Last Updated on August 4, 2022
Choosing a business school or management program in Europe is no easy task—there are hundreds of top business schools and programs to choose from across Europe. infolearners.com is a leading organizer of study abroad programs, but we want you to be an informed consumer when selecting your program. That’s why we’ve done the hard work for you—we’ve created this list of the best business schools in Europe, based on their rankings, reputation, and more. Know more about Top Business Schools In Europe, best business schools in europe for international students, top business schools in europe 2021, top business schools in the world, best business schools in europe bachelor, best business schools in europe 2020, best universities in europe & best mba in europe
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The Master of Business Administration (MBA; also Master’s in Business Administration) degree originated in the United States in the early 20th century when the country industrialized and companies sought scientific management. The core courses in an MBA program cover various areas of business administration such as accounting, applied statistics, human resources, business communication, business ethics, business law, business strategy, finance, managerial economics, management, entrepreneurship, marketing, supply-chain management, and operations management in a manner most relevant to management analysis and strategy.
Most programs also include elective courses and concentrations for further study in a particular area, for example, accounting, finance, and marketing. MBA programs in the United States typically require completing about forty to sixty credits (sixty to ninety in a quarter system), much higher than the thirty credits (thirty-six to forty-five in a quarter system) typically required for degrees that cover some of the same material such as the Master of Economics, Master of Finance, Master of Accountancy, Master of Science in Marketing and Master of Science in Management.
The MBA is a terminal degree and a professional degree. Accreditation bodies specifically for MBA programs ensure consistency and quality of education. Business schools in many countries offer programs tailored to full-time, part-time, executive (abridged coursework typically occurring on nights or weekends) and distance learning students, many with specialized concentrations
Over 35 out of the top 100 MBA spots are coveted by European Business Schools, according to Financial Times Global MBA Rankings (2018). This has been a consistently impressive turnout the past some years, thus catching up with the world dominion of MBA rankings held by USA.
Tuition fees are generally far lower than the North American counterparts. When compared to the highly denting annual college fees amounting to north of $60,000 in USA each year, tuition in Germany for instance is mostly borne by the state or is extremely cheap, within a few thousand Euros.
This may, however, not always be a given for professional degrees like the MBA. However, tuition costs are greatly reduced when you consider the fact that most full-time MBA programs in Europe have a duration of one year.
MBA tuition fees are comparable, though with the advantage of a shorter program structure to begin reaping the ROI and repaying loans, early.
Working in Europe also affords salaries in one of the strongest currencies in the world. As far as professional degrees like
best mBA in europe
An MBA from a top European business school can help you take the next step in your career and achieve the goals you have set for yourself. The choice does not come easy, though, because getting an MBA can be very expensive, with high tuition fees at the best schools.
That is why you should do research before you choose which MBA programmes you should apply for. One important thing to look for are academic accreditations by organisations like AACSB, AMBA and EQUIS. Rankings are another helpful resource to make your decision easier. The two most respected rankings are provided annually by the Financial Times and by the Economist.
Learn more about the top MBA programs at business schools in Europe, according to the Economist “Which MBA?” Ranking and the FT Global MBA Ranking:
Every year, the Financial Times (FT) compiles its ranking of different kinds of MBA programmes. They survey students 3 years after graduation and put a special focus on both the absolute salary as well as the percent increase in salary after having graduated.
The table below shows their most recent ranking of general full-time MBA programmes at European business schools. You can be sure that with a Master of Business Administration from any of these institutions, you are opening the door to an exciting career path:
(world) Business school Country Salary
1 1 INSEAD France +95%
2 5 University of Cambridge: Judge United Kingdom +107%
3 6 London Business School United Kingdom +92%
4 8 IE University – IE Business School Spain +108%
5 10 Iese Business School Spain +133%
6 17 Esade Business School Spain +116%
7 20 HEC School of Management, Paris France +99%
8 21 IMD – International Institute for Management Development Switzerland +81%
9 22 SDA Bocconi – School of Management Italy +120%
10 30 Alliance Manchester Business School United Kingdom +108%
The top 10 MBA programmes in Europe – Economist
Like FT, the Economist ranks business schools every year. They also survey graduates; salary development plays a smaller role than in the FT ranking, but is still important. The larger focus is put on the academic and student life experience as well as how graduates thought the MBA degree enabled them to pursue the career options they were hoping to get.
