Munshi Ahmed/Bloomberg

Europe's Top B-Schools 2011

  1. Global Powerhouses
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    Global Powerhouses

    European business schools are on a roll. Even as they continue to gain international stature in surveys and rankings, studies show they're also attracting more candidates than ever. The most recent report from the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC), published in February 2011, found that annual applications to European B-schools have risen 90 percent since 2006, to 85,000.

    At the same time, U.S. rivals are losing some appeal. London consultancy QS Quacquarelli Symonds, publisher of the TopMBA website and organizer of the QS World MBA Tour, finds that the number of international applicants planning to apply to U.S. MBA programs fell 20 percentage points from 2008 to 2010, to 61 percent. In part, this is because most U.S. programs last two years—and are thus more expensive than the one-year programs typical in Europe. But problems obtaining U.S. visas and growing interest among students in global business also played roles.

    For this year's Bloomberg Businessweek European B-schools report, we've teamed up with QS to provide a ranking of Europe's top programs and links to detailed information about each of the schools. The data are largely reported by the schools themselves. All translations to dollars are at the interbank rate as of Mar. 18, 2011.

    Click on to see which MBA program could be the right fit for you—and start packing your bags for the experience of a lifetime.

    Munshi Ahmed/Bloomberg
  2. 1. INSEAD
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    1. INSEAD

    Fontainebleau, France

    Founded: 1957
    Tuition: €52,000 ($72,525)
    Class Size: 994
    Average GMAT Score: 704
    Starting Salary: $110,304

    INSEAD is recognized as one of the world's most innovative and influential business schools. It is the only European program that runs a full-fledged Asian campus, in Singapore (shown), where many students spend at least some of their enrollment. Currently, some 145 faculty at INSEAD teach nearly 1,000 MBA students, 9,000 executives, and 60 PhD students from more than 80 countries. The top-ranked school boasts 38,000 alumni around the world, in more than 150 countries.

    Click here for a detailed profile of INSEAD.

  3. 2. London Business School
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    2. London Business School

    London, England

    Founded: 1965
    Tuition: £49,900 ($80,307)
    Class Size: 315
    Average GMAT Score: 697
    Starting Salary: $113,549

    London Business School was established in 1965 to provide a center of excellence in management education. The flexible 21-month, full-time program is an international MBA emphasizing implementation and globalism. Projects, fieldwork, a summer job, consulting assignments, and a choice among more than 70 elective courses are key features. By pursuing specific elective choices, it is now possible to complete the MBA faster, in just 15 or 18 months of full-time study.

    Click here for a detailed profile of London Business School.

  4. 3. Saïd Business School, Oxford University
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    3. Saïd Business School, Oxford University

    Oxford, England

    Founded: 1996
    Tuition: £31,000 ($49,890)
    Class Size: 240
    Average GMAT Score: 685
    Starting Salary: $108,836

    The Saïd Business School is one of Europe's youngest and most entrepreneurial MBA programs. Rather than standing on its own, Saïd is fully integrated into Oxford, permitting students to become members of individual colleges and allowing academics and students from a wide cross-section of backgrounds and disciplines to live and work together. Oxford has world-class university research and spinout companies and a thriving regional economy, creating a vibrant entrepreneurial culture.

    Click here for a detailed profile of Saïd Business School.
  5. 4. IESE Business School
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    4. IESE Business School

    Barcelona, Spain

    Founded: 1964
    Tuition: €69,250 ($96,585)
    Class Size: 215
    Average GMAT Score: 672
    Starting Salary: $110,700*

    With some 430 MBA students from more than 50 countries, an extensive network of international corporate connections, and academic partnerships with many of the world's leading business schools, IESE is a school with global reach. The 19-month program is oriented to general management, seeking to develop sound business judgment, the ability to work effectively in a variety of cultural contexts, and the knowledge, skills, and attitudes for continuing professional success in international business.

    Click here for a detailed profile of IESE Business School.

    * 2009 figure
  6. 5. SDA Bocconi
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    5. SDA Bocconi

    Milan, Italy

    Founded: 1971
    Tuition: €41,500 ($57,881)
    Class Size: 100
    Average GMAT Score: 650
    Starting Salary: $96,027

    SDA Bocconi is the leading school of management in Italy. Founded in 1971, it is an Italian pioneer in business education with a focus on innovation and long-term modeling. The school prides itself on its diversity, strong faculty, global outlook, powerful networks, and location in the heart of Milan—a capital of industry, finance, arts, media, and fashion.

    Click here for a detailed profile of SDA Bocconi.

