Financial Times: Aalto EE still the only Finnish player in the global top 50

Aalto University Executive Education (Aalto EE) has again been ranked in the top 50 in the world in the face of intensifying global competition in the executive education field. The prestigious Financial Times ranked Aalto EE 38th. This marks an improvement of one place from last year.


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Competition among the top 100 in management and development sector is hard and the placement is influenced by many factors, such as the impact of programs on individuals and corporate clients, as well as diverse methods and trainer profile.

The Financial Times gave a rating for open-enrollment programs as well as for programs customized for corporate clients. Aalto EE placed 34th (in 2018 ranked 44th) in the customized category and 56th (in 2018 ranked 42nd) in the open programs’ category.

“In the last few years, what’s been most rewarding for our team has been the ability to support the digitalization of many of the leading organizations in their industry and their preparation for a disruption of business models. The best feedback has been the success stories you’ve been able to read on the financial pages,” says Dr. Pekka Mattila, Group Managing Director for Aalto EE.

Aalto EE monitors its effectiveness on a sustained and continuous basis. In addition to external recognition, the customers’ experiences and proven impact are crucial.

“It’s important to look at the results from a perspective of several years instead of just one,” Dr. Pekka Mattila adds.

Digitalization and sustainable development programs on the rise globally

Aalto EE’s ranking improved again on the basis of customer feedback about customized programs in particular. Customers appreciate the design, implementation and teaching methods of Aalto EE’s programs and feel that they gained both a new kind of expertise and value for money from the training. Direct customer feedback also provides a clear testimony to strong customer expertise and flexibility.

Digital change and sustainability have a strong presence on the clients’ agenda. A second Accelerator program was launched with Stora Enso, which was centered on revolutionary business ideas in the circular economy.

Katri Kennedy from If P&C Insurance participated in the “Certificate in Digital Business Strategy and Innovation Agility” program, a joint venture between Aalto EE and Stanford. In particular, she liked the idea that new innovations were actively being sought outside one’s own reference group, in various crossing points. Kennedy is currently studying ways of effectively exploiting the idea in her own organization.

Other organizations looking outside their own boundaries and their own industry included VR Transpoint, Metsä Group and SSAB, who were also interested in joining forces with Aalto EE to strengthen their vision of future logistics leadership.

Global impact of the long-term collaboration between ABB and Aalto EE

Aalto EE has been partners with ABB in developing future leaders for the company’s global business operations for many years. The training is tailored to the needs of ABB’s business, and the theme of this year’s program, for example, is “Customer Experience in Digitalizing Business”.

A key part of the training consists of discovery projects, where participants solve challenges taken from business activities. This ‘action learning’ is an effective way of learning, and at the same time it ensures that the lessons learned are brought into practice and that training supports business development directly. Results from these discovery projects include the customer experience simulation, which is in global use at ABB.

“Training contributes in a major way to ABB’s business development and widens the participants’ perspectives. ABB wants to offer its employees good opportunities for development and career progression. In Finland alone, a significant number of people work in global tasks, and the training provides them with the latest information from around the world. ABB’s leadership is strongly committed to the development of management, and top management representatives are involved in training to bring in ABB’s strategic and business perspectives to the various themes. Seamless long-term collaboration with Aalto EE enables customization from a customer perspective and guarantees high-quality content and professional implementation,” says ABB Head of Learning & Development Ismo Laukkanen.

The Financial Times ranking in brief

Open-enrollment and customized executive education programs are ranked separately in the FT Executive Education ranking. The overall listing is based on the total rating achieved in these two categories. The ranking is based on customer feedback and statistics provided by the institutions themselves. In its report, the Financial Times only ranks the top 50 executive education providers. Globally, executive education and MBA programs are offered by over 4,000 institutions.

This year’s top three were once again the Spanish Iese Business School, the Swiss IMD and the French HEC Paris. ESADE, a strategic partner of Aalto EE, came 13th. The Stanford Graduate School of Business, which have co-created the “Certificate in Digital Business Strategy and Innovation Agility” program with Aalto EE, came fourth. Now participating for the 19th time, Aalto University Executive Education is ranked under the name Aalto University. 

For additional information, please contact

Dr. Pekka Mattila, Group Managing Director, Professor of Practice
Aalto University Executive Education Ltd
Telephone: +358 40 738 7221

Aalto University Executive Education Ltd

Aalto University Executive Education offers high-quality leadership development services (Aalto EE), professional development services for experts and managers (Aalto PRO), and creative solutions covering the whole life-cycle of entrepreneurship (Aalto ENT). Aalto University brings to our offering a multidisciplinary approach, together with innovative learning methods; this provides a unique combination of practical expertise with latest research.

Aalto University Executive Education’s strengths lie in its global operating model and diverse offering. In addition to Finland and Singapore, we offer programs in several locations. Aalto University Executive Education holds three respected accreditations: AACSB, AMBA, and EQUIS certificates. This places it in the top 0.5 per cent of the world’s institutions.