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UCD Smurfit Executive Development ranked in global top 50 by Financial Times

Posted 20 May, 2024

Professor Joe Peppard, Academic Director of UCD Smurfit Executive Development; Professor Federica Pazzaglia, Director of UCD Smurfit School; and Tim Wray, Director of UCD Smurfit Executive Development

(opens in a new window)UCD Smurfit Executive Development remains one of the top education destinations for executives as it ranks among the best in the world in the (opens in a new window)latest Financial Times’ rankings.

In the 2024 report on (opens in a new window)Executive Education programmes, the UCD Smurfit Executive Development was ranked in the global top 50 in both Custom Executive Education (33rd) and Open Enrolment (46th).

Within the ranking criteria the School was listed 4th globally for Growth and 27th for Programme Design. Client Satisfaction was the highest in Ireland and ranked 23rd globally.

In the Open Enrolment ranking, Smurfit Executive Development remained the highest ranked in Ireland, with 2024 marking the 7th year in a row that it has been included in the global top 50. 

Among the criteria used to assess the categories the School was scored in 12 of the 14 categories. 

“With both our Custom and Open Enrolment programmes ranked in the EU top 25 by the Financial Times Executive Education Rankings, UCD Smurfit Executive Education is again regarded as one of the best in the world,” said (opens in a new window)Professor Anthony Brabazon, Dean, UCD College of Business.

“In our seventh year in the global top 50 for Open Enrolment programmes, we remain as the standard-bearers in the delivery of executive and graduate business education in Ireland. 

“Following significant investment in the building of our capabilities to deliver world-class executive education in recent years, we look forward to working with key corporate partners in the creation of new and exciting customised programmes with significant personal and organisational impact, to the expansion of our open enrolment portfolio of programmes, and to the further enhancement of participant experience across all programmes.”

Tim Wray, Director, UCD Smurfit Executive Development added: “We have an ambitious growth strategy that aims to strengthen our position as the leading provider of executive development in Ireland while enhancing our standing in the global marketplace. 

“The latest FT rankings represent significant progress towards this goal. Through our international partnerships, we continue to build our faculty team of global experts, who can address the key challenges facing our clients including leadership capability, digital transformation and AI, developing sustainable business strategies and diversity and inclusion. We are also investing in the technologies that will enable the next wave of innovation in programme design.”

The programmes of the UCD Smurfit Executive Development are taught by academic and industry leaders, and its diplomas and short courses offer executives the latest academic theory and business knowledge applicable to real-life situations. 

The portfolio of customised programmes includes business finance, coaching, strategy, organisational change, leadership development, corporate governance, high-performance sales and business development and digital innovation and transformation.

“At UCD Smurfit Executive Development we have an ambition to build out our engagement with client organisations and it is a testament to this strategy and the positive impact we have in these organisations, that we have recorded the 4th largest growth across all business schools,” said Professor Joe Peppard, Academic Director, UCD Smurfit Executive Development.

UCD Smurfit Executive Development is a member of UNICON, an invitation-only alliance of the world’s leading university-based executive education providers. 

In addition, the UCD Smurfit School is one of an elite group of schools worldwide to hold the ‘triple crown’ of accreditation from three centres of business and academic excellence - EQUIS, AACSB and AMBA.

By:  David Kearns, Digital Journalist / Media Officer, UCD University Relations (with materials from Beth Gormley, UCD College of Business)

To contact the UCD News & Content Team, email: newsdesk@ucd.ie