Although there are differences in the methodology, and handful of top schools are found near the top in both MBA rankings:
(world) Business school Country
1 8 University of Navarra – IESE Business School Spain
2 9 HEC School of Management, Paris France
3 13 INSEAD France
4 16 IE University – IE Business School Spain
5 20 University of Warwick – Warwick Business School United Kingdom
6 23 IMD – International Institute for Management Development Switzerland
7 24 EDHEC Business School France
8 25 London Business School United Kingdom
9 27 Henley Business School United Kingdom
10 38 SDA Bocconi – School of Management Italy
top business schools in europe for masters
These have been obtained from well-known MBA ranking sites like Financial Times and QS MBA Rankings, and have particularly performed well over the years.
We have not included the top Business Schools in UK, in this list, as there is already another article dedicated to the same. Regardless, do keep in mind that the UK B-Schools rank among the top in Europe’s best business schools. Some of the top UK B-Schools are:
- University of Oxford Said Business School
- London Business School
- University of Cambridge Judge Business School
- Imperial College Business School
- Alliance Manchester Business School
- University of Strathclyde Business School
- Warwick Business School
Here are the other top business schools in Europe, aside from UK’s.
|No.||Business School||Country||Average Post MBA Base Salary (Approx. based on 2017 reports)|
|5||IE Business School||Spain||$90,000|
|7||IESE Business School-University of Navarra||Spain||$82,000 – $105,000 based on Industry|
|8||Erasmus Rotterdam School of Management||Netherlands||$70,000 – $90,000|
|9||Copenhagen Business School||Denmark||$92,000|
|12||University of St. Gallen||Switzerland||$111,300|
|13||Mannheim Business School||Germany||$118,000|
|14||The Lisbon MBA||Portugal||$113,500|
Full & Part Time MBA in Top B-Schools in Europe
|Program||Duration||Total Tuition (Approx.)|
|INSEAD Full-Time MBA||1 year||$97,000|
|HEC Paris Full-Time MBA||16 months||$76,000|
|ESADE – Full-Time MBA||12-18 months||$79,200|
|IMD Full-Time MBA||15 months||$62,000|
|IE Business School Global MBA||18 months||$59,200|
|IE Business School International MBA||1 year||$83,500|
|SDA Bocconi Full-Time MBA||1 year||$66,000|
|IESE Business School Full-Time MBA||19 months||$102,000|
|Erasmus (RSM) International Full-Time MBA||1 year||$58,500|
|Copenhagen Business School Full-Time MBA||1 year||$51,200|
|ESSEC Full-Time Global MBA||1 year||$52,000 on campus|
|EDHEC Full-Time Global MBA||10 months||$51,000|
|University of St. Gallen Full-Time MBA||11 months||$58,000|
|University of St. Gallen Part-Time MBA||4 days on campus per month||$72,000|
|Mannheim Business School Full-Time MBA||12-15 months||$46,000|
|The Lisbon MBA International Full-Time MBA||1 year||$44,000|
|ESMT Berlin Full-Time MBA||1 year||$50,500|
Executive MBA in Top B-Schools in Europe
|Program||Duration||Total Tuition (Approx.)|
|INSEAD Global Executive MBA||14-17 month||$138,000|
|INSEAD-Tsinghua Executive MBA||22 months with 12 weeks on campus||$125,000|
|HEC Paris Executive MBA||3 different part-time tracks in Paris||$84,500|
|ESADE Executive MBA||16 months||$72,300|
|IMD Executive MBA||15 months||$108,000|
|IE Business School Executive MBA||15 months||$65,000|
|IE Business School Global Executive MBA||15 months||$90,500|
|IE Business School – Brown University Executive MBA||15 months||$135,000|
|SDA Bocconi Global Executive MBA||20 months||$92,500|
|SDA Bocconi Executive MBA||18 months||–|
|SDA Bocconi Executive MBA weekend||18 months||–|
|Erasmus (RSM) Executive MBA||21 months||$59,500|
|Erasmus (RSM) Global Executive OneMBA||21 months||$72,300|
|Erasmus (RSM)-University of Cologne Executive MBA||24 months||$57,300|
|ESSEC Executive MBA||18 months||$54,000|
|ESSEC-Mannheim Executive MBA: European Track||18 months||$60,200|
|EDHEC Executive MBA||16 months||–|
|The Lisbon Executive MBA||21 months||$35,000|
|ESMT Berlin Executive MBA||18 months||$67,000|
Besides the above, there are the big names like Belgium’s Vlerick Business School, France’s Grenoble Ecole de Management and EMLyon, Germany’s WHU Otto Beisheim, European Business School, HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management, and Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, Ireland’s UCD Smurfit Graduate Business School, and Netherland’s Amsterdam Business School.
