The University of St Gallen
The University of St Gallen in Switzerland tops the ranking for the 12th consecutive year © Giuseppe Masci/Alamy

European business schools dominate the best masters in management programmes offered around the world, with French institutions alone offering four of the 11 top-tier courses and nearly a quarter of the leading 100 in the 2022 Financial Times ranking.

St Gallen in Switzerland retained its status as the top-ranked institution for the 12th consecutive year, with France’s HEC Paris, ESCP, Essec and EMLyon all in the first tier alongside schools from the Netherlands, Sweden, the UK, Ireland and Germany — but also Tsinghua in China, for the first time.

Europe pioneered the masters in management (MiM), which is studied mainly by those without prior professional experience. But strong providers have emerged elsewhere, including its traditional rivals for MBA programmes in the US and Canada, as well as institutions in Australia, India, Morocco, Russia, Singapore and Taiwan.

There is high demand from students for courses offered in multiple locations, with highly ranked joint programmes this year from IQS/LMU/FJU between Spain, the US and Taiwan; Deusto/Audencia/Bradford in Spain, France and the UK; and the Global 3 diploma of McIntire/Lingnan/Esade in the US, China and Spain.

ESCP also offers study on its multiple campuses across Europe, while two highly competitive supplementary qualifications offered to MiM students require attendance at two different schools: the Global Alliance in Management Education, known as Cems, and Quantitative Techniques for Economics and Management (Qtem).

Masters in Management Ranking 2022: the top 100

ESMT Berlin is number 10 in the FT MiM 2022 table

Find out which schools are in our ranking of Masters in Management degrees. Learn how the table was compiled and read the rest of our coverage at ft.com/mim

“We have seen increased demand from outside France,” said Frank Bournois, dean of ESCP. “More and more students want to study sustainability, entrepreneurship or quantitative approaches.”

The FT ranking of MiMs is based on weighted factors including salary, value for money and gender and international diversity among both students and faculty.

The Graduate Management Admission Council, which oversees the GMAT test used by many schools to assess applications, reported that almost half around the world offering MiMs had seen an increase in demand, although most of this came from international students.

A separate survey earlier this year by CarringtonCrisp, an education consultancy, revealed a particularly strong appetite by students for masters courses offering a focus on digital skills and analytics, as well as sustainability.

Top school: University of St Gallen

University of St Gallen

The University of St Gallen tops the ranking for the 12th consecutive year with its MA in Strategy and International Management, writes Sophie Kiderlin. Not only do the Swiss school’s alumni have the second highest weighted salary three years after completion, at $138,091, but they are also top for professional aims achieved (96 per cent). St Gallen also leads the table with its careers service and is among the top schools for international work mobility.

Almost half of the FT ranked business schools’ programmes had at least 50 per cent female students in their cohorts (a 50:50 split is ranked highest), with 77 per cent at Tongji University School of Economics and Management in China. The lowest representation, with 22 per cent female students, was at Tilburg University School of Economics and Management in the Netherlands.

However, just 14 of the 100 schools reported that at least half of their faculty were women, rising to a maximum of 54 per cent at NMIMS in Mumbai. The lowest was 15 per cent at Indore’s Indian Institute of Management.

International students make up at least half of the intake at 44 schools, rising to a maximum of 98 per cent at Singapore Management University: Lee Kong Chian. There are no foreign students reported in Indian business schools’ MiM programmes, which have fiercely competitive entry requirements focused on domestic students.

Biggest rise: Luiss University

With a leap of 23 places, the Rome school is the biggest riser, in 53rd place, writes Leo Cremonezi. The jump is due to an improved performance in various categories, in particular average salary, salary increase and career progress, which have helped Luiss achieve its highest overall rank since 2017.

Salaries reported by alumni of business schools three years after completion of the MiM were down slightly in 2022, with average remuneration of $79,092 compared with $80,821 in 2021 among institutions ranked in both years. St Gallen alumni reported the second highest average salaries at $138,091, behind Bangalore’s Indian Institute of Management at $144,178 after adjusting for international purchasing power parity.

Cems alliance alumni reported significantly higher average earnings three years after completion than those from MiM programmes overall, at nearly $100,000, as well as greater salary progression, and gave stronger ratings of aims achieved during their studies.

Qtem alumni earned less than the average for FT-ranked schools, but reported strong progress, with a higher salary increase in the three years since completing the MiM than the average overall or for Cems graduates.

Ranked schools demonstrated strong success in developing employability, with more than two-thirds reporting that at least 90 per cent of graduates secured jobs within three months of completing the MiM.

Audrey Clegg
Audrey Clegg of Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company

Audrey Clegg, global head of talent at Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company and herself a Cems graduate, says that the qualification’s requirements for multilingual students to carry out work placements, collaborative projects and to study in different countries meant “they are almost pre-screened. They are extremely high quality: global, very comfortable working across borders.”

Business schools opt to participate in the FT rankings but not all of the different masters in management programmes they offer are included. There is wide variation in the titles, focus, fees, class sizes and duration of the qualifications which are included.

This year’s intake at EMLyon comprised nearly 1,200 students, for example, with another four French schools teaching more than 1,000 students each, while some other courses took in just a few dozen students. Esdes in France had a masters lasting an average of 44 months, while three schools provided the qualification in just 9 months. The average duration was about 21 months.

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