary critic Susan Bassnett; historians Sir J. R. Hale and David Arnold; economist Andrew Oswald; economic historian Robert Skidelsky, Baron Skidelsky; Lady Margaret Archer, theorist in critical realism, former Warwick lecturer and accelerationist philosopher Nick Land, former President of International Sociological Association, current president of Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences; Sir George Bain, former Principal of London Business School; John Williamson, English economist who coined the term Washington Consensus; Susan Strange, British scholar of international relations who was almost single-handedly responsible for creating international political economy; Avinash Dixit, former President of the Econometric Society and American Economic Association, elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1992 and the National Academy of Sciences in 2005; Robert Calderbank, winner of the IEEE Richard W. Hamming Medal and the Claude E. Shannon Award; and Upendra Baxi, winner of the Padma Shri award.

World’s Best Online MBA Programs | Financial Times Ranking

Find out which business schools offer the world’s best online MBA programs as we break down the FT Online MBA Ranking 2021 

Best Online MBA Programs | Warwick Business School tops the FT Online MBA Ranking 2021 ©Warwick-Facebook

Best Online MBA Programs | Warwick Business School tops the FT Online MBA Ranking 2021 ©Warwick-Facebook

Warwick Business School offers the world’s best Online MBA program—that’s according to the Financial Times Online MBA Ranking 2021. Warwick’s Online MBA tops the FT ranking for the fourth consecutive year.

IE Business School, in second, and Imperial College Business School, a new entry to the FT online MBA ranking, make up the top three.

The FT’s list of best online MBA programs in 2021 is otherwise dominated by US business schools, with the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flalger Business School in fourth and Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business in fifth. Eight out of the FT’s 15 top online MBA programs are offered by US schools.

Applications to online MBA programs have boomed since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic with more candidates looking for flexible, affordable online MBA programs that allow you to complete your studies alongside your work.

According to the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), applications to online MBAs increased by 43.5% in 2020, compared with 11.6% for in-person programs.

FT Business school: Which MBA ranks best? | Financial Times

Warwick tops the FT ranking AGAIN

The FT online MBA ranking is based on a range of criteria with particular weight given to the total compensation and salary increases received by online MBA students after graduation.

Schools ranked by the FT must be accredited by AACSB or EQUIS. Online MBA programs must have run for four consecutive years and at least 70% of the program must be delivered online.

Warwick’s continued success can be attributed to the impressive salaries its online MBA graduates command three years after completing the program, at $207.7k on average. Graduates from Imperial’s Online MBA, who earn the second-highest average salaries, can expect to around $185k.

Warwick also tops the FT’s career progress rank, which measures progression in the level of seniority and company alumni work for in the three years following graduation.

Warwick’s Distance Learning MBA also ranks second globally for value for money—the program costs £34,150 ($47k)—eclipsed only by the University of Bradford School of Management, which costs just £18,296 ($25k).

Winners & Losers

There are no real losers in the FT online MBA ranking. Schools ranked in 2020 have either maintained their positions in 2021 or moved up the list.

Some schools were unable to participate this year because of the disruption caused by coronavirus, although a more significant impact was felt in the FT’s full-time MBA ranking. 

The highest-profile casualty on the FT online MBA ranking, the University of Massachusetts Amherst: Isenberg, ranked third for the four previous years, but does not feature in the 2021 list.

Online MBA students on the International Flex MBA, offered by Italy’s MIP Politecnico di Milano School of Management, can expect the biggest salary uplift after graduation, at 45%, although this metric can be impacted by the seniority of students entering the program.

Indiana Kelley’s Online MBA offers the best careers services and tops the FT’s research rank. Kelley is also ranked the best distance learning MBA for its online teaching, while the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business ranks first for the level of online interaction between students.

IE Business School in Spain boasts the most international students, 92% of the online MBA cohort, and the most female students, at 46%. Only 17% of the online MBA class at Italy’s MIP are women. IE also ranks best for corporate social responsibility and boasts the highest proportion of female faculty (44%).

Interestingly, IE’s Online MBA records the lowest student satisfaction score out of any of the 15 top-ranked schools (still reasonably high at 8.5/10), although this metric is not used in the ranking. Students are most satisfied at the University of Florida’s Warrington College of Business.

Imperial, a significant new entrant to the list of the world’s best online MBA programs in 2021, ranks highest for international mobility, with many Imperial online MBA students working in different countries after graduation. Imperial also boasts the most international faculty, with 97% of faculty from outside the UK.

