CHICAGO UNIVERSITY’S Booth School of Business retains first place in The Economist’s annual ranking of full-time MBA programmes. The school has taken top spot in three of the last four years. Chicago’s career-placement statistics are particularly impressive, with graduates getting jobs in a wide range of industries and earning an average basic salary of $115,000, a 66% increase on their pre-MBA salary. Students, meanwhile, give stellar marks for the education they receive, the quality of their classmates and the school’s careers service. American programmes occupy the first four places and account for 16 of the top 25 schools.

The leading European school is IESE in Spain, which, despite a tough domestic economy, still manages to place many of its students in high-flying jobs, mostly abroad. Queensland is the best-ranked school from outside these regions. The rise of Hong Kong University, the top Asian school, has been precipitous. It breaks into the top 25 for the first time because of improving salary statistics and the fact that its students profess such delight with the programme.

This is the 11th time The Economist has published its ranking. Each year, we ask students about why they decided to take an MBA. Our ranking weights data according to what they say is important. The four categories covered are: opening new career opportunities (35%); personal development/educational experience (35%); increasing salary (20%); and the potential to network (10%). The figures we collate are a mixture of hard data and the subjective marks given by the school’s students. The full ranking and methodology can be found here.