Four of South Africa’s top business schools have been listed in the prestigious 2014 Financial Times global ranking for Executive Education Customised Programmes, released this week.

The University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business (UCT GSB), the Gordon Institute of Business Science, Stellenbosch Business School and Wits Business School have each secured a spot in this annual ranking, which tracks the top business schools in this category and presents a global benchmark for providers of executive education.

The customised ranking is calculated using data from two sets of online surveys – one for schools another for clients. Business schools are asked for details of a number of top clients, who are then invited to complete an online survey about the school that nominated them.

According to Professor Walter Baets, director of the UCT GSB and head of the Association of African Business Schools, the rankings are a huge achievement for South African business schools.

“This is really good news! Four South African Business Schools are present in these rankings and seem to compare with the big ones in the world,” Baets says. “This bodes well for the quality of Executive Education in South Africa.”

Baets adds that it is very difficult to achieve a spot in these rankings. “The FT rankings are highlight selective and considering there are almost 13 000 business schools around the world, it is impressive that four South African schools are consistently doing well on this global platform.”

This year GIBS ranks 53rd, followed by the GSB at 64th and USB at 68th. Wits also joins the rankings for the first time in 78th place.

The Financial Times runs several business school rankings each year including for the MBA, Executive MBA and for open Executive Education programmes. South African schools feature in several of the rankings. UCT GSB is the only African school to feature in the MBA ranking and has been ranked there for 10 years.