For the first time a “one-year” MBA has topped the list of the world’s best business school courses.

Insead has taken the number one spot in the 2016 Financial Times Global MBA Ranking, climbing three places since last year. The institution, which has campuses in France, Singapore and Abu Dhabi, leapfrogged previous title holders Harvard Business School and the London Business School.

In contrast to the other top-ranking schools which all have two-year programmes, Insead’s shorter course means lower fees for students. It is placed in the top 10 for value for money and gives students “most bang for their buck,” as one graduate said to the FT.

Although Insead’s former MBA students do not earn the highest salaries – this goes to graduates of Stanford Graduate School of Business – three years after graduation their pay is up by an average of 96% compared to pre-MBA income.

Carroll School of Management at Boston College has seen the biggest jump, moving 21 places from 93rd to 69th position. Graduates also saw an almost $6,000 average salary increase, and the school saw improved ratings for value-for-money and career progression.

Another one-year course came top for career progression. The Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad is widely regarded as the best business school in India and placed 24th overall, according to the FT.

This year’s rankings included nine new schools. The Renmin University of China School of Business is the highest new entry, coming in 43rd. Despite the school offering an MBA programme since 1991, it only became eligible for the ranking in 2010. Students at Renmin can expect a salary increase of 168% following graduation.

What happens to the gender gap after an MBA?

More women are now going to business schools: the number of female MBA students has increased to 35% from 30% in 2005, and exceeds 40% in 27 ranked schools.

Chinese schools have the highest proportion of female students with women accounting for 44% of the overall cohort.

Topping the list for the most gender-equal business school was new entry Renmin University of China School of Business, where women outnumber men.

Leeds University Business School in the UK and Fudan University School of Management in China are the only other institutions where women account for more than half of students.

The FT points out that there is still a way to go to ensure equal gender representation in business schools as women only make up about a quarter of staff.

After graduation from an MBA programme, the average pay gap between men and women actually gets worse, increasing from 14% before an MBA to almost 20%.

This difference could be partly due to the under-representation of women in senior positions. However, the FT notes that the data collected shows a pay gap even within the same sector and at the same level of seniority.

Is an Online MBA worth it?

Online MBA programs come in many different shapes and sizes. Online MBA programs ranked by the FT can take students between 1.5 and 3.5 years to complete.

Online learning is no longer viewed as secondary to traditional campus-based classes and so the cost of some online MBAs is increasingly comparable to some full-time MBAs.

Kenan-Flagler offers the most expensive program in the FT online MBA ranking, at over $125,000. The school’s full-time MBA costs around $134,000 for two years of tuition.

There are more affordable options too. After Bradford School of Management, some of the cheapest online MBA programs in the FT’s list are offered by Durham University Business School in the UK (around $33,000) and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln ($31,200).

If you’re asking yourself the question ‘Is an online MBA worth it?’, you’ll need to consider your own individual career goals. Online MBA students tend to be at different stages of their careers compared with full-time MBA students.

As we get more and more used to working and studying from home, online MBA programs are becoming increasingly popular, providing comparable study experiences and career benefits in a more flexible format.

The Program

Warwick Business School

The Warwick MBA will enable you to discover new thinking, access global networks, and give you the knowledge and skills you need to transform yourself and your career, whichever study format you choose.

Our Full-time MBA is ranked first in the UK and 17th in the world (Economist/WhichMBA? 2021 global ranking of full-time MBAs). Our 12 month programme is intense, fast-paced and inspiring. With international exposure, unlimited career coaching, access to leading companies and a peer group from a diverse range of industry sectors and cultures, wherever your path may take you, you’ll have everything you need to deliver a real impact.

Our part-time Executive MBA is ranked 6th in the world and 1st in the UK (Economist/WhichMBA? 2020 Executive MBA rankings), and is available from both our Warwick campus and our London base at The Shard. We will connect you with a diverse network of participants, industry experts, career specialists and alumni while transforming you into a creative leader with a truly global outlook.

Our part-time Distance Learning MBA has recently been ranked number 1 in the world for the third year running (Financial Times Online MBA Ranking 2020) and allows you to study online from anywhere in the world, while immediately putting what you learn into practice. The programme includes two residential weeks in the first year which will be held on campus in Warwick or at our London base, The Shard depending on which programme format you select.

