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Europe’s 10 Top Business Schools for Research Excellence

Find out which business schools in Europe came out top for research excellence

Where should you study an MBA if you want to keep your finger firmly on the pulse of change taking place in Europe?


Gaining access to career opportunities you never previously knew existed through elements of the business school experience, such as networking and the work of careers centers, are important benefits of joining an MBA program attached to one of the world’s top business schools. However, the advantages don’t stop there – it’s also about learning from some the brightest minds in the fields of business and management.

The value of academic strength in an MBA program

To understand, for instance, how the UK’s decision to abide by 2016’s referendum and trigger its process of disengagement from the EU will really affect business interests in the region calls for the kind of insight and perspective that isn’t widely available in public circles. The same is true for the potential ramifications of upcoming elections in three other EU member states – the Netherlands, France and Germany.

That’s why the strength of top business schools’ faculty and research capabilities should be among the considerations of any prospective MBA student. It’s also why it forms one of the two indicators by which the 250 business schools in QS’s new guide to the world’s best places at which to study a full-time MBA program are measured. In the guide, a business school’s score for research excellence stems from the opinions of a global pool of academics in the fields of business and management coupled with an analysis of faculty citations per paper. The 10 top business schools for research excellence that are based in Europe are shown below:

Europe's top business schools for research excellence

Source: QS Global 250 Business Schools Report 2017

The prestigious names of London Business School and INSEAD lead Europe’s 10 top business schools for research excellence and can offer insights into the region and beyond from bases in London and Fontainebleau, Paris. The global metropolis of Paris is also represented in this table by HEC Paris, based to the city’s south, in Jouy-en-Josas. London Business School, meanwhile, is joined by three other representatives from the UK – the business schools attached to the historic universities of Cambridge and Oxford as well as the renowned University of Warwick.  

In this way, top business schools based in the UK and France occupy more than half of the positions in this top 10. However, your options to enroll in an MBA program at a school renowned for its research excellence certainly don’t end there. The highest-ranking alternative comes with Denmark’s Copenhagen Business School, which places third here, followed by Milan, Italy; home to SDA Bocconi. The Netherlands’ Rotterdam School of Management and Spain’s IESE Business School (whose full-time MBA program is offered from its Barcelona campus) complete the full picture.


TopMBA.com’s highlights from Europe’s top schools for research excellence

Here is a selection of research findings from members of this top 10 that we’ve had the pleasure of covering here on TopMBA.com:

  • Why New Year’s resolutions so often fail. (From London Business School, read more here.)
  • The ‘gender penalty’ incurred when appointing female board members found in three studies exploring the relationship between gender diversity at board level and firm performance. (From INSEAD, read more here.)
  • How standards of business ethics can fluctuate when people pursue negotiations with those of different nationalities and cultures. (From Cambridge Judge, read more here).
  • The relationship between Google search trends and fluctuations in the stock market. (From Warwick Business School, read more here.)
  • The leadership qualities and capabilities of CEOs from across the world and spanning different industries. (From Saïd Business School, read more here.)
  • The effectiveness of the UN Global Compact, dubbed the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative, called into question. (From Copenhagen Business School, read more here.)
  • Details of an index which aims to identify countries on the up in terms of their venture capital and private equity opportunities. (From IESE, read more within this research roundup.)
  • And finally…a useful exploration of the value that management research brings to the business world. (From HEC Paris, read more within this research roundup.)
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Written by Tim Dhoul

Tim is a writer with a background in consumer journalism and charity communications. He trained as a journalist in the UK and holds degrees in history (BA) and Latin American studies (MA).

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