HEC Paris
© Magali Delporte

The FT top 95 European Business Schools ranking of 2021

Le Centorial business centre housing France’s Edhec school

Find out which are the best European business schools, according to the Financial Times. Also, learn how the table was compiled.

Top European school: HEC Paris

HEC Paris retains its top place in the European ranking for the third year in a row. The school’s continuing success is partly due to high graduate wage increases and rises in average alumni salaries in the Global MBA, Masters in Management and Executive MBA 2021 rankings. HEC Paris has also increased its female faculty by eight percentage points to 30 per cent, but there is a drop in international faculty, eight percentage points down from last year to 64 per cent.

Top for MBA: Insead

© Richard Davies

Insead not only has the highest-ranked European MBA, but also topped the FT’s Global MBA table this year. The average alumni salary, at $188,432, helped the school to the number one position. Surveyed graduates from other schools also reported they were likely to hire Insead alumni. The French school provided two of the top 10 European courses in the 2021 EMBA ranking. A favourable position in the Executive Education (2020) ranking also added to Insead’s success in the European table.

Highest riser: Trinity Business School

Trinity Business School
© Fennell Photography

Climbing 24 places to 32nd in the European ranking, Dublin’s Trinity Business School is the highest riser. Improved performance in the Executive MBA ranking has propelled the school further up the European table. The Irish school leapt 10 places in the Masters in Management table, where it was ranked 28th. Alumni had an average salary of $80,224 and a wage increase of 68 per cent — above the average for all schools featured in this year’s MiM ranking.

Highest new entrant: Moscow: Skolkovo

Moscow: Skolkovo
© Shutterstock

In 49th place, the Russian school made an impressive debut in the FT’s 2021 Executive MBA table as the highest new entrant. And it achieved the same accolade in this year’s European ranking. The average salary of $394,252 for alumni of the Skolkovo EMBA is partly responsible for its success. One EMBA alumnus praised the international perspective of the programme as it “provided a good understanding of the global business context and increased personal confidence as a leader and manager”.

Financial Times European Business Schools 2021: the top 25 schools
RankingSchoolMain campus
1 HEC ParisFrance
2 London Business SchoolUK/UAE
3 InseadFrance/Singapore/UAE
4 Iese Business SchoolSpain
5SDA Bocconi/Università BocconiItaly
6University of St GallenSwitzerland
7ESMT BerlinGermany
8Essec Business SchoolFrance
9University of Oxford: SaïdUK
10=IMD Business SchoolSwitzerland
10=Edhec Business SchoolFrance
12IE Business SchoolSpain
13Esade Business SchoolSpain
14ESCP Business SchoolFR/UK/GE/SP/IT/POL
15University of Cambridge: JudgeUK
16Imperial College Business SchoolUK
17Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus UniversityNetherlands
18Warwick Business SchoolUK
19EMLyon Business SchoolFrance
20WHU — Otto Beisheim School of ManagementGermany
21Mannheim Business School/University of MannheimGermany
22Stockholm School of EconomicsSweden
23City, University of London: Bayes (formerly Cass)UK/UAE
24Frankfurt School of Finance and ManagementGermany
25Eada Business School BarcelonaSpain

Quick facts
By Wai Kwen Chan

Rank 1: Perfect 10
HEC Paris tops this ranking for a record 10th time. Its executive MBA alumni had the highest average alumni salary in the table at $438,303.

Rank 3: High earners
France’s Insead offers the top MBA in the European ranking — the average alumni salary of $188,432 is the highest for this degree in the table.

Rank 4: Pay booster
Alumni of Spain’s Iese MBA have the highest salary increase, of 131 per cent, from before their degree to three years after it.

Rank 5: Corporate tips
SDA Bocconi was the top European Executive MBA for corporate strategy, say alumni surveyed for the 2021 EMBA ranking.

Rank 6: Record run
St Gallen came top for its masters in management for a record 11th consecutive year in the ranking of degrees for students with little or no work experience.

Rank 9: Moving up
The University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School in the UK moves up one place after ranking 10th three years in a row.

Rank 10= : Globally minded
Swiss school IMD has the most full-time faculty whose citizenship differs from their country of employment, at 98 per cent.

Rank 10= : On the rise
France’s Edhec makes the biggest leap of all schools reaching the top 10, advancing four places.

Rank 12: Gender diversity
Spain’s IE Business School again has the highest percentage of full-time female faculty in the top 25, at 45 per cent.

Rank 24: Promoted
Frankfurt School of Finance and Management makes the top 25, after coming close last year in 26th place.

Rank 25: Back at the top
Eada Business School in Barcelona is back in the top 25 for the first time since 2015 thanks to its placing in the 2021 MBA ranking.

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