Why study an MBA in Europe?

The increased demand for MBA courses has had a considerable impact on the number of providers in Europe – now, students have more choice and flexibility than ever before.

The MBA market in Austria, Germany and Switzerland (northern Europe) for instance covers about 120 providers and 150 programmes. In the UK there are over 170 programmes on offer. 

The range of MBA programmes is becoming broader all the time. Some schools offer junior MBAs for students who have just graduated from university. At the other end of the scale is the Executive MBA, for managers with ten years of practical business experience. In terms of format, there are full-time and part-time programmes, distance-learning or modular formulas.

Increasingly, European schools offer an integrated approach, tailoring the format on offer to the learners’ needs. Furthermore, most European schools now offer specialised programmes, with luxury brand management, fashion or sports in their portfolios.

Which European MBA programme?

Selecting an MBA programme is a very individual task. When looking at the quality of universities and courses the ratio of applicants to places is often a good indicator, as well as average GMAT scores, faculty ratings by students and percentages of foreign students and faculty. Student and graduate ratings of programme content and career services offer interesting insights into the value of particular programmes.

So, what are the most important factors when choosing a business school? Predictably, and in most cases, a school’s reputation is the overwhelming pull, followed by location and programme content. Other key criteria is likely to include quality of teaching, tuition and living costs, published ranked position, friends’ recommendations and staring salaries of graduates. The above criteria are followed by career services, teaching methods, advertising, and published guides. 

Europe vs US

Typically, an MBA programme in Europe is shorter than in the US - in general MBA courses in Europe run for a year. The size and culture of schools are often overlooked when prospective students are considering business schools. In general, schools in the US are larger, with an average intake of full-time MBA students of 287, compared with 124 in Europe.

European schools have a significantly higher number of international students than their American counterparts, and alliances and exchanges with other universities also contribute to an overall international culture – obviously a major benefit for students’ future business careers.

How are MBA programmes in Europe changing?

Technology is one of the drivers in the ongoing development of MBA programmes. Executive and part-time MBAs are growing in popularity, and more and more students are finding that they can study in their own time via the internet whilst working at the same time through distance learning.

The top reasons for people to want an MBA qualification are the career and personal development opportunities offered. Ultimately, potential students have increased confidence, driving them on to further success in the corporate world. The investment made – both financial and in terms of time – will undoubtedly be worth it.

What is the EFMD?

The European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD) (www.efmd.be), based in Brussels, is an independent and non-profit membership-based association of management educators and leading companies. It is Europe’s forum for information, research, networking and debate on management development, whilst promoting worldwide cooperation and the setting of quality standards.

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