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Best European Business Schools In 2019—According To The Financial Times

European MBAs continue to be on the rise in 2019. But who have been ranked among the best European business schools this year?

By  Simon Lovick

Mon Dec 9 2019


The ranking of the best business schools in Europe has been released by the Financial Times (FT). HEC Paris claims top spot, overtaking London Business School, which has held the top spot for the last five years, sitting in second place in this year's ranking. 

The good news for HEC Paris comes in the same year that the FT knighted its Executive MBA program as the best in the world, the first European school to hold the top spot in this category since 2015.

Rising from sixth place to a podium finish in this year's European business school ranking is Italy’s SDA Bocconi School of Management, which takes third place. The University of St Gallen retains its fourth place ranking from 2018. 

The Financial Times European Business School Ranking, ranking 95 European schools overall, takes into account the ranking of each school’s MBA, Executive MBA, Master’s in Management, and two non-degree Executive Education rankings produced by the FT throughout the year. 

The UK and France boast some of the best business schools in Europe

Overall, French schools have a strong showing in 2019’s ranking, with six schools finishing in the top 20, and 26 schools featuring overall. INSEAD and Essec Business School place well in fifth and seventh position respectively, while EMLYON, EDHEC, and ESCP Europe also slot into the top 20.

This comes in the face of considerable public funding cuts to French business schools, who must look elsewhere to sustain their accounts. 

EMLYON Business School this year announced a restructuring of their financial model, selling off stakes to private investors in a plan to raise $110 million to reduce its reliance on the publicly funded chambers of commerce and industry (CCIs). Their top twenty ranking suggests a bright future for the school.

In the face of Brexit and political uncertainty, UK business schools have continued to perform strongly in the European business school ranking. The UK equals France with six schools in the top 20, and has 21 schools featured overall.

The University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School comes in at 10th, with Cambridge Judge (16th), Warwick (17th), Imperial College Business School (18th), and Cass Business School (19th) finishing close behind. 

Germany also has much to celebrate, with ESMT Berlin in ninth place, becoming the first German school to finish inside the top 10. 


A strong year for Europe

The rankings cap off what has been a strong year for European business schools. While US programs have seen a 13.7% decrease in international applications, European programs have continued to grow, slowly but steadily. 56% of European programs reported an increase in application numbers this year. 

Europe as a study destination remains as popular as ever, with five of the top 10 study destinations found in Europe—UK, France, Germany, Netherlands, and Spain. 

The Top 20 European Business Schools 2019