Aalto EE strengthens position in the prestigious Financial Times ranking

Aalto University Executive Education (Aalto EE) has held firm and strengthened its position in the face of intensifying global competition in the executive education sector. Aalto EE improved its position in the Financial Times ranking, the most authoritative global ranking of its kind, by seven places compared to last year.


Aalto EE, which has been in the top 50 for years, is now the 39th best provider of executive education programs – and the only Finnish player in the world’s fifty best out of thousands of actors in the field. The Financial Times gave an overall ranking for both open-enrollment and customized programs.

Competition within the top 50 is fierce and a range of factors affect the ranking, simultaneously the peer group is expanding due to strong Asian competitors.

- It is important to examine the results over several years and in the long term, rather than looking at just a single year’s ranking. Aalto EE’s success in the Financial Times ranking from one year to the next provides customers with a guarantee that its content, methods and trainers are of the highest global standards, comments Dr. Pekka Mattila, Group Managing Director for Aalto EE.

He continues:

- We have benchmarked ourselves with world leaders in the sector for several years. This helps us to set the right level of ambition. It is particularly satisfying to have been involved in the turnaround of so many companies.

The impact of the programs has a key role

The ranking is based on several criteria. On this occasion, Aalto EE’s ranking improved on the basis of customer feedback about customized programs in particular. Customers appreciate the design, implementation and teaching methods of Aalto EE’s programs, while feeling that they gained both new expertise and value for money from the training. Direct customer feedback also provides a clear testimony to strong customer expertise and flexibility. 

- Our programs involve the flexible use of a range of methods in order to maximize learning and impact. Aalto EE has a portfolio of signature methods, such as Aalto War Game and Echo Teams, which we use in both open-enrollment and customized programs. Customer needs are in the center when developing our approach. A good example of this is the Accelerator program, which we created alongside Stora Enso; that links together start-ups, executive education and the competence requirements of global organizations, says Virve Hintikka, Business Area Director Customized Solutions of Aalto EE. 

VTT appreciates being listened to, and fast reaction

Aalto EE’s customized solution is helping VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland to reinvent itself and implement its strategy. In particular, VTT wants to use the program to strengthen leaders’ abilities to renew its customer-centered operating culture, and to secure the expertise required for future success. The program focused on four main themes: transformational leadersip;, customer impact, personal growth as a leader, and driving VTT’s strategy forward.

- The program has been crucial in our renewal process. We engaged in an inspiring discussion of leadership and received tangible support in transformational leadership and strategic management. This was enabled by seamless cooperation with Aalto EE, since they listened to us and reacted quickly to our needs. The program was implemented with high professionalism, says Kirsi Nuotto, SVP Human Resources at VTT.

In addition, Aalto EE has helped for example Finnair to reshape its leadership and culture, Paulig to develop its organizational culture, and Lindström to perform a generational handover. Around 70-100 customized organizational development programs of various kinds are implemented in the Nordic countries and around the world each year.

The Financial Times ranking in brief

Open-enrollment and customized 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 the Spanish Iese Business School, the Swiss IMD and the French Insead. ESADE, the strategic partner of Aalto EE, came 19th. The Stanford Center for Professional Development, which have co-created the ”Certificate in Digital Business Strategy and Innovation Agility” program with Aalto EE, came seventh. Now participating for the 18th time, Aalto University Executive Education is ranked under the name Aalto University. 

For additional information, please contact

Pekka Mattila, D.Soc.Sc., 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 education programs in the Baltic countries, South Korea, Indonesia, Iran, China, Poland, Sweden, Taiwan, Tanzania, Russia and Vietnam. 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.