Best Business Schools in Europe - Top MBA Rankings 2021

Europe has a long and spectacular history of doing business starting with the Greeks and Phoenicians in Ancient times, continuing with the infamous Dutch and British trade, and up to Estonia - the business tech hub of modern Europe.

So, Europeans know how to do business and they have a lot of great schools where they teach you the secrets of trade in the best MBA degrees the world has to offer.

Find MBA degrees in Europe

Great MBA rankings attest to the quality of European business schools. Here are the 7 most famous rankings that create yearly rankings of Business universities:

  • European Business School Rankings by Financial Times 
  • Best Global Universities for Economics and Business by US News & World Report
  • Full-time MBA Ranking by The Economist
  • Bloomberg Businessweek Best Business Schools Europe
  • QS Global MBA Rankings: Europe by TopUniversities
  • World University Rankings by subject: Business and Management from Times Higher Education
  • Global Ranking of Academic Subjects - Business Administration from Shanghai University

So, which are the best universities to study Business (whether an MBA degree or a Master’s in Management) in 2020?

European Business School Rankings 2020 by Financial Times

Did you know that the Financial Times - a renowned business publication – creates an annual ranking based on its insights into business education? These are the top 10 Business universities from Europe, according to them:

The Financial Times European ranking takes into account the salaries of alumni, the salary increase after completing the MBA, internationality and more. The overall European ranking combines rankings for MBAs, EMBAs, and MiM degrees to create the final business school rankings.

Read more about FT European Rankings and find the full top 100 list.

Best Global Universities for Economics and Business 2021 by U.S. News

While U.S. News is well known for its American University rankings, it also creates other university lists, such as one with the best universities worldwide, and also subject-focused rankings, including this one. Here are the top 10 European universities for Business and Economics:

U.S. News evaluates the number of students who go to their second year of studies and the number of students who graduate their programme. The ranking also takes into consideration teacher salaries, diversity, and student satisfaction. See the full ranking list here.

The Economist's Full-time MBA Ranking 2021

The Economist is another global authority on the world of Business and creates its own annual list. The top 10 in Europe below:

The Economist gathers data about career opportunities after MBA graduation, the study experience, the increase in salary after studies and the alumni network. Find the full top 100 list on The Economist website.

Presentation during a business meeting

Bloomberg Businessweek Best Business Schools 2019-2020 Europe

The influential, New York City-based publication makes a yearly list of global business schools that also includes some of the best universities in Europe for MBA degrees.

  • IMD, Switzerland
  • INSEAD, France
  • London Business School, UK
  • HEC Paris, France
  • Bocconi University, Italy
  • IESE Business School, Spain/USA
  • University of Cambridge, UK
  • University of St. Gallen (HSG), Switzerland
  • IE Business School, Spain
  • University of Mannheim, Germany

Job opportunities and salaries after graduation are some of the most important factors considered by Bloomberg’s rankings. Find the complete business school list on the Bloomberg website.

QS Global MBA Rankings 2021: Europe

QS Rankings are well-known for all kinds of ranking lists they compile every year. It’s no surprise they also have well-thought-out Business rankings. The best European universities which made it on the list:

  • HEC Paris, France
  • INSEAD, France
  • London Business School, UK
  • IE Business School, Spain
  • IESE Business School, Spain
  • ESADE, Spain
  • University of Oxford, UK
  • University of Cambridge, UK
  • Imperial College London, UK
  • Bocconi University, Italy

In 2021, QS made a ranked list of 70 MBA programmes from Europe. The survey QS gave included graduate salary, class profile, employability, return on investment and diversity. Find the complete list on the QS website.

World University Rankings 2021 by subject: Business and Management

The World University Rankings created by Times Higher Education are the most famous university rankings in the world. Their Business top 10 below:

  • University of Cambridge, UK
  • University of Oxford, UK
  • London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), UK
  • ETH Zurich, Switzerland
  • University College London, UK
  • University of Warwick, UK
  • Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands
  • Copenhagen Business School (CBS), Denmark
  • Tilburg University, the Netherlands
  • University of Manchester, UK

To create the list, Times Higher Education looked at learning environment, research volume, data cited in the industry, internationality, and more. World University Rankings places a lot of importance on research.

That’s why no institution was included in the World University Rankings unless it has published at least 1,000 research papers in the last 5 years. Find the complete Business rankings list on the official THE website.

ShanghaiRanking's Global Ranking of Academic Subjects 2020 - Business Administration

Want to know the Asian perspective on European business schools? After all, Asian cultures are no strangers to doing successful business. You can have it with the rankings created by Shanghai University every year. Here’s the top 10:

  • Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands
  • Tilburg University, the Netherlands
  • INSEAD, France
  • Aalto University, Finland
  • Bocconi University, Italy
  • University of Groningen, the Netherlands
  • University of Leeds, UK
  • City University London, UK
  • London Business School, UK
  • University of Cambridge, UK

When creating its Business studies ranking, Shanghai University takes into account the number of papers written on the academic subject, the number of citations in the industry, awards won by the staff of the universities, and more.

To participate, universities need to have at least 400 papers published in the last 5 years. See the full list of universities offering top Business degrees worldwide.

You can also check out online MBA degrees and study from the comfort of your home.

Find MBA degrees worldwide

Conclusions about European business school rankings

Overall, the UK and the Netherlands are the countries with most universities present in the top 10 lists.

  • European business school lists are much more diverse compared to global rankings (they include universities from more countries).
  • Each ranking is unique because of the criteria considered and the different students who participated in the surveys.
  • MBAs are great for upgrading your career, as career information is a key metric used by most of the business school rankings mentioned above.
  • There are many other business schools in Europe and worldwide you can choose from. Don’t limit yourself to the ones in the top rankings. Put your needs before what others say it’s best.

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