  7. 6. ESADE
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    6. ESADE

    Barcelona, Spain

    Founded: 1979
    Tuition: €57,000 ($79,500)
    Class Size: 180
    Average GMAT Score: 670
    Starting Salary: $91,109

    ESADE Business School offers a top-ranked program that can be completed in 12, 15, or 18 months, according to the needs of the student. In addition to its main Barcelona campus, the school has outposts in Madrid and Buenos Aires and affiliates in São Paulo and Munich. The school's methodology balances theory and practice, rather than solely focusing on the case method.

    Click here for a detailed profile of ESADE.

  8. 7. HEC (Paris)
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    7. HEC (Paris)

    Jouy-en-Josas, France (near Versailles)

    Founded: 1969
    Tuition: €45,000 ($62,762)
    Class Size: 233
    Average GMAT Score: 690
    Starting Salary: $144,836*

    The HEC MBA offers participants the experience of being immersed in a student body and faculty of highly diverse academic and professional backgrounds. Students come from more than 50 countries and can spend part of their 16-months HEC MBA at such affiliates as University of Pennsylvania's Wharton Business School or the London Business School.

    Click here for a detailed profile of HEC.

    * 2009 figure

    STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN/AFP/Getty Images
  9. 8. IMD
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    8. IMD

    Lausanne, Switzerland

    Founded: 1990
    Tuition: $64,660
    Class Size: 90
    Average GMAT Score: 670
    Starting Salary: $125,000*

    Near scenic Lake Geneva, IMD offers a rigorous one-year MBA program with a class size limited to just 90 students. The school says that it keeps its program so small "because … world-class business leaders cannot be mass-produced." The Swiss school emphasizes self-discovery and leadership ability, as well as how to make meaningful and timely business decisions in a complex, global business context.

    Click here for a detailed profile of IMD.

    * 2009 figure
  10. 9. IE Business School (Instituto de Empresa)
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    9. IE Business School (Instituto de Empresa)

    Madrid, Spain

    Founded: 1973
    Tuition: €58,200 ($81,195)
    Class Size: 492
    Average GMAT Score: 670
    Starting Salary: $81,613*

    IE is dedicated to educating business leaders through programs based on its core values of global focus, entrepreneurial spirit, and humanism. It champions applied research coupled with multidisciplinary education and uses an innovative blend of online and on-site formats, making it a pioneer in international education.

    Click here for a detailed profile of IE Business School.

    * 2009 figure
  11. 10. Cranfield School of Management
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    10. Cranfield School of Management

    Cranfield, England

    Founded: 1967
    Tuition: £31,000 ($49,790)
    Class Size: 148
    Average GMAT Score: 680
    Starting Salary: $91,545

    Cranfield School of Management offers one of the top-rated MBA programs in Britain to a select body of just 148 students. The school says its program isn't only about acquiring skills and techniques of general management: "We build confidence, emotional intelligence, decision-making skills, and teamworking abilities—qualities that make for inspirational leaders." Cranfield makes strong use of interactive learning tools and prides itself on a faculty that includes both academics and practitioners.

    Click here for a detailed profile of Cranfield School of Management.

  12. 11. Judge Business School, University of Cambridge
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    11. Judge Business School, University of Cambridge

    Cambridge, England

    Founded: 1997
    Tuition: £30,500 ($48,986)
    Class Size: 164
    Average GMAT Score: 690
    Starting Salary: $105,000

    Judge Business School sits at the heart of the internationally renowned University of Cambridge. Taught through a mixture of interactive seminars, lectures, case studies, and group work, the Cambridge MBA is a one-year, general management program providing a comprehensive grounding in business fundamentals. Some 94 percent of the school's students are from outside the U.K. and Judge's faculty is drawn from all over the world.

    Click here for a detailed profile of Judge Business School.
  13. 12. RSM Erasmus
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    12. RSM Erasmus

    Rotterdam, Netherlands

    Founded: 1970
    Tuition: €38,000 ($53,014)
    Class Size: 151
    Average GMAT Score: 640
    Starting Salary: $115,434*

    Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, is renowned for its international character and innovative approach. The MBA program offers a dual emphasis on intellectual challenge combined with extensive practical application, all taught by an international faculty. RSM is especially known for its early and extensive commitment to sustainability as a driving business principle.

    Click here for a detailed profile of RSM Erasmus.

