Saying that these are hard times in Europe is almost obvious, although not because we want to ignore it, this expression will lose importance, but not only for business schools, but for all sectors. And this is not from now in 2022 as a consequence of the War in Ukraine, but it started with the pandemic in 2020. But it is true that the War in Ukraine has increased the pressure on postgraduate institutions
HEC Paris tops the Ranking of European Business Schools in 2022
According to the ranking compiled by the Financial Times, HEC is one of the four institutions based in France that are among the top 10.
The French school is number one for the fourth consecutive year and for a record eleventh time overall. London Business School retains second place, ahead of ESCP, which has six campuses across Europe, followed by SDA Bocconi in Italy and the University of St Gallen in Switzerland.
This composite ranking is based on the performance of European institutions in the 2022 FT Global Rankings of MBAs, Executive MBAs, MBAs, and Non-Degree Open Enrollment and Customized Executive Education Courses.
Among the 95 schools there are 24 in France, 18 in the UK and eight in Germany. There are three from Russia, two from Turkey and one from Slovenia and one from the Czech Republic.
A ranking that comes at a key moment
The data comes at an important time for European business schools, amid intensifying global competition for students and rising international tensions as Russia and China grow more isolated. Russia’s war against Ukraine has cast a shadow over the region’s schools, stranding students from both countries abroad and, in some cases, causing teachers to flee. The war has also set back economic growth across Europe.
The problems for the exchange with schools in Asia
Frank Bournois, dean of ESCP in Paris, states that “we receive constant requests from Asia and particularly from China, but we cannot send students there for exchanges and internships. The situation could open up next year, but for now, with the quarantine (the Chinese government’s philosophy of Covid zero), it is a real obstacle to reciprocity.
Decreasing applications for MBA
A recent survey by the Graduate Management Admission Council, which runs the GMAT admission test, showed an overall decline in applications for business master’s programs in Europe and North America. GMAC attributed this in part to employers seeking to discourage staff from leaving for education courses in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and trying to retain staff in the face of resignations and tight labor markets.
Europe continues to maintain a good positioning of its business schools
Nevertheless, the European Schools remain popular. “They provide a quality education for a fraction of the cost charged by the main business schools in the United States,” says Eric Cornuel, president of the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD), which accredits institutions worldwide. .
Business schools in Europe provide a quality education for significantly less than leading US schools charge
What are the attractions offered by European business schools
According to Cornuel, who argued that European Schools offer solid professional services and internships, they have some very appealing characteristics for candidates, namely:
– Tradition of international mobility and spirit of collaboration.
– They are rooted in the European spirit of diversity and liberal values.
– They are located in very attractive destinations, which helps in their global brand.
Cornuel also argues that many European schools are taking advantage of the growing demand to focus on ethics and sustainability in their courses, along with the need to build skills around topics such as digital transformation.
UK maintains strong demand
The UK has continued to report relatively strong demand for international students, despite the turmoil since Brexit. Changes to the country’s visa regime and a drop in the value of sterling have mitigated the feared impact and supported applications from abroad.
The biggest differential for Europe is the languages
Amber Wigmore Alvarez, who is the Talent Director at Highered, EFMD’s online careers platform, says that “students have worked and studied abroad in multinational and multicultural environments, and are open to those careers. You don’t see that as much in American and Asian schools.”
Frank Bournois at ESCP (European Business School) argues that some business schools across Europe are developing shorter online executive education courses and joint diplomas, giving students the opportunity to study for degrees in business combined with engineering and other subjects.
The FT ranking methodology pays off in identifying top performing schools, even when they do not offer the full range of ranked scores. It is adjusted for those offering joint programs and includes several institutions that were not in the final published rankings of top global schools.
Factors on which the classification is based
Individual rankings, including MBA, MBA, and Executive MBA, are based on a variety of factors:
– The salaries of former students.
– Professional progression.
– Experience in international courses.
– The impact of the investigation.
– Gender balance among students.
– The faculty.
– Advisory councils.
HEC Paris ranked first in Europe for customized and open short executive programs, Insead in MBA and EMBA (for its joint program with Tsinghua in Beijing) and the University of St Gallen in MBA.
European average salaries
Average European salaries, adjusted for international purchasing power parity three years after completing MBAs, ranged from $67,000 at Audencia in western France to nearly $187,000 at Insead, which has campuses in Paris and Singapore. The figures exclude the highest and lowest-paid alumni from each school.
For EMBAs, average salaries ranged from $92,000 at ISEG in Lisbon to nearly $400,000 for Insead’s joint program with Tsinghua. For MBA, they ranged from $40,000 at Henley Business School in the UK to $138,000 at the University of St Gallen.
