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Smurfit Executive Development leaps to 31st in the world Financial Times rankings

  • Date: Mon, May 23, 2022

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By Beth Gormley, Communications and PR Manager, UCD College of Business

Pictured: Director of Smurfit Executive Development Helen Brophy and UCD College of Business Dean Anthony Brabazon

  • Ranked 31st place globally in the Financial Times Executive Education Open Enrolment rankings. Up 11 places from 42nd in the last rankings held in 2020.
  • Ranked 1st in Ireland. Ranked 19th in EU (Up from 27th in Europe in 2020).
  • Overall participant satisfaction rating at 9.09/10.

UCD Smurfit Executive Development has achieved its highest-ever ranking in the prestigious 2022 Financial Times Executive Education Open Enrolment Rankings. The ranking is a significant achievement in light of considerable challenges faced during the pandemic and highlights the premium that the School and executives place on high-quality executive education in order to lead through significant global challenges.

“To be ranked 31st in the world is an outstanding achievement and testament to the depth and breadth of the expertise of our faculty and the truly world-class teaching that takes place at Smurfit Executive Development,” said Helen Brophy, Director of UCD Smurfit Executive Development. “These standards of excellence allow participants to immediately give back to their organisations, advancing business and team performance, as well as their own leadership skills, to lead through change.”

According to data from the World Economic Forum, over 50% of the current workforce will require reskilling by 2025, and emerging skills such as active learning, resilience, stress tolerance and flexibility, will be a priority.

“The pandemic accelerated these trends and we see executives across diverse sectors coming to us to advance and hone their skills in key areas including strategy, leadership and change,” said Brophy who also teaches change management, leadership and emotional intelligence. “With ongoing transformation at work, hybrid working challenges and focus on sustainability, leaders are rapidly rethinking what it takes to successfully lead an organisation in the 21st century.”

“The global reputation of our executive education programmes has been developed over decades and is underpinned by high-quality participant experience and the business relevance of our programmes at UCD Smurfit School,” said UCD College of Business Dean Anthony Brabazon. “As Ireland’s global business school, we seek to provide a vibrant nexus of connectivity, flow, and interaction drawing on Ireland’s location as a gateway to Europe, culminating in cutting-edge, rigorous and relevant, executive development programmes.”

UCD Smurfit Executive Development recorded significant gains across all criteria, including the following: Globally ranked 22nd place for New Skills and Learning, 26th place for Aims Achieved and 30th place for both Course Design and Teaching Materials and 32nd place for Faculty. Notably, the School ranked 14th globally for Partner Schools which refers to the quantity and quality of programmes taught in conjunction with other Equis or AACSB accredited business schools.

UCD Smurfit School is the only Irish Business School in the Open Enrolment Executive Education Rankings.

As part of the UCD College of Business 2022-2026 strategic plan, an ambitious vision has been developed for UCD Smurfit Executive Development which will see a significant expansion in its executive development offerings in the years ahead at both individual executive and organisation levels.


For further information contact: Beth Gormley, Communications and PR Manager, UCD College of Business: 087 170 1652 or





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