London Business School tops 2014 FT European ranking

UK school regains number one spot after nine years

London Business School

London Business School is top of the 2014 FT ranking of European business schools, regaining the position it last held in 2005. LBS pushed the 2013 joint winners HEC Paris and Spain’s IE Business School into second and third places respectively.

LBS tops the ranking of the best 81 business schools in Europe based on the schools’ performance in four of the rankings published by the FT each year: MBA, executive MBA (EMBA), masters in management (MiM) and executive education. (Two schools tied for 80th position with identical scores.)

The ranking measures the quality and breadth of the schools’ postgraduate programmes. Schools must take part in all four rankings to be eligible for a full score. LBS rose from third last year by participating in all four rankings for the first time.

The London school’s MBA is ranked first in Europe, its EMBA programme, delivered jointly with Columbia Business School in the US, is ranked third and its MiM programme is in the top 10 on its first participation. The MiM ranking was the last missing piece for LBS to come first in Europe.

LBS’s programmes consistently rank highly for the extent to which alumni reach their targets. “I managed to achieve not only the goals I set for myself but to exceed them with the job I secured,” says one 2010 MBA graduate who responded to the FT survey.

HEC Paris is second despite outperforming LBS in all rankings but the MBA. It missed out on a full house because of its participation in the executive MBA ranking as one-third of Trium, the programme delivered jointly with London School of Economics and New York’s Stern School of Business. (Schools participating in the EMBA ranking with joint programmes receive a proportionate score.)

Only nine further schools participated in all four rankings. They are ranked between third place (IE Business School) and 38th (Politecnico di Milano School of Management).

Judge Business School at Cambridge University in the UK was the biggest riser, climbing 19 places to 29th thanks to a strong performance in the executive MBA ranking in its first participation in that list. Warwick Business School made a comeback to the top 20 (19) after missing out on the MiM ranking in 2013.

The UK and France are the two powerhouses of business education in Europe. Nearly half of the schools listed are from either the UK (20) or France (19). French MiMs outperform UK programmes in terms of ranking, salary ($55,000 versus $49,000) and student numbers (9,000 versus 1,200). However, UK MBAs outdo French programmes in terms of numbers (18 schools in this ranking versus five) and student numbers (1,900 versus 1,300) though not in terms of salary ($115,000 versus $137,000).

Across all European schools, the average salary of alumni three years after graduation ranges from $143,000 for executive MBA graduates to $54,000 for MiM graduates. MBA graduates earned on average $123,000. Spanish and German MiM graduates enjoyed the highest salary three years after graduation, both $70,000 on average. French MBA graduates and Swiss EMBA graduates top their salary scale, with average salaries of $137,000 and $166,000 respectively.

Télécom Business School in France and Prague’s University of Economics have the most gender-balanced faculty, with exactly 50 per cent women, while Switzerland’s University of Zurich is the least balanced, with only 9 per cent. Switzerland’s IMD has the most international faculty, with 94 per cent of them from overseas, while faculty at Politecnico di Milano School of Management are all Italian.


Top MBA: London Business School

London Business School, which tops the 2014 European business school rankings, has also been the top European business school in the Global MBA ranking for 10 years.

But it is the school’s one-year masters in management for “pre-experience” students, rather than its two-year MBA, that has catapulted the school to the top of the table.

Launched in 2010, the MiM was eligible for the ranking of these degrees for the first time this year. LBS’s programme entered the ranking at number 10 in the world. Because the European ranking allocates 25 per cent of its points to the quality of schools’ MiMs, this ensured LBS took the crown as the top business school in Europe. – Della Bradshaw

Top EMBA: HEC Paris

HEC Paris topped the 2014 executive MBA ranking as part of the Trium programme. This three-way partnership with NYU Stern, which specialises in finance, and the London School of Economics, strong in economics and political science, draws on HEC’s expertise in general management and high-level executive training.

The intake of 85 students, who study in London, Paris and New York, is the most senior group in the FT rankings, and achieves a significant increase on already very high salaries compared with other EMBA cohorts. HEC’s EMBA has been among the top three European programmes since joining the FT ranking in 2006, but this is the first time since 2011 it has held the number one slot. – Jonathan Moules

Top masters in management: St Gallen

Small is beautiful, it is said. The University of St Gallen, one of the smallest in Europe, has dominated the FT’s MiM ranking for four years. Its MA in strategy and international management is also one of the smallest programmes ranked by the FT, with about 40 graduates a year.

More than 90 per cent of participants are non-Swiss and were ranked top for international mobility by country of employment between graduation and their job three years later.

The MiM was ranked fourth for international course experience.

St Gallen is one of only 10 schools to feature in the four major rankings published by the FT each year. It is ranked sixth in Europe in 2014, its best position so far. – Laurent Ortmans

EBS Business School

Joining the ranking in joint 47th place, Germany’s EBS Business School is the highest of four entrants, ahead of ESC La Rochelle in France, Hanken School of Economics in Finland and the University of Liverpool Management School.

EBS’s masters in management is ranked 12th in Europe. The programme scores highly for the average salary of alumni three years after graduation. EBS students who graduated in 2011 reported the third-highest average salaries in Europe, at about $82,000. The school only recently joined the FT ranking, having received Equis accreditation in April 2012 – with AACSB one of the two accreditations recognised for entry to the ranking. – Laurent Ortmans

Top for international faculty: IMD

IMD in Switzerland has the most international faculty, 94 per cent of whom are from outside Switzerland.

Ranked ninth overall, IMD is broadening its reach with the launch in 2015 of a joint EMBA programme with Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business in China. IMD also takes the top spot for the third consecutive year in the FT’s ranking of open-enrolment executive education programmes – courses that are open to managers from all organisations. The school was established in 1990 by the merger of two business schools founded by Alcan Aluminium and Nestlé: IMI in Geneva and Imede in Lausanne. – Wai Kwen Chan

St Petersburg State University

With 52 per cent female faculty, St Petersburg State University Graduate School of Management in Russia has the highest proportion of women. (The University of Zurich and the University of St Gallen in Switzerland have the lowest percentage of women at ranked schools at 9 per cent and 11 per cent respectively. )

The school says its faculty is its main asset and the development of international staff and research are priority issues. Its research centres include the Centre for Entrepreneurship and the Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility (in co-operation with PwC). St Petersburg is the only Russian school in the ranking. At 61st overall, it is up 10 places since last year. – Charlotte Clarke

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2016. All rights reserved. You may share using our article tools. Please don't cut articles from FT.com and redistribute by email or post to the web.

More on this topic

Suggestions below based on European Business Schools