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Bloomberg Ranks The Best European Business Schools for 2023

The MBA program at SDA Bocconi tops the list of the best business schools in Europe in Bloomberg’s 2023 Best European Business Schools ranking

Fri Sep 15 2023

Bloomberg Businessweek named SDA Bocconi School of Management the best business school in Europe in its 2023 MBA ranking.

The Italian school climbed two places to secure the top spot after ranking in third place in the 2021-2022 ranking.

Spain’s IESE Business School followed close behind, holding last year’s second-place position. Third place was taken by last year’s top-ranking institution, IMD Business School, with INSEAD and London Business School taking fourth and fifth place respectively.

Best business schools in Europe

According to Bloomberg, IE Business School, Mannheim Business School, the University of St. Gallen, Cambridge Judge, and Oxford Said complete the top 10 best business schools in Europe.

While the UK is the best-represented country in the top 10 with three schools represented, Spain dominates the overall ranking.

Bloomberg ranks a total of six Spanish business schools in the top 20, with ESIC Business and Marketing School in Barcelona leaping from 23rd position in last year’s list to 14th place in 2023.

Mannheim Business School in Germany is another big climber, jumping from 16th in 2022 to 7th this year. The University of St. Gallen also climbed from 13th in last year’s ranking to reach 8th place in 2023.

Bloomberg Ranking methodology

Bloomberg uses four indexes to rank business schools: Compensation, Learning, Networking, and Entrepreneurship. There is also an additional index of Diversity, but this is only used to assess US schools.

To generate the weightings for each index, Bloomberg surveys students, alumni, and employers to determine which factors are the most important to them.

In the 2023 rankings, the compensation index was weighted highest for schools in Europe, Asia, and Canada, at 37.1%. This index is calculated using a combination of survey results and compensation data to reflect both its importance to students and alumni and the real impact of education on compensation.

Learning was given the next-highest weighting, at 25.4%, followed by networking (23.9%), and finally entrepreneurship (13.6%).

Finally, stakeholder groups are surveyed about how schools perform in relation to each index. For example, alumni are asked whether their school took entrepreneurship seriously and rank the quality of their entrepreneurial training; recruiters rate schools based on whether their graduates show exceptional entrepreneurial thinking.

Bloomberg vs Financial Times 

Bloomberg’s ranking differs significantly from the Financial Times European Business School Rankings 2022.

Where HEC Paris takes the top spot in the Financial Times’ ranking, it doesn’t feature on Bloomberg’s list; the same is true for ESCP Business School, which is ranked third by the FT.

In fact, the only schools to appear in both top five lists are SDA Bocconi (ranked top by Bloomberg, fourth by the FT) and London Business School (ranked fifth by Bloomberg; second by the FT). IMD Business School is ranked in 11th place in the Financial Times’ ranking and INSEAD is ranked 15th.

These differences are likely a result of the two outlets’ differing methodologies. Bloomberg’s ranking focuses solely on MBA programs, whereas the Financial Times takes the overall scores each school achieved in every degree ranking it features in. These might include MBA, EMBA, and Master in Management rankings.

The Financial Times also places more emphasis on the quality and breadth of the programs offered at each school, while learning is only given 25% weighting in Bloomberg’s list.

Finally, the FT’s ranking uses the average salary increase after business school as a separate metric to the average salary. This makes a difference because it makes it clearer which schools helped their students achieve promotions and raises, whereas high average salaries could be accounted for by graduates earning high wages before their MBA.

These differences demonstrate why it is important not to rely on just one ranking to get a picture of a business school. Compare different rankings and determine which factors are most important to you when shopping for a degree in order to make the right choice of school.

Main image used under this license.

Next Read: Stanford Tops Bloomberg MBA Ranking 2023-2024