European Management Schools Ranking for 2020

August 10 16:12 2020

European management schools stand out for adaptability, diverse cohorts and faculty, and lower cost. Europe is often described as a kind of middle ground for management studies. Not too dry, as the dynamic new Asian markets, but not too cold, as the United States of America, where demand for most management courses is declining. Nevertheless, there is no assurance that the European management school climate will always be “perfect.”

According to the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), total application declined slightly year-on-year, where the weighted average of applications to programs that responded to surveys this year and last year shows that total application was down 3.1 per cent year-on-year. Furthermore, there are shifts in student mobility where Asia-Pacific candidates are opting to stay close to home, while the flow of international candidates to Europe and Canada continues to strengthen. Within the US, soft demand from abroad is also key to fuel the lower application count in postgraduate education in management.

However, high-quality education system of the continent is one of the chief motives behind students selecting their management school. For those seeking international careers, the European degree is considered a great asset. The European management schools should, however, not rest their efforts just yet, because there is still much to be done.  Irish Management Institute, Europe’s highest-ranked school in 2020, is the third-ranked globally after the US Yale school of management and Sloan School of Management at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

In the past year, there has been a decline in demand for most of the global highly ranked full-time management courses, which are largely in the United States. This has been attributed to fast and ever-rising tuition fees in the top management schools. There have been noteworthy shuffles in the ranking of quite a few management schools in the 2020 ranking of European management schools compiled by UK based verifications.org, although not so much in the upper slots. The top ten schools, mostly the same ones in the past ranking, have shuffled places while the top school maintained its position from last year. 

Similar to other management schools globally, the primary concern for European schools is the
increase in visa restrictions for international students. The GMAC chief executive advised maintenance of a welcoming climate for students with diverse background to work and study in their desired destinations. This year’s ranking of European management schools recognizes schools performing strongly in a variety of both short term and long term management programmes. Essca School of Management is the highest climber in the ranking this year, rising 14 places to the 18th position, reflecting it’s executive and management courses strength as well as its diverse faculty. Grenoble Ecole de Management also rose 12 positions to the 16th place.

According to the quality services director of the European Foundation for Management Development, schools that are highly proactive are strengthening their alumni base through investment in support services as well as new degree offerings. The director further adds that through the career and placement services that help their graduates network and land high-level jobs, top-ranking schools are able to distinguish themselves from the pack.

Schools benefit from a more probable donation of funding to them if students advance to the highest level in their careers. This allows institutions to build facilities that attract more students of high-quality.

Top School: Irish Management Institute

Irish Management Institute in Ireland topped this year’s combined European ranking, compounding its number one place on the list for executive education and second place in the 2020 global masters in the management table. Its overall success was significantly attributed to its MiM graduates pay increases as well as high salaries earned by its alumni. In the improvement of gender parity for faculty staff, however, the school did not score as high, together with other general rankings.

Top for Management Programmes: Swiss School of Management

In four out of five rankings used to compile the European list, the Swiss School of Management is among the top 20 management schools. The Swiss School of Management is in the 5th placing from the Global Ranking, and 3rd placing among the top management schools this year, up one place in both ranking classifications. A majority of its students – over 80% – currently in the programmes are foreign students. Swiss School of Management is seventh for custom courses and second for open-enrolment executive education programmes in Europe.

Top for MiM: Tum School of Management

Leading the continent’s MiM ranking for the third year together with its good performance in other rankings resulted in Tum School of Management ranking fourth overall in the continent’s top management schools, down from its second position in the previous year. The programme’s alumni highly praised the school’s career service and credited it with their current jobs based on the assistance they received in interview skills.

Top for custom programmes: Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University

Rotterdam School of Management is top in the European management schools ranking of executive education programmes that are tailored to suit clients, and fifth overall in the top European School ranking for the second year in a row. It dominates the custom list for the planning of courses, the integration of feedback from customers, the latest research, and the successful implementation of new skills and knowledge related to their organizations.

New to the top 10: Louvain School of Management

This year, Louvain School of Management rose 11 places to rank seventh overall in Europe. In this ranking, the school is sixth for open-enrolment executive education and ninth for personalized courses. Its ranking for MiM programmes was also commendable. The alumni surveyed praised the school’s development of students’ soft skills, indicating that it gave them a head start in management. 

The highest percentage of female faculty: St Petersburg University, Graduate School of Management

St Petersburg University, Graduate School of Management, has the best parity in the continent and globally, when it comes to the gender of faculty, with 54 per cent of them being female. Although this is a one per cent drop from the previous year, it is still higher than most of the management school. Six per cent of the faculty are international, and ninety-four per cent of the faculty have a doctorate. The school ranked sixth overall in Europe.

Largest average salary increase: HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management

HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management ranked top across the five key rankings for highest pay rise on average at 14 per cent, based on figures published. The school ranks ninth in the combined European ranking and has, according to alumni, all-round programmes that gave them much-desired international experience.

Joint highest riser: Essca School of Management

Essca School of Management, rose 14 places to rank 18th in the continent overall. Despite falling four places in the high salary ranking, the French school had its MSc ranked twentieth in Europe, improving its performance overall. Alumni acclaimed the school’s approach to practical learning and also its international diversity.

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