10. SDA Bocconi, Italy
The first and only Italian institution to make it into the top 10, SDA Bocconi rounds off our European list at number 10. The business school is the first in Italy to be accredited by EQUIS, and one of only 71 globally to hold the ‘triple crown’ (business schools accredited by AACSB, AMMBA and EQUIS).
For individual criteria, the school ranks third for return on investment (up from fifth last year), ninth for thought leadership, 11th for employability, 20th for entrepreneurship and alumni outcomes, and 21st for diversity.
9. Cambridge Judge Business School, UK
Those in the know will have heard of the rivalry between Oxford University and Cambridge University. Affiliated with the latter is Judge Business School of the University of Cambridge which is just as prestigious in its own right.
The institution ranks second for thought leadership (only topped by its historical rival’s b-school Oxford Saïd), eighth for employability (again only one place behind Oxford Saïd), 14th for return on investment, and 20th for diversity. The 12-month MBA program costs US$74,327, but there’s a seemingly big win for students at Judge, as post-MBA salaries average US$133,822 compared to US$59,152 before starting the program.
8. Imperial College Business School, UK
Imperial, located in London, is a triple threat with its triple-accredited MBA program. Despite its short two-decade existence as a b-school (opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 2004) it’s currently ranked eighth and 19th globally. The institution ranks fifth for return on investment, ninth for employability, ninth for thought leadership, 12th for entrepreneurship and alumni outcomes, and sixth for diversity (up from 13th last year).
The 12-month program costs US$68,921, with graduates earning US$80,898 on average after graduation, jumping from US$62,768 pre-MBA. On average, students on the program are 28 with six years’ work experience. The b-school is not far off hitting gender parity with 44 percent of female students making up the cohort. The class is relatively intimate with 78 students, but this could be perfect for students who prefer smaller classes.
7. IESE Business School at the University of Navarra, Spain
And wouldn’t you believe the third Spanish institution on the list is also located in picturesque Barcelona. IESE Business School at the University of Navarra has offered global business education for six decades. The b-school is ranked fifth for employability, eighth for entrepreneurship and alumni outcomes, and 12th for thought leadership.
The 19-month MBA program costs US$105,895, and graduates earn on average US$104,177, jumping from US$65,471 pre-MBA. 70 percent of the faculty is international, 87 percent of students are international and 57 nationalities are represented in the class. The class is a large one with 354 students.
6. ESADE Business School, Spain
The second Spanish institution in our top 10 is ESADE, located in the stunning city Barcelona. ESADE offers a truly international experience and has collaborations with over 100 universities worldwide. The institution is ranked third for entrepreneurship and alumni outcomes (up from sixth), fourth in Europe for employability once again this year, and 11th for return on investment.
The 18-month MBA program costs US$77,964, with graduates earning on average US$96,456 compared to US$55,792 pre-MBA. On average, there are 187 students on the MBA class, 48 nationalities and 97 percent are international students.
5. Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, UK
Saïd is the business school of the oldest university in the English-speaking world. It ranks fifth in our European ranking and 12th globally. For individual criteria, once again in 2019, the b-school tops the list of European schools for thought leadership, comes in seventh for employability, 12th for return on investment, ninth for entrepreneurship and alumni outcomes, and 16th for diversity.
The 12-month MBA course costs US$74,327, with post-graduate salaries averaging US$88,894. The average years’ work experience is 6, with the average age of students being 29. There are 60 nationalities, 92 percent international students, and 41 percent of students identify as female.
4. IE Business School, Spain
Once again in 2019, IE Business School is the first Spanish institution on this list. The b-school offers MBA classes in English and Spanish and is consistently ranked as one of the best MBA programs in the world.
The 11-month program costs US$86,734, with graduates earning on average US$91,482. Students are 20-years-old on average with around five years’ work experience. There are 71 nationalities on the course, with 91 percent international students and 31 percent female students. The institution has managed to score the top spot for entrepreneurship and alumni outcomes this year, ranks second for diversity in the region once more, second for return on investment, sixth for employability, and 17th for thought leadership.
