The Financial Times has just issued its ranking of Europe’s top business schools. Let’s analyze the changes that occurred at the head:

The Top 10

1. London Business School

2. HEC Paris


4.  University of St. Gallen

5.  IESE Business School

6.  HEC Paris

7. Università Bocconi

8.  ESSEC Business School

9. Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University

10. University of Oxford: Saïd

2017 vs. 2018

This year’s top 2 positions have remained stable, with LBS maintaining the number one spot and HEC reappearing in second place. There are three other programs that have been able to hold on to their places: St.Gallen in 4th, Bocconi in 7th and Rotterdam in 9th.

Among the major winners this year, ESSEC certainly stands out. Having ranked 23rd in 2017, the French business school made a stunning jump of 15 places to land in 8th this year. This gain can be partially attributed to its MBA’s recent appearance in FT’s rankings, and modest boosts to its EMBA and MiM rankings. There was one other newcomer to the top 10, Oxford, which moved up from 12th to 10th position. The remaining winners were INSEAD, jumping from 5th to 3rd; IESE, moving up from 7th to 5th; and IMD, finishing 3 places ahead, at 7th.

On the other hand, there have been some rather dramatic drops from the top 10. IE, which was ranked third in 2017, fell 17 places, finishing 20th. However, this change of fortune is not too surprising, as IE was unable to provide the necessary documentation to The Financial Times to rank its MBA this year. ESADE slid from 8th to 15th place for a similar reason: it’s executive MBA did not rank in 2018.

What do these rankings mean for you?

General rankings, such as those provided above, are useful for developing an overall view of the business school environment. None-the-less, these rankings alone cannot help you concretely identify those programs that will best help meet your educational and professional goals. Even more specific rankings, such as those for MBA or Master in Management programs, are not enough. Factors, including desired job sector, salary, job placement resources, educational content, professors, school culture, and network, are unique to each individual.

Of course, it’s exciting to see schools rise and fall in rankings, like stocks in the market. However, year-to-year quality changes in programs are usually highly minimal. So, take all these rankings with a grain of salt. If you’re going to make such a heavy investment in time and finances into a business school, make sure to be thorough in your due diligence. Go beyond the rankings.

If you’re still unsure which program might work best suited for you, feel free to contact us and we’ll have an expert help you identify your key targets.

Published On: December 6th, 2018 / Categories: LBS, Rankings / Tags: , /