The integration of women as professors
The University of Zurich has the lowest proportion of female professors, with only 15% being women, while 10 schools achieve gender parity. The proportion of international faculty is as low as zero at the Bologna Business School in Italy, rising to 98% at IMD in Switzerland.
What is affecting European business schools
Russia’s war against Ukraine has stimulated reflection by businessmen and politicians, a situation in which Europe is facing tensions on many fronts as a result of the consequences of the pandemic and a year 2022 of being on the brink of a world war. But its business schools have the potential to play an important role in preparing the continent for the future.
The political climate is fragile, with turmoil in the UK since its citizens voted for Brexit and various conflicts within or between many EU member states. Russia’s war in Ukraine has caused loss of life and destruction of infrastructure on a scale not seen in the region since World War II.
The Ukrainian War and solidarity
The conflict has resulted in the displacement of people, creating millions of refugees; it has fueled volatility in energy prices and slowed economic growth. But it has also brought a new solidarity between countries and towards people fleeing violence and intimidation. That includes support from many of the continent’s universities for scholars and students fleeing Ukraine and Russia.
The war has also spurred renewed thinking by business and policymakers about the urgent need for new approaches to economic growth, including the energy transition away from fossil fuels and reliance on Russian oil and gas. .
A wider range of business school courses
Business schools offer a range of innovative energy specialist courses, qualifications and pedagogical approaches that draw on European traditions and respond to emerging trends.
Even amid resistance or pushback on some US campuses under political pressure around sustainability, for example, there is a long-standing European commitment to address environmental concerns.
Julian Birkinshaw, a professor at London Business School and co-author of a recent British Academy report, Teaching Purposeful Business Schools in UK Business Schools, has called for a move away from shareholder primacy in finance classes, a shift towards problem solving around major societal challenges and more collaboration on sustainability.
That’s one of many pressure points for reform, highlighted in a book review in which business school deans reflect on their managerial responses to recent disruptions, including Covid-19.
Neoma Business School in France has developed a virtual campus as a teaching medium
Digital transformation is fundamental and widely accepted. The “metaverse” may have been conceived in California, but business schools across Europe are embracing the technology, both in courses and as a teaching tool.
Despite the potential for divisiveness and partisanship in social media, recently crystallized in Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter, Siddharth Venkataramakrishnan, the Financial Times’ Banking and Fintech correspondent, describes a new approach to technology in around building online communities in business applications.
The space for the new economy
The final frontier of the new economy is being examined: the space itself it is supposed to occupy, a specialized topic in several schools as it becomes a substantial source of growth in its own right and an influence on many earth activities. .
Closer to home, both Europe and North America are feeling a dearth of applications from their home markets for business master’s programs as the job market heats up and employers look to retain staff tempted to leave to continue their studies or join the “great resignation”.
The shortest European courses
However, Europe has the advantage of offering shorter and cheaper courses than the classic two-year classroom MBA started in the United States, which is under renewed pressure. Graduates from Europe also have the advantage that they generally speak more languages and are more exposed to multiple cultures and countries than their American peers.
At a time when, in the aftermath of the pandemic, more employers are looking to hire specialists, regardless of where they choose to live and work, that could be a competitive advantage for Europeans. While it remains difficult for them to send students to China due to ongoing lockdown restrictions, business schools in Europe, including those in the UK, despite Brexit, continue to attract international students from there and elsewhere.
The list of the best European institutions for postgraduate training highlights that schools from all over Europe occupy a prominent place in the breadth of their different courses. It’s a useful high-level indicator for reputation, influence, and impact, but it needs to be seen in a larger context.
Those thinking of studying business should look at rankings for the individual courses that interest them, as well as broader factors that cannot be reduced to metrics. There is no substitute for visits and discussions with schools and their students.
How business schools are finding global solutions to global challenges
The dean of the business school, Professor Ansgar Richter, clearly shares Desiderius Erasmus’ passion for international education and discovery. He studied Philosophy and Economics in Germany before continuing his studies at the London School of Economics (LSE), where he obtained an MSc in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management, and a PhD in Management. After his studies, he worked as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company, advising international clients on strategy and organizational issues, before going on to hold teaching positions at business schools in Germany and the UK. At various points in his academic career, Richter was visiting professor at Berkeley, Stanford and INSEAD, and was dean of the Surrey Business School.
After 3 months of his appointment as dean, Covid arrived
Just three months into his new role as Dean of RSM, Ansgar Richter faced the impact of Covid-19 and a pandemic that has forced universities and business schools around the world to close campuses and hold classes virtually. Many of the international exchange programs enjoyed by undergraduate and Master/MBA students with leading schools in Europe, North America, Latin America, Africa, Asia and Oceania have been put on hold.
