Dutch business schools do well in European rankings

The Financial Times has released its 2013 rankings for business schools in Europe, which ranks schools on their executive MBA, masters in management and MBA programmes, and open and custom executive education rankings.

This year, Rotterdam School of Management at Erasmus University was the highest ranked Dutch school in 10th place. It was previously ranked in the top five for its master of management programme and also has one of the most well regarded MBA programmes in the Netherlands.

Three other Dutch schools were included in the rankings. TiasNimubs at Tilburg University was the second inclusion, ranked 20th overall, while Nyenrode Business Universitiet was ranked 40 and Maastricht University School of Business and Economics was ranked 67.

The top place was at tie between HEC Paris and IE Business School in Spain.


For an institution to be ranked in the top 20, it must do well across all of the various rankings. This means that while HEC and IE are both ranked in first place, the best-ranked MBA programme is actually at London Business School, which is ranked third.

According to the Financial Times, students place great value on the quality of the school’s faculty and their fellow participants, and the international exposure and the extensive alumni networks they gain.

Changes in demand

A number of schools have remarked that the market for executive education has picked up dramatically after what one CEO described as "five years of misery." Especially, demand for pre-experience master degrees is growing more than that for post-experience MBAs. This includes degrees in areas such as marketing, accountancy, finance and general management.

Students from Asia, especially China, are driving this growth: half the students doing masters in finance degrees ranked by the Financial Times in 2013 were from Asia. In some schools, applications for master degrees has increased by as much as 50 per cent in the last year.

More adventurous graduates

The kinds of jobs that MBA graduates are pursuing is also changing. Some schools have reported that increasing numbers of graduates are going on join or create a start-up. A professor at HEC Paris said that three years after graduation, between 15 and 20 per cent of his class will be entrepreneurs.

Also, graduates aren’t only focused on Europe anymore. Ten years ago, nearly all of London Business School’s graduates worked in Europe: now, only 65 per cent do, with increasing numbers going to South America or Asia.

Top 10 European Business Schools

1. HEC Paris France
1. IE Business School Spain
3. London Business School UK
4. Esade Business School Spain
5. Insead France
6. Iese Business School Spain
7. University of St Gallen Switzerland
8. SDA Bocconi Italy
9. IMD Switzerland
10. RSM Erasmus University Netherlands
Alexandra Gowling


Alexandra Gowling

Alexandra is an Australian citizen and an experienced expat, having spent (quite a bit of) time in Asia before coming to the Netherlands a year ago. She enjoys writing, reading...

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