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10 Business Schools You Need To Look Out For In 2019

From Tech MBAs to emerging markets, these are the business schools you should have an eye on this year

Wed Jan 16 2019

2018 was an uncertain year in the business school world—there were falling application numbers at US schools and Brexit and terrorism could yet impact international applications to schools in Europe.

But there are some silver linings. Upstart schools like Asia School of Business and 41 North are attempting to attract students to Malaysia and Turkey respectively, and while Havard saw a 4.5% decline in applications to its full-time MBA, Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado experienced a 10% increase in applications in 2018.

Here are 10 business schools you need to look out for in 2019, and why:

10. Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, Germany

As Brexit makes international students unsure about choosing the UK for their graduate business degrees, students will increasingly look to business hubs in Europe for their studies.

As Germany’s financial center, Frankfurt is set to become a prime destination for international banks in the future, as they look to other European centers aside from London for their headquarters—Morgan Stanley has already revealed that Frankfurt will be the seat of their new post-Brexit European hub.

The Master of Finance at Frankfurt School was ranked the best program in Germany in the Financial Times ranking in 2018, and with Frankfurt’s finance environment set to grow next year thanks to Brexit, there’s no doubt Frankfurt School will see growth in the next few years.

9. Rhodes Business School, South Africa

As BusinessBecause reported in November 2018, entrepreneurship, and good business education, could be the key to creating business success in Africa.

Rhodes Business School is already doing their bit to help entrepreneurs in the country succeed in their pursuits, announcing a new post-graduate diploma in Business Analysis in December last year to address the critical shortage of business analysts in the country.


re responsible for 77% of all jobs in Africa, introducing diplomas like these could be the trick that helps the country’s rife business atmosphere grow even further.

8. University of Oxford Saïd Business School, UK

Saïd Business School had a good year in 2018—the school’s MBA employment rate within three months of finishing the program increased from 89% in 2016 to 91% in 2018.

In December 2018, the school also announced a huge campus expansion, spending $75m converting Oxford’s Victorian power station into a state-of-the-art business hub for the school.

The building will function as both a center for teaching executive education courses, as well as being a ‘global leadership hub’.

Work is due to begin in 2019, and when completed, will secure Said’s campus into a modern business space to rival those of US giants Cornell and MIT.

Check out our podcast: The Business School Question

Episode 2: How Can You Choose The Right Business School?

7. University of Colorado Leeds School of Business, US

While GMAC reported that many US business schools experienced a decline in MBA applications in 2018, there was one school that bucked this trend, with Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado experiencing a 10% increase in their MBA applications.

This increase may have something to do with its prime location in Boulder, Colorado, a town which the Association of Information Technology Professionals ranked in the top 20 tech towns in the US in 2018.

There’s set to be a 5% growth in IT jobs in Boulder in the next five years, so now could be the time to follow the trend of MBA applications and start your tech career at Leeds.

6. Imperial College Business School, UK

Imperial is known for their interest in technology and engineering, but they’re making business schools history this month by launching an AI chatbot on all their MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses).

The chatbot will be able to answer student queries instantly, reducing the need for students to go to professors. As technology becomes more capable, the service will be launched on online degree programs as well as the public Moocs.

The school is also the first in the world to start using hologram lectures on their degree programs this year, a technology which was launched at a Women In Tech conference at the business school in November 2018.

So keep an eye on Imperial—this technology could soon be utilized at more business schools.

5. The Ohio State University Max M. Fisher College of Business, US

Fisher’s full-time MBA program has jumped in the Financial Times rankings from 75th in the world in 2016 to 68th last year.

And they’re hoping for more success in 2019, with a recent complete rehaul of the full-time MBA program aiming to target exactly the skills that employers want from students, including analytical skills, social impact, and emotional intelligence.

Incoming students from September 2019 will benefit from the MBA redesign, which comes with new ways to specialize and customize the program to fit each student’s needs.

4. Asia School of Business, Malaysia

2018 marked the graduation of the very first cohort from Asia School of Business’ MBA program, taught in collaboration with MIT Sloan.

The school is planning on doing things differently from other business schools in Asia, with a focus on Southeast Asian business combined with the global expertise of faculty members from MIT Sloan, who also teach on the program.

Students have up till now been housed in the headquarters of major financial institution Bank Negara Malaysia, but from the 2019 academic year, students will be able to make use of ASB’s new independent campus—so expect to see the school grow during this year.

3. EDHEC Business School, France

EDHEC is taking steps to revolutionize their online learning, and have just launched a new platform, EDHEC Online, to offer 100% online degrees in management.

The school also recently joined forces with other top global business schools to launch the Future of Management Education Alliance (FOME)—a group dedicated to championing online learning.

While the number of students considering online MBA programs has not varied considerably since 2013 according to research from the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), as technology continues to develop, we may see online MBAs becoming more interesting this year, with help from schools like EDHEC.

2. 41 North Business School, Turkey

As the first independent business school in Istanbul, 41 North is trying to modernize business education in Turkey.

The school has already secured partnerships with triple-accredited Grenoble Ecole de Management and ESMT Berlin, to offer executive business programs such as the traditional EMBA, enrolling its inaugural class in June this year, and postgraduate programs in emerging sectors such as digital excellence.

“Our effort is to be as private and individual as possible, and offer corporate training services of a calibre that is unmatched in Turkey,” explains Deniz Saral, dean of 41 North. “Our vision is to not be anything like the other Turkish schools out there.”

1. Cornell University's Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management, US

We’re topping the list with a US school—pretty conventional, you might say. But with the opening of Cornell Tech’s, Cornell University's innovative new campus in New York in 2017, Johnson demonstrated a commitment to being at the cutting-edge of MBA programs with its one-year Johnson Cornell Tech MBA.

And it's not only Tech MBA students that get to make use of the facilities—students on Johnson's Ithaca, New York based One-Year and Two-Year MBA programs also have the chance to take weekend classes and half-semester intensives in fintech and digital marketing at the Cornell Tech campus.

In November 2018, Amazon also announced that Long Island, New York City, would be the location for the long-awaited HQ2 development. Just over the river from Cornell Tech’s campus, this provides more opportunities for students on the Johnson Tech MBA to engage with innovative companies in NYC, as well as providing possible internship opportunities.