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Global Opportunities: 4 Reasons Why African Students Should Consider A Business Masters In Europe

Studying at a top business school in Europe can enhance your career prospects while providing a wealth of exciting new experiences

Fri Oct 13 2023

Whether it’s an economic hub like London or a fashion capital like Milan, there are numerous exciting locations in Europe where you can find top business schools. 

Each year, the chance to study in a top European city and experience a new culture with different customs, business practices, and food draws students from across the globe. 

Increasingly, young professionals are leaving Africa to study business masters degrees in Europe, with the continent now their most desirable destination according to a recent Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) survey of prospective business school students. 

Students from countries such as Nigeria, Kenya, and Ghana are choosing to study in Europe for several reasons, including the strong presence of top companies and the chance to undertake exciting new experiences. 

So, if you are a recent graduate or ambitious professional considering your next steps, here’s four reasons why African students should consider studying a business masters in Europe. 

1. Gain a high-quality education 

Whether you plan to enroll in a generalist degree such as a Master in Management or specialize in an area like finance, business schools in Europe are renowned across the globe as providers of quality, rigorous education.

That’s evidenced by the highly respected Financial Times Masters Rankings. Among the FT’s top 20 providers of Master in Management (MiM) degrees worldwide, 18 are based in Europe. Similarly, 17 of the top 20 Masters in Finance (MiF) are located on the continent. 

At London Business School (LBS), which ranks among the top 10 for both programs, masters curriculums include a mixture of rigorous theoretical learning and opportunities for students to apply newfound knowledge on live business projects in London and globally, with real-world impact. Students also get the chance to choose areas to specialize in during elective modules. 

LBS and other top business schools in Europe offer the chance to learn from highly international faculty, who are often leaders in their fields of research and bring a wealth of industry experience to class. 

At BI Norwegian Business School, for example, students learn from the likes of Bruno Gerard, a finance professor who has previously consulted for the European Central Bank, and Øyvind Lund Martinsen, a professor in organizational behavior and current editor in chief of the Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research. 

Enrolling in a top business masters program in Europe offers the chance to enhance your knowledge and practical skills while learning from world-renowned professors. 

2. Embark on challenging experiences 

Most top business school curriculums in Europe offer a variety of practical opportunities to help students apply their skills and expand their expertise. 

These include spending time with local companies, undertaking consulting projects to solve real-world business issues, and attending industry events. For students who have enrolled from countries such as Ghana or South Africa, for example, this provides the opportunity to gain valuable experience within the European business world. 

“Having the chance to spend two years in Italy means being exposed to the whole European culture in terms of employers, job market, multicultural skills, and foreign languages,” says Professor Catherine De Vries, dean for International Affairs at Bocconi University. 

“Also to the typical European values such as openness to both environmental and social sustainability, entrepreneurial spirit, inclusion, digital transformation and AI,” she adds. 

Practical experiences can therefore help students develop a broader cultural awareness, something which can prepare you for working in a multicultural environment and is likely to impress employers when it comes to job interviews. 

3. Build a global network

One of the key benefits b-school students gain through the wealth of opportunities available both inside and outside the classroom is the networking potential this provides. 

Often your networking experience starts in class. 

Masters degree at top European business schools typically attract students from across the globe. For example, among the current MSc in Management class at Imperial College Business School, 7% of students hail from Africa and the Middle East, while 53% hail from the Asia Pacific region, 4% from the Americas, and 19% from other countries around Europe. 

Working closely alongside your classmates during team projects and class discussions encourages you to develop communication and interpersonal skills. It also provides a network you can take with you into your career after graduation. 

Outside class, extracurricular events provide the chance to network with alumni working across different industries and meet recruiters from influential companies. Guest speaker sessions can help you build connections with leaders in your target industry. 

These connections can prove important in your career development: experts suggest that as many as 80% of jobs are filled through networking. 

According to Dr Simone Krummaker, associate dean of MSc programs at the UK’s Bayes Business School, building a network at business school can provide the launchpad for success after graduation when combined with a highly respected qualification. 

“A degree from a top European business school provides graduates not only with a strong international alumni network but with a globally recognised education that is highly regarded by employers around the globe,” she says. 

4. Unlock an array of career opportunities 

Unlocking that career potential is one of the key reasons why you’re considering applying to business school. Choosing Europe can have a large impact in boosting your prospects.

Home to the headquarters of many multinational companies, as well as clusters of startups in areas ranging from cleantech to healthcare, Europe offers access to a world of opportunity for business school students. 

Each business school will also house a careers team that can provide you with the tools to seize these opportunities. 

For example, at ESMT Berlin in Germany, the Career Development Center provides tailored support including workshops covering interviewing, building a resume, and developing a personal brand. That’s alongside various careers fairs and recruiter sessions organized throughout the year. 

Paired with the school’s close industry connections within the dynamic city, this helps 91% of masters graduates secure jobs within three months of graduating. 

“Being the economic capital of Germany, Berlin not only combines access to a plethora of businesses—which allows ESMT to easily embed numerous practical components and events in cooperation with high caliber companies and stakeholders in all its programs—it has also evolved to be known as the Silicon Valley of Europe, offering many opportunities for technology enthusiasts and entrepreneurs,” explains Tino Elgner, the school’s director of MSc programs. 

Next Steps

So how can you access these opportunities and kickstart your business school journey in Europe? Find out more about the GMAC Study in Europe Initiative..

You can meet business schools at GMAC's MBA + Master's Tour Africa and Middle East.