    * 2009 figure
  14. 13. Warwick Business School
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    13. Warwick Business School

    Coventry, England

    Founded: 1981
    Tuition: £26,000 ($41,760)
    Class Size: 67
    Average GMAT Score: 610
    Starting Salary: $72,450

    The Warwick MBA is recognized for its leading-edge thinking and resources. The full-time program attracts a diverse student body drawn from 30 nationalities each year and places great importance on collaborative learning, teamwork, and opportunities for social and professional networking. All students benefit from the "Practice of Management" module, which focuses on personal and professional development in a real job setting.

    Click here for a detailed profile of Warwick Business School.
  15. 14. Imperial College Business School
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    14. Imperial College Business School

    London, England

    Founded: 1990
    Tuition: £35,850 ($57,626)
    Class Size: 76
    Average GMAT Score: 660
    Starting Salary: $110,155*

    Imperial College Business School, located in the heart of London, offers an MBA program that focuses on core management disciplines and business practices. The school is especially known for its strong focus on entrepreneurialism. MBA students learn from world-class experts who combine the latest research with a practical understanding of today's global business.

    Click here for a detailed profile of Imperial College Business School.

    * 2009 figure
  16. 15. ESSEC
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    15. ESSEC

    Cergy, France (near Paris)

    Founded: 1907
    Tuition: €45,000 ($62,855)
    Class Size: Not available
    Average GMAT Score: 670
    Starting Salary: $62,225*

    ESSEC has gained in stature during recent years as its student body and faculty have become increasingly global. Aside from a regular 12-month MBA, the school also offers specialized MBAs in Luxury Brand Management and Hospitality Management. Students in the regular program make field trips to Eastern Europe and Singapore and participate in a 4- to 6-week international immersion program working on public- or private-sector projects in emerging economies.

    Click here for a detailed profile of ESSEC.

    * 2009 figure
  17. 16. Manchester Business School
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    16. Manchester Business School

    Manchester, England

    Founded: 1965
    Tuition: £35,600
    Class Size: 132
    Average GMAT Score: 621
    Starting Salary: $80,438*

    The 18-month Manchester MBA focuses on hands-on learning, with at least 30 percent of time spent on real-world projects. The school also offers an International Business Project, where students work in multicultural teams embedded in major local corporations to solve problems.

    Click here for a detailed profile of Manchester Business School.

    * 2009 figure

  18. 17. Copenhagen Business School
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    17. Copenhagen Business School

    Copenhagen, Denmark

    Founded: 2003
    Tuition: €37,000 ($51,680)
    Class Size: 50
    Average GMAT Score: 610
    Starting Salary: $104,760*

    A small 12-month MBA program one-third of whose students are women, Copenhagen Business School prides itself on being "not a student factory, but a thought machine where student brains are charged and challenged in various ways from day one." The school further emphasizes that its courses "reflect a Scandinavian management style where social responsibility permeates the entire curriculum."

    Click here for a detailed profile of Copenhagen Business School.

    * 2009 figure

  19. 18. EDHEC Business School
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    18. EDHEC Business School

    Nice, France

    Founded: 1906
    Tuition: €32,500 ($45,395)
    Class Size: 43
    Average GMAT Score: 617
    Starting Salary: $111,742

    EDHEC is a large institution with campuses in Paris, Lille, and Nice, but its 10-month, English-language, full-time MBA in Nice has just 43 students, offering an intimate educational experience on the French Riviera. The school places particular emphasis on students seeking a midcareer boost or planning to start their own companies, and its student body thus tends to have more years of work experience than at many other European B-schools.

    Click here for a detailed profile of EDHEC Business School.

  20. 19. Cass Business School
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    19. Cass Business School

    London, England

    Founded: 1966
    Tuition: £31,000 ($49,830)
    Class Size: 65
    Average GMAT Score: 650
    Starting Salary: $88,408*

    Cass is located near the City of London financial district and weaves the British capital's vibrant business culture into its curriculum. The 12-month full-time MBA encompasses core management, a range of electives, and a Business Mastery Project, in which students put their skills to work on a real-world project.

    Click here for a detailed profile of Cass Business School.

    * 2009 figure

  21. 20. EM Lyon
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    20. EM Lyon

    Lyon, France

    Founded: 1872
    Tuition: €35,900 ($50,144)
    Class Size: 31
    Average GMAT Score: 621
    Starting Salary: $104,760*

    EM Lyon traces its roots to a business school established by silk merchants in 19th century Lyon. The modern MBA program remains true to the spirit of its founders with a strong emphasis on entrepreneurship. The 12-month international MBA includes a consulting project that lasts the duration of the course, ensuring hands-on experience with a real-world project.

    Click here for a detailed profile of EM Lyon.

    * 2009 figure