French business schools have their dominance over peers from other countries in the 2021 FT European Business Schools Rankings, which offers the strongest range of business education courses.
HEC Paris, Insead and Essec were all in the top tier of eight leading institutions assessed in the ranking of 95 institutions. A further seven, led by Edhec, ESCP and EMLyon, secured places in the second group of schools, ninth to 46th.
One business school from each of five other European countries completed the top level in the rankings: London Business School in the UK, out of Spain, SDA Bocconi of Italy, St gallen in Switzerland and Germany ESMT Berlin.
British institutions were generally well represented, despite the disruption of Brexit. A further 11 were placed in the second level, led by Oxford: Said, Cambridge: Judges, Imperial and Warwick, reflecting their global appeal and the country’s continued appeal to future managers, leaders and entrepreneurs.
The rankings come at a time of great pressure on business schools in the wake of the pandemic, which has led to closed borders, limited personal study and caused some prospective students and companies to hesitate to apply. Schools have been forced to adapt to online and blended learning, face increasing competition from alternative types of training and face increasing pressure to reduce fees while the pandemic continues.
“We’ve never been to such a strategic crossroads,” said Frank Bournois, dean of ESCP based in Paris. “It is time for the cards to be shuffled. These are exciting and sometimes frightening times. ”
European schools dominate worldwide in the provision of Masters in Management (MiM) programs, who did their pioneering work and which is seen by some students as a cheaper alternative to the MBAs first created in North America. Institutions on both continents face competition from the newer business schools of Asia, as fast-growing economies, led by China, generate strong demand among students.
In a sign of changing demand, among the European schools assessed by the FT in both 2020 and 2021, the average class size of MBA programs has dropped by 15 students to 112 in the past year, while below Executive MBAs it dropped by six participants to 72. In contrast, MiM enrollments rose by an average of 26 students to 330.
The FT assessment is a “ranking of rankings” derived from the performance of European schools in the most recent individual rankings of global providers for MBAs, EMBAs and MiMs, as well as for non-degree executive education courses. The individual FT rankings take into account graduate outcomes, including salary and career advancement, as well as factors such as quality of research and international and gender diversity of students, faculty and school governing bodies.
The European evaluation favors schools that perform well across all the programs offered, but also adjusts the ratings so that institutions can generally perform well even if they do not offer the full range of courses. Most data are based on FT rankings published in 2021, but the performance of schools for executive education use results from 2020 because this year’s assessment was suspended during the pandemic.
Students in many parts of the world postponed employment and continued their studies with a master’s degree in business. Meanwhile, some employees decided to quit their jobs to return to study full-time or part-time as Covid-19 distributed. However, many companies have cut training budgets and reduced support for executive education courses.
“A number of us in Europe had a substantial executive education portfolio and were probably more dependent on it than some American business schools with very large donations,” said Jean-François Manzoni, president of IMD in Switzerland. “When other executive education was written off, we had to renew.”
The rankings highlight the geographical distribution of leading business schools across Europe. Of the 95 schools ranked by the FT, 22 are from France, 19 from the UK and six from Germany, the largest economy in Europe.
Jörg Rocholl, president of ESMT Berlin, an independent private business school created in 2002 with the support of German companies, said the country’s public universities were historically “too dominant” in higher education and did not have the flexibility to create world-class institutions. does not promote. , including leading business schools.
Russia now has three business schools in the rankings, Turkey has two and Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovenia have one each.