But Professor Richter has not lost his belief in the importance of an international learning experience in developing the world’s future business leaders and, if anything, he believes that Covid-19 has reinforced the need for international cooperation to find global solutions. for global challenges.
For Richter, internationalization is deeply rooted at RSM and continues to be a priority for the school. He also wonders what form it might take in the future.
They have a global network of more than 170 partner schools around the world and are part of important international networks and communities, such as the CEMS network, the Global Business School Network (GBSN) and many others. In addition, they have double degree options with schools such as Bocconi, St. Gallen, ESADE and others that offer excellent opportunities to students.
The Covid-19 pandemic, combined with current geopolitical developments, has actually made schools like the one Richter runs a more attractive destination for international students and they are seeing this in increasing numbers of applications.
The Netherlands offers a well-developed healthcare system, a stable and well-governed political environment, and the port city of Rotterdam that is known for its vibrant international culture. And the programs he offers are excellent value for money. Internationalization is only part of the school’s DNA.
RSM has aligned itself with the 17 SDGs established by the UN and has accepted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), but clearly, some of them are particularly related to teaching. At the most basic level, it is a business school and therefore the work it does contributes to SDGs 8 and 9 (decent work and economic growth, respectively industry, innovation and infrastructure).
Another important trajectory is the Dynamics of Inclusive Prosperity initiative, in which they cooperate closely with colleagues from the Erasmus Faculty of Law and the Erasmus Faculty of Philosophy. The work in this initiative is also related to sustainable cities and communities (SDG 11). And many of its researchers, for example, in the Technology and Operations Department and in the Marketing Departments, work on issues related to responsible consumption and production (SDG 12). As a School, they have developed a whole series of videos on the SDGs.
Regarding their programs, the Master of Global Business and Sustainability offer a great example of how the SDGs can be integrated and taught in a curriculum.
Taking the SDGs seriously (Sustainable Development Goals)
A school that wants to take the SDGs seriously needs to put its money where it belongs, which is programs and teachers, regardless of the promotion they do for international students and fortification of their brand. Over the past 10 years, Richter says his school has invested heavily in teachers, research, curriculum development and awareness raising.
He champions the need to deliver business education with society in mind, as this sense of the greater good and knowing what skills the next generation of leaders need is important. In other words, a greater social awareness from the organizations that will continue to grow as more postgraduates have had the opportunity in their respective MBA programs to delve into this new sustainable and socially responsible economy that is required of business and political leaders today.
The search for a deeper meaning
Richter is convinced that students come to RSM because they are searching for a deeper meaning. They want to do business with a purpose and are not willing to sacrifice responsible principles for the sake of profitability. Among these students and alumni, there is a tremendous degree of creativity and passion.
This becomes clear when you look at the companies nominated and recognized for the RSM I WILL Award over the last ten years: all of them founded by RSM alumni, sometimes in cooperation with researchers and other members of their community. These businesses range from companies using energy emitted from data centers to heat greenhouses (the 2020 winner) to waste reduction schemes, medical innovations and sustainable production of consumer goods, among others.
But, in addition, its programs combine reflective and analytical skills with practices and different types of interactive actions, so that students benefit from being part of a large school that is itself part of a leading university in the social sciences; this offers additional opportunities for interdisciplinary thinking and understanding.
How entrepreneurship education should evolve to meet these training needs
The programs offered at many business schools resemble the way people watched television in the 1970s and early 1980s: there is a limited (although growing) range of programs with fixed start dates ( enrollment dates), pre-defined duration and limited options within the programs to tailor the programs to your own needs. This has also traditionally been the case at RSM.
However, the demands of students have changed. As a result, many schools have begun to break this model. For example, the modular design of the part-time RSM Executive Master in Corporate Communication makes it easy for participants to join the program at any time. Even in their full-scale bachelor’s program, they are implementing a unique new design (the “Boost the Bachelor” initiative), giving students many more options.
Technology will continue to change the nature of programs
Both in terms of the mode of delivery and in terms of the content of what is taught, in this Dutch school its Master’s program in Business Information Management, which includes tracks in Data Science and Digital Business, 98% of all graduates from this program have a job within three months of graduation from this program.
In terms of delivery, the main drive will be in the blended modes of education.
Also all schools are considering fully online programs, but there is also a very large majority of opinion that believes that direct human encounters, direct exchange and the cultural experience of meeting with others, is invaluable. And this is one of the compelling reasons why the exchange continues to be encouraged. These new international relationships are what should promote study tours and residencies in many of the programs, perhaps most prominently in the MBA and EMBA programs.