Studying at WBS means being open to new ideas, viewpoints and new voices, helping you take on new perspectives and challenge your thinking. With a healthy balance between theory and practice, we truly transform people by developing them both professionally and personally. Whether you are looking to change the world or simply your career, the Warwick MBA will enable you to make a positive difference in the world of business and beyond.

At WBS, we believe that business should be used as a power for good. Are you ready to be a Change Maker?Read More: The School

Programs at Warwick


MBALanguageEnglishIntakesSeptemberDuration12 monthsTuition43,950ConcentrationsEntrepreneurial Finance
Entrepreneurship and New Venture CreationApplication DeadlinesMay 31, 2021
July 31, 2021https://www.wbs.ac.uk/courses/mba/full-time/

Executive MBA

1. Executive MBALanguageEnglishIntakesMarch, SeptemberDuration24 monthsTuition48,935ConcentrationsHealthcare
Strategic LeadershipFeatures

  • Program is offered in London and Warwick.

Application DeadlinesJune 27, 2021
August 8, 2021https://www.wbs.ac.uk/courses/mba/executive/

2. Executive MBA (London)LanguageEnglishIntakesMarch, SeptemberDuration24 monthsTuition54,450ConcentrationsHealthcare
Strategic LeadershipFeatures

  • Programme is offered in daytime (typically Friday/Saturday) and evening (typically Tuesday/Wednesday) formats.

Application DeadlinesJune 20, 2021
August 1, 2021https://www.wbs.ac.uk/courses/mba/executive-london/

Distance Learning

1. MBALanguageEnglishIntakesJanuary, JuneDuration24 monthsTuition34,150https://www.wbs.ac.uk/courses/mba/distance-learning/2. Distance learning MBA (London)LanguageEnglishIntakesJanuary, JuneDuration24 monthsTuition39,200https://www.wbs.ac.uk/courses/mba/distance-learning-london/

WBS ranked in Europe’s top 15 and third in the UK

  • Warwick Business School continues rise up the European rankings
  • Financial Times rates the school 15th in Europe in its ranking of rankings
  • It comes after WBS Full-time MBA climbed into Europe’s top 10
  • The school’s Executive MBA was placed seventh in Europe by the FT

Warwick Business School has risen to 15th in Europe and third in the UK in the Financial Times’ annual ranking of European Business Schools.

The Financial Times European Business Schools Rankings 2020 combines the media outlet’s four rankings over the year into one – the Full-time MBA, Executive MBA, Masters in Management and Executive Education.

In total 90 business schools across Europe qualified for the ranking with 19 from the UK included. This year WBS has increased two places to joint 15th and up one place to third in the UK.  

Andy Lockett, Dean of WBS and Professor of Entrepreneurship and Strategy, said: “This is a great way to end what has been a very challenging and difficult 2020. We are working tirelessly to improve our educational experience and to now be able to say we are one of the best three business schools in the UK is extremely satisfying.

“Moving our teaching online for much of the year has been a huge undertaking, but one WBS was uniquely primed for thanks to our bespoke platform mywbs, which has been the cornerstone of our world leading Distance Learning MBA programme for many years. 

“Even so, it has been a sizeable learning experience and we will be looking to take the lessons of working, teaching and researching in a global pandemic into our courses as we hopefully start to return to some sort of normality in 2021.”

The school’s Full-time MBA climbed into Europe’s top 10 in the Financial Times’ 2020 ranking, rating it fourth in the UK and 43rd in the world, while its Executive MBA was placed seventh in Europe, third in the UK and 22nd globally.

And in 2020 the school’s MSc Management reached its highest ever position in the Financial Times’ world rankings, reaching 16th, 15th in Europe and third in the UK. For the Financial Times’ Executive Education rankings WBS was 46th in the world, 25th in Europe and ninth in the UK for customised programmes.

WBS is one of only three UK schools in the top 50 which improved its European ranking and John Colley, Associate Dean (Commercial), believes WBS is now firmly established among Europe’s elite.

“Our Full-time MBA has grown beyond recognition in recent years, with rising demand and social distancing rules meaning we now have three cohorts running at the same time,” said Professor Colley.

“With our base at WBS London at The Shard we are continuing to expand our Executive MBA and Executive Education offerings as well. We have four Executive Diploma courses for senior managers looking to take a deep dive in subjects such as Digital Leadership or Organisational Change and we are looking to add more to our portfolio. 

“It is hoped that our plans will see us to continue to climb the rankings and add to the learning experience of our students.”

To see the full Financial Times European Business School Rankings 2020 click here.

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