December 7, 2021

Financial Times 2021 European Business School Rankings Just Released

Just released on December 5th, the Financial Times (FT) published the 2021 European Business School rankings.  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 MBA, EMBA and Masters in Management (MiM), as well as for non-degree executive education courses.  The individual FT rankings consider graduate outcomes, including salary and career progress, quality of research, international and gender diversity of students, faculty and school governing bodies.


In the top spot for the third consecutive year was HEC Paris.  Increases in average alumni salaries across several programs including the Global MBA, MiM and EMBA propelled HEC Paris to the #1 ranking.  Notably, the school increased female faculty to 30%.


A few other notable schools from the rankings were INSEAD, Trinity Business School and Moscow’s Skolkovo.


  • INSEAD was the highest ranked European MBA program due to an average alumni salary of nearly $190K and a survey from graduates of other schools who reported they were likely to hire Insead alumni.
  • Trinity Business School climbed 24 spots to the 32nd, the highest riser this year. The school’s improved performance in their EMBA and MiM programs were the most significant contributors to the rise in the ranking.
  • Moscow’s Skolkovo was noted as the highest new entrant, coming in 49th. The average salary of alumni in the EMBA drove the ranking along with feedback from EMBA alumni that praised the international perspective of the program.


The 2021 rankings come at a challenging time in the overall business school landscape with the pandemic causing closed borders and restricted in-person study.  Also, prospective students have been more hesitant about applying.  Another trend shows European schools dominating globally in the MiM programs, which are seen by some students as a cheaper alternative to MBAs.  However, institutions in both Europe and North America are facing increased competition from newer business schools in Asia.  The growing competition resulted in a few interesting data points from European business schools this year: average class size of MBA programs fell by 15 students to 112, EMBA programs dropped by 6 students to 72, but MiM enrollment rose by 26 students on average to 330.


Here is a snapshot of the top 10 European Business Schools:

#1                    HEC Paris

#2                    London Business School

#3                    INSEAD

#4                    IESE Business School

#5                    SDA Bocconi/Università Bocconi

#6                    University of St Gallen

#7                    ESMT Berlin

#8                    ESSEC Business School

#9                    University of Oxford: Saïd

#10 (Tie)           IMD Business School

#10 (Tie)           EDHEC Business School


For the full list of the 95 top European Business Schools, click here.  To start your business school application journey, contact us today!