European MBA programs: A Short Overview

The European MBA market is becoming an increasingly popular option for today’s business school applicants. As the U.S. business school markets continue to shrink due to higher costs and fewer visa and loan programs for international applicants, Europe is gaining new applicants. Some business schools such as INSEAD (Fontainebleau, France), IE (Navarra, Spain) or IMD (Lausanne, Switzerland) have already achieved a reputation similar to the most famous business schools in the United States. The increasing importance of schools in Europe is also underlined by the growing number of triple accreditations, the so-called triple crown. At this point, more than 20 business schools in Europe have been accredited by the three most important business school accreditation associations (see full list below).

Shorter and less expensive
Generally there are some differences between MBA programs in the US and in European countries. First of all, most European MBA programs are shorter than their counterparts in northern America. The Staufenbiel MBATrends 2009/10 survey shows, that the length of European MBA programs varies between eight and 19 months – while most MBA programs in the United States take 21 months. Also most European MBA programs are less expensive.

More international students
Another difference is the level of internationality. While in the US nearly 30% of the participants are from foreign countries, the percentage of international students in European MBA programs is about 54%, as Staufenbiel MBATrends 2009/10 survey shows. Due to this, the teaching language at most business schools in Europe is English. Furthermore there is a possibility to learn another language at most European business schools, often the language of the country the MBA program takes place.

Differences between European countries
The United Kingdom still is the country with the highest number of MBA programs. But there are several “top 10″ MBA options in Spain, France, Switzerland and Germany. Business schools in Germany especially offer a wide variety of MBA programs with a special focus besides the MBA in general management, such as Health Care Management, International Management or logistics. You’ll find a complete overview to the MBA market in Germany here.

European Business Schools with “triple crown” designation:
• Ashridge, UK
• Aston Business School, Aston University, UK
• Audencia, Nantes Ecole de Management, F
• BEM – Bordeaux Management School, F
• Business School, University of Mannheim, D
• Cranfield School of Management, UK
• Durham Business School, Univ. of Durham, UK
• EDHEC – Business School, F
• ESCP Europe, F
• Grenoble Ecole de Management, F
• HEC School of Management, Paris, F
• HSE – Helsinki School of Economics, FIN
• IE Business School, E
• IMD -International Institute for
Management Development, CH
• Lancaster University Management School, UK
• Rotterdam School of Management -
Erasmus University, NL
• School of Business and Economics,
Univ. Maastricht, NL
• Smurfit and Quinn School of Business,
Univ. College Dublin, IRL
• Strathclyde Business School,
Univ. of Strathclyde, UK
• Toulouse Business School,
Groupe ESC Toulouse, F
• Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School, B
• Warwick Business School,
Univ. of Warwick, UK

Source: Staufenbiel “Das MBA-Studium” 2010.

Author: Maurice Hein,

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