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LBS Leads UK Gains In The FT’s Ranking Of The Best European Business Schools

Which are the best European business schools of 2015?

By  Seb Murray

Mon Dec 7 2015

London Business School has claimed first place in the Financial Times ranking of the top European business schools. Published on Monday, the table reveals that UK schools are riding high: the three biggest climbers are all British.

Meanwhile HEC Paris retains its no 2 spot behind LBS and INSEAD, established in France, rose from fifth to third in the ranking of the best 85 European business schools.

The UK’s University of Bradford School of Management and University of Edinburgh Business School surged 16 places to no 42 and no 55 respectively. Cambridge Judge Business School rose 15 places to no 14.

The ranking is a composite of individual rankings by the FT: MBA, Executive MBA, Masters in Management and Executive Education. It is designed to measure the quality and breadth of schools’ entire portfolios.

“MBA programs and the ability to offer companies custom training that responds promptly to their needs are keys to a school of management,” said Bruno Busacca, dean of Italy’s SDA Bocconi, ranked seventh. 

It is this breadth of strength that puts LBS ahead of the pack: it is first for its full-time MBA program and third for its EMBA and customized executive education programs.

Richard Bland, head of employer engagement at LBS, told BusinessBecause that a strong program mix contributed toward the school retaining its crown.

LBS’ Masters in Management and full-time MBA salaries also rose to $77,006 and $154,147 respectively. But Richard said “we look beyond remuneration”, pointing out that students are setting up their own businesses or joining start-ups.

Cambridge Judge climbed three spots in the MBA ranking and 12 places in the EMBA table. Also, it appeared this year for the first time in both open enrolment and custom executive education rankings.

At 55, University of Edinburgh Business School can put the gains down to its Masters in Management: the school fell down the table last year after failing to get its MiM ranked.

“A key part of our rise is the re-entering into the ranking of the MSC in Management,” Ian Clarke, dean of University of Edinburgh Business School, told BB.

But he added that “just chasing the rankings is the wrong thing to do”. He puts the school’s success down to a combination of factors — enhancing dialogue with business and boosting diversity, among others. 

The University of Bradford School of Management rose this year thanks to its first appearance in the FT’s EMBA ranking.

Other top UK schools ranked this year include University of Oxford: Saïd at no 10, Imperial College Business School at no 12, and Cass Business School and Lancaster University Management School. Overall, British schools moved up one place in the ranking on average.

French business schools fell by one place on average. EMLYON Business School fell 15 places, while EDHEC Business School fell eight, although both are still in the upper echelons of the table.

Toulouse Business School led the French risers, soaring 14 places after getting its EMBA ranked for the first time. Other top French schools include ESSEC Business School and Grenoble GSB.

INSEAD has the top salary for full-time MBA programs at about $155,000. Spain’s IE Business School is close behind with $152,000, a 104% increase on pre-MBA pay. Spain places two schools in the top-10 overall: ESADE and IESE, both based in Barcelona.

Eugenia Bieto, director of ESADE Business School, said: “The fact that ESADE has won top positions in all the Financial Times European rankings reflects…. Our ability to adapt to the changing economic and business environment.” 

German schools have the top salary rises for MiM programs. Graduates of WHU Beisheim earn the most in this group, at around $98,000 on average. ESMT is the top ranked school in Germany, followed closely by Mannheim Business School.

For EMBA programs, excluding joint courses delivered with non-European schools, graduates of Swiss school IMD have the highest pay, an average salary of around $261,000.