Best Business Schools in Europe
Top B-Schools in Germany, France, UK, Spain, Switzerland, Portugal, Italy, Denmark
With around 50 countries, comprising the continent of Europe, it houses some of the oldest and the most prestigious universities in the world. Think 9/10 of the oldest bricks, aimed towards higher education, were laid down in Europe. University of Bologna, in Italy, beat University of Oxford by 8 years with its first lectures having begun in 1088.
University of Cambridge, University of Sienna, University of Paris, Salamanca, Padua, Naples Federico, and University of Coimbra, are some of the others that were built somewhere between then and the year 1300.
But age is not the only factor taking the wise-meter off the charts, for European universities. Some 35 of the top 100 universities in the world are European. That’s recent rankings (by QS) not requiring you to dust off the library mites from the pages of history!
In this article, we dive into the study of Business Administration (And related) degrees in Europe. Why study in Europe and what are some of the best Business Schools in Europe? We also look at the various flavours of MBA programs offered by these schools, namely full-time, part-time, executive, and joint MBA.
Best MBA colleges in Europe for International / Indian Students
Why choose Europe for your MBA?
Quality of MBA
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 MBA are concerned, average salaries in Europe lie in the range of $72,000 to $110,000, the higher range being the second highest after North America.
Location and Networking advantage
Europe’s history and its meticulous preservation as such makes for an education in itself. Even war-torn areas have some historical lessons to serve up. That’s for the traveler in you.
While many European countries have their own languages and the medium of instruction does tend to be in the language of the region, a majority of institutes offer either the opportunity of English medium courses/degrees or have provisions to be taught their language in a formal setting. Thus, gaining the added advantage of a foreign language education in the combined deal.
As for a truly global and international exposure is concerned, Europe offers the whole package – varied cultures, and languages, in relatively free-to-move-around borders within the European Union.
The continent is very well-connected by road, train or cheap local airlines. Traveling around to build on the already global move to study abroad can be an additional blessing for many who yearn for the experiential education. International networking is, thus, a cake-walk.
According to the 2017 GMAC Corporate Recruiters Survey Report (received from 959 employers from 628 companies and over 51 countries), 64% respondents in Europe report company expansions.
Hiring projections are also promising. In 2016, 66% of Fortune 100, 500, Global 100, Global 500, as well as publicly traded companies hired MBAs. Among the surveyed, 64% recruiters are open to hiring internationals (22% planned to hire and 42% were willing to hire, back in 2017).
Nearly all European countries have favourable student to work visa options to enable a transition from learner to being gainfully employed. Germany, France, and other European countries have the EU Blue Card work permit for non-EU nationals with jobs with a minimum required salary.
UK offers an extended student visa to provide enough time for job hunting, etc. France also offers a “Talent Passport” permit to specialized professionals who have something significant to offer to the French economy. MBA with good credentials might be a contender.
Excellent work-life conditions
Working in Europe also means that you may be able to access some of the countries with the best work life balance in the world. Countries like Germany, Norway, Denmark, and France are known for their labor friendly laws that make working over the weekends tantamount to some sort of a minor crime!
Also, maternity and paternity leaves are among the friendliest in the continent. For instance, France offers over 3 months of paid family leave, while countries like Italy and and UK offer between nearly five and nine months off with a percentage of the full pay guaranteed. Germany has been known to grant up to 14 months between both parents.
Quality of life in Europe
It is difficult to assimilate the living costs throughout Europe, considering the different economies that comprise it. However, to give a general idea, we have listed below some of the countries that have the best business schools in the world – Germany, UK, France, and Spain (source Numbeo).
|Cost Per Month||Germany (Munich)||UK (Oxford)||France(Paris)||Spain(Barcelona)|
|Rent for one BHK||$900||$1,100||$1,000||$700|
|Quality of Life Index*||189||162||129||140|
*Overall quality based on safety, pollution, health, purchasing power, commute, climate, income, and cost of living. Higher the index, the better is the quality of life. Prices are in USD. For comparison, Quality of Life Index is 139 in New York City and 88 in New Delhi.
Top Business Schools for an MBA in Europe
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
and many more we have talked about in the article – Best MBA in UK for International and Indian students
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.
This list is not exhaustive and many other b-schools, not mentioned here, are also recommendable.
Since programs are constantly being updated, to keep up with changes in demands, we encourage you to keep your minds open to some research into the management education opportunities in Europe. Explore the post-MBA options and hope your foray into a business education in the continent yields wonderful success.
Here are a few links in relation to studying in Europe.
- Top study abroad countries for Indian students
- Global MBA Rankings
- Best MBA in Germany
- Cheapest countries to study abroad
- MBA programs with the best ROI
- Most affordable MBA programs in the world
- International student life in France
- INSEAD MBA – Deadlines, fees, essays, and success stories
- Q&A with HEC Paris faculty about workplace diversity
- ESADE MBA good for renewable energy opportunities
- SDA Bocconi Asia Center(Mumbai) to offer world class and customizable executive education
- Q&A with Erasmus Rotterdam Admissions Director
- Student life at EDHEC MBA
- MBA in Germany at ESMT
- MBA in Germany – How I got into Mannheim Business School