Top 20 European MBA Programs - Tuition Fee, Total Cost & Salary

Top European MBAPost-2008 Europe and Asia have slowly attracted International MBA aspirants from around the world. US Schools cannot increase the international applicant intake to over 30%, due to the learned experience that international alumni tend to lose contact with the Alma matter, just a few years after graduation. The impact on networking was direct but more than that; it influenced global mobility and alumni-funded initiatives. European schools, on the other hand, accept 70-80% international candidates; some willingly while a majority of them due to poor local demand for International MBA programs. Master’s program attracts the locals to the school. The increase in demand for Master’s program is not a trend limited to local students. During an economic crisis, lately the 2008 crisis, employers have shown a preference to specialists over generalists, and candidates have responded to the demand.

The change in demand is just one factor. In the US, 2-year duration of the MBA programs means even an MBA from one of the top 5 Business Schools will give positive return only after 3-5 years (Read the Chapter on Calculating MBA Return on Investment using Net Present Value - Comprehensive MBA Research Guide); a period that has become too precious for career switchers, who also belong to a demographic that starts a family immediately after graduation. Most MBA applicants ignore the ‘starting family’ as a cost factor while calculating MBA Return on Investment (if you want help selecting top MBA programs according to your profile and financial capability, subscribe to our Consulting Service).

UK, Spain, France, Switzerland, France, UK, Netherlands, Germany & Italy host the top 20 European MBA programs. With Spain, Greece, and Italy taking the biggest hit in the 2008 financial crisis, it is the brand value, recruiter relationship, and quality of the program that has pushed IE & IESE Spain in the top 5 list, consistently for the past three years.

No matter how much spin the Business School marketing team puts on the brand value, the value of a Full-time MBA program is immediate, and largely depends on the immediate post-MBA salary not the return on brand value that you can expect after 10 years when you are considered for a senior executive position. The weighted average or salary of MBAs, taking into consideration three years of data is a better metric to evaluate the return on investment.

Actual Salary Increase Index (ASII)

The increase in salary is an important data point, but it might only give a skewed representation of the actual salary increase. A salary increase from $20,000 to $40,000 is also a 100% increase in salary. With a high international student representation, more specifically Asian candidates in most European MBA programs, the currency difference can create the halo effect of a higher ‘increase in Salary.’ When you consider the average currency value of top Asian MBA application pool - India, China, Hong Kong, Singapore & Thailand against US Dollar, the value is 1/20th of the US Dollar. Post-MBA if a candidate receives the salary in US dollars or Euro, the school will not consider the pre-MBA location while calculating the increase in salary. Even if a European MBA class on average has 24% Asian candidates, to remove the ambiguity, we are considering the Actual Salary Increase Index: a 3-digit value system that ranks MBA programs based on Weighted Salary & Percentage Increase in Salary, both factors taken into consideration simultaneously.

We ranked the MBA programs, taking into considering the total cost (includes fee, average cost for the duration of the course per person and miscellaneous expenses), the weighted salary (salary data from 3 years adjusted for location, job function and industry) and the missed opportunity cost (average salary lost during the course duration). The return on investment in MBA rankings are calculated as a single transaction, but anyone who has worked in Finance will understand that most traditional accounting practices do not consider ‘brand value’ as an asset.

Uber does not own any cars. The trust of the customers and drivers in the brand is what popularized the ‘just in time’ ride sharing app. You have to think in a similar way when considering Business Schools. But your criteria defines your school selection not the other way around. That is why, we have created three rankings for Top 20 European MBA programs

1) For the first ranking list, we have ranked top 20 European MBA programs based on Actual Salary Increase (Below)

2) For the second ranking list, we have ranked Top 20 European MBA programs based on short-term return on investment(Included in F1GMAT's Comprehensive MBA Research Guide)

3) For the third ranking, we have created a short-term return index and combined it with the Actual Salary Increase index, for the final Top 20 Affordable MBA program. (Included in F1GMAT's Comprehensive MBA Research Guide. For the self-funded candidate, ignore this ranking)

Rank CountrySchoolWeighted Salary($)Total Cost $
1SpainIese Business School159266178892
2SpainIE Business School166510187122
4SpainEsade Business School156323201875
5UKLondon Business School132119184535
6UKUniversity of Cambridge: Judge122955164413
7FranceHEC Paris106638124306
8ItalySDA Bocconi134299188884
10PortugalThe Lisbon MBA140185237576
11UKLancaster University Management School109622123443
12UKAlliance Manchester Business School136959199199
13UKSaid Business School99450129885
14UKCity University: Cass107998140309
15UKImperial College Business School112301169154
16UKUniversity of Strathclyde Business School121402191621
17NetherlandsRotterdam School of Management107185146124
18GermanyMannheim Business School112287158431
19UKWarwick Business School117918217258
20IrelandUniversity College Dublin: Smurfit154150363486
Detailed Analysisin Comprehensive MBA Research Guide
1 Euro = 1.13 USD
1 GBP = 1.42 USD
1 CHF = 1.04 USD

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