3. HEC Paris
In bronze position, is another world-renowned French institution HEC Paris, which boasts itself as being one of the most selective business schools in the world. For specific criteria, it ranks second for employability, seventh for entrepreneurship and alumni outcomes, fifth for thought leadership, and 15th for return on investment.
The 16-month MBA program costs US$74,481, with an average post-graduate salary of US$115,500 – so graduates definitely enjoy a cash bonus once in the world of work. Women make up 32 percent of the cohort, as well as 92 percent international students and 55 nationalities. Students are on average 30-years-old with six years’ work experience.
“HEC Paris has been a top business school for almost 140 years. Knowledge creation and sharing has always been one of our core values. Excellence in research is part of the DNA of the school. Our excellent research faculty, who consist of more than 110 international research faculty members, push the frontiers of knowledge every day by combining rigour and relevance.
“The HEC Paris ecosystem allows us to attract some of the brightest minds from all over the world and offer them optimal conditions to keep producing high quality scientific output. This collective effort results in a large number of publications in top scientific journals, but also in practitioner-orientated journals that reach a broader audience and help our research have an impact on the real world.”
2. INSEAD, France
In silver position for our 2019 European ranking is INSEAD. INSEAD was the first institution in Europe to offer an MBA and remains one of the world’s best locations for studying the course, and globally it’s ranked sixth. As well as topping the European ranking, in the specific criteria it ranks sixth for entrepreneurship and alumni outcomes, third for employability and thought leadership, and 10th for return on investment.
The 10-month MBA program costs US$100,909, with graduates earning on average US$104,600 up from US$55,200 pre-MBA.
1. London Business School, UK
Reigning supreme for the European region is London Business School, which has climbed from third position in 2018. This famous institution was founded in response to the success of schools in the US and continues to be a top performer to this day (ranking fourth in the global table). It ranks first for employability, fourth for entrepreneurship and alumni outcomes, as well as fourth for thought leadership and 16th for diversity.
LBS offers a 21-month MBA program which costs US$92,718, however, salaries jump from US$70,903 to US$107,931 post-graduation.
top business schools in the world
Stanford was ranked the top U.S. business school in the Bloomberg Businessweek 2021-22 Best B-Schools MBA ranking. A repeat winner, Stanford scored highest in compensation, networking, and entrepreneurship. Dartmouth’s Tuck school came in second, with Harvard third. For the first time, Bloomberg Businessweek’s MBA ranking included a Diversity Index that measures U.S. schools on race, ethnicity, and gender in their classes.
Bloomberg Businessweek ranked 119 MBA programs around the world. IMD once again was tops in Europe, and CEIBS was a repeat winner in Asia-Pacific. Queen’s Smith school climbed to No. 1 in Canada. Three schools were ranked for the first time, and 102 schools in the ranking moved up or down.
Rankings were based on 19,955 surveys from students, alumni, and recruiters, as well as compensation and employment data from each school. For the first-ever Diversity Index, U.S. schools also provided data on race, ethnicity, and gender in their classes. Here’s what we learned about the state of race and gender at MBA programs in the U.S.https://dc268c084b5945a2aef80d2dabfd88bb.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html
|2||IESE Business School||92.7|
|5||London Business School||85.9|
|2||Hong Kong (HKUST)||35.0|
|3||National University of Singapore||34.3|
|4||Shanghai University of Finance and Economics||22.0|
|5||Indian School of Business||16.8|
The Bloomberg Businessweek 2021-22 Best B-Schools MBA ranking created a Diversity Index for U.S. business schools that for the first time measures race, ethnicity, and gender. Race and ethnicity count for 50% of the diversity score, and gender the other 50%.https://dc268c084b5945a2aef80d2dabfd88bb.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html
U.S. Diversity Index
|North Carolina State (Jenkins)||100.0|
|UC at Irvine (Merage)||92.5|
|Florida International (Chapman)||90.0|
|UC at Davis||79.6|
Where Recent MBA Grads Work
Totals from the 2021—22 Ranking
|Media / Entertainment||57||209|
Many of the oldest and best universities in the world are located in Europe: Bologna University will celebrate its millennium in 2088, Oxford and Cambridge have been in the top 10 world educational ratings for many years, dozens of German, Swiss and Dutch universities enjoy a well-deserved reputation as a studying ground for highly professional frames. Although over the past half century , USA universities have taken leading positions in the global educational market, many foreign students still prefer to receive education on the European continent. This is due to high quality, relatively affordable price (unless, of course, you plan to enter Oxbridge) and the opportunity to get an international diploma.
