Since 2004, London Business School has been stuck at No. 5 in Bloomberg Businessweek’s biennial ranking of the top international business schools—a respectable showing, but nothing to write home about. This year LBS has something to write home about. In a rare, come-from-behind victory, the school has leaped ahead of four higher-ranked rivals to steal the No. 1 spot from INSEAD, the French business school that has occupied the top spot for six of the 12 years that the magazine has been ranking international programs. LBS's victory represents only the third changing-of-the-guard at the top of the international ranking and the first time ever that a U.K. school has topped the list.
Methodology: The ranking is based on three surveys of MBA grads (2012, 2010, and 2008) with 27,523 total responses that combined contribute 45 percent to the final ranking; three surveys of MBA recruiters (2012, 2010, and 2008) with 663 total responses that combined contribute an additional 45 percent; and a review of faculty research published over a five-year period in 20 top academic journals that contributes the final 10 percent. Tuition and fees are for the entire MBA program; where applicable, nonresident figures are used. Pre-MBA pay is the median base salary for the incoming class of 2012; post-MBA pay is the median base salary for the graduating class of 2012. Job offers are the percentage of job-seeking 2012 MBA graduates reporting at least one job offer within three months of graduation. Letter grades are based on one or more questions from the 2012 student survey. A+=top 20 percent; A=next 25 percent; B=next 35 percent; C=bottom 20 percent. No D's or F's awarded.