Consider how European higher education works, what are its strengths and how to enter foreign universities in Europe.
Structure, credit system, international mobility
European higher education includes three consecutive levels or cycles:
- doctoral studies.
All European countries have introduced or are introducing measures to ensure the quality of education provided by their higher education institutions. European quality assurance agencies merged into the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA). To become or remain a full member of ENQA, quality assurance agencies undergo an external review.
European higher education uses the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS): it is designed to promote student mobility, develop international study programs – ECTS makes it easy to read and compare programs across Europe. This facilitates mobility and academic recognition, helps universities organize and develop education courses, and facilitates exchange programs.
All students of European universities receive a diploma supplement – a standardized description of the nature, level, context, content and status of studies that have been successfully completed by graduates. The Diploma Supplement is intended to ensure transparency, facilitate academic, professional recognition of qualifications (diplomas, degrees, certificates) awarded by European higher education institutions.
The advantages of European universities
- Obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in Europe mainly takes 3 years, which is one year shorter than in American universities.
- Low tuition fees: universities in Germany or France offer free courses, where students pay only an annual fee of 255 €, low-cost programs – from 3000 € / year – state universities in Belgium, Austria and other countries, more expensive courses are conducted by private universities in Switzerland, Holland, top Universities of Great Britain – from 9000 € / year.
- The number of programs with teaching in English is growing every year. In many countries, it is difficult to find undergraduate courses with teaching in English (Spain, Iceland, Germany, France), so before entering students learn the national language of the selected country. The good news: Master’s programs in English are more common.
- The structure of education courses involves early specialization, which is good for those who after school have decided on a future profession.
- Financing universities at the undergraduate and graduate levels is sufficient, but if you choose a university to obtain a PHd, pay attention to the level of subsidies or grants in your area of study.
- Students themselves are responsible for the educational process: they choose disciplines, studying modules, decide which classes will allow them to prepare as much as possible for future employment.
- The approach to discipline in European universities is significantly different from the rules of other universities: no one checks attendance, does not require mandatory participation in events. Of much greater importance is the motivation of the students themselves.
How to enter European universities for foreign students?
It is difficult for foreign students to enter a European university immediately after school: in Europe, most countries implement 12-year schooling, so universities are more likely to accept students with a certificate of a European or American school. There are several countries in Eastern Europe (Montenegro, Croatia, etc.) that accept international applicants to undergraduate programs immediately after leaving school in their homeland. If a student chooses universities in Central or Western Europe, then he has several options:
- To enter the senior classes of the European school and receive the European certificate.
- Take the preparatory program Pathway , International Foundation , Studienkolleg, etc.
- Complete the 1.2 year of a higher education institution in your homeland.
The second important stage of preparation for admission to universities in Europe is to pass the language test. Each university presents its requirements:
- If you enroll in a program in English, you will need an IELTS certificate, less commonly TOEFL
- If the selected course is taught in the national language of the country ( German, French, Czech), then you pass the standard language exam of the country where your university is located. To prepare for the successful passing of language tests, there are many language courses, sometimes they are organized by universities themselves.
An important condition for admission to a European university is to submit documents on time and correctly. For foreign students, the admission process can be lengthy, it takes from 9 months to a year. What is important to pay attention to:
- Carefully read the entry requirements, send a full package of documents.
- Prepare transcripts, notarized translations of the school certificate, its annexes, documents on completion of 1-2 courses of the university in your homeland.
- Prepare the resume, CV – to spell out what exactly makes you a suitable candidate, what scientific problems you plan to investigate, what has already been done (participation in school research, conferences).
For successful submission of documents and obtaining full information about the requirements for applicants, contact foreign education consultants: qualified specialists will explain the intricacies of conducting entrance exams, tell you where to translate documents, clarify financial conditions and issues related to a visa.
TOP-10 universities in Europe for international students
According to Times Higher Education-2019:
|Oxford university||United Kingdom||1|
|Cambridge university||United Kingdom||3|
|Imperial College London||United Kingdom||10|
|London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)||United Kingdom||27|
|University of Edinburgh||United Kingdom||30|
|Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich||Germany||32|
|King’s College London||United Kingdom||36|
|École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne||Switzerland||38|