HEC Paris Tops Financial Times’ Ranking Of European B-Schools For A Fifth Straight Year

HEC Paris Tops Financial Times Ranking Of European B-Schools For A Fifth Straight Year

MBA students on HEC Paris’s 340-acre wooded campus outside of Paris. The B-school was named the best in Europe in 2023 by The Financial Times. HEC Paris photo

Just two years ago, INSEAD was the No. 3 business school in Europe according to The Financial Times. But last year, the school dropped to 15th in the FT‘s annual ranking — and it dropped even further, to 18th, in the magazine’s 2023 list, released Sunday (December 3).

INSEAD’s slide is one of several noteworthy developments in the new FT ranking of the top European business schools, a list of 90 schools judged on the strengths of their MBA, executive MBA, and master in management programs, among other measures. The top school in the ranking, for the fifth year in a row since taking over the No. 1 spot from London Business School in 2019, is HEC Paris, followed by LBS in second place, Spain’s IESE Business School in third, the multinational ESCP Business School in fourth, and Italy’s SDA Bocconi School of Management in fifth.

After HEC Paris and ESCP, France has 21 ranked schools on the list, most of any country. The UK is second with 15 schools, and Germany has eight, the highest-ranked being No. 16 WHU Otto Beisheim School of Management in Vallendar and Duesseldorf. Spain and Portugal have five schools each in the ranking.


INSEAD’s 15-place slide over two years isn’t because of MBA outcomes — the school’s average MBA salary is the best of all 90 schools at $198,363. Rather, it’s chiefly due to INSEAD’s fledgling master in management program not yet being ranked by FT. MBA, EMBA, and MiM rankings account for 25% of each school’s ranking; the remaining quarter comes from custom and open executive education programs. Once INSEAD’s MiM secures a ranking, its overall placement should rebound.

Another French B-school, ESCP, has benefited where INSEAD has faltered. ESCP’s fourth-place finish is the school’s second-best ever — after its third-place ranking in 2022. The French school with campuses in Paris and five other European countries was ranked 14th in 2021 before leaping to third last year.

“We are immensely proud to be recognized once again as a top-tier business school in the Financial Times European Business Schools ranking,” says Professor Léon Laulusa, executive president and dean of ESCP, in a statement. “This accomplishment reflects our unwavering dedication to providing exceptional business education that prepares our students to be responsible leaders in an ever-evolving global landscape.”

ESCP has the lowest MBA salary average of the top five schools in the ranking: $130,888. It also has one of the lowest average MiM salaries: $102,362. But it has the No. 1 EMBA program in 2023, according to FT, and the No. 4 MiM.

“Our commitment to academic excellence, coupled with a focus on cultivating a global mindset, ensures that our students receive a transformative education that equips them for leadership roles in the dynamic world of business,” says Professor Francesco Rattalino, executive vice-president and dean for academic affairs and student experience. “This recognition reaffirms the dedication of our faculty and staff to providing a world-class learning experience at ESCP, where innovation, diversity, and a commitment to European values converge to shape the business leaders of tomorrow.”


Another French B-school on the upswing, EDHEC, landed seventh for the second straight year, and has risen from 10th in 2021, 14th in 2020, and 15th in 2019. EDHEC penetrated into the European top 10 (and France’s top three) thanks to a 26-spot jump in the FT’s 2023 Global MBA ranking and a 19-place rise in the magazine’s 2023 EMBA ranking, landing it in the Global Top 50 and Global Top 30, respectively.

EDHEC — which puts sustainability and social justice at the heart of its teaching mission — has gained and endured in the ranking with strong scores in ESG criteria and overall satisfaction.

“Ranking seventh among the best European business schools for the second consecutive year, EDHEC solidifies its position as a leading academic institution on national and international levels,” EDHEC Dean Emmanuel Métais says in a statement. “This result encourages us to continue transforming our programs and research and to educate committed individuals, driven by the ambition to influence the world to make it more sustainable.”


Further down the ranking, Porto Business School marked its 12th straight year in the 20-year-old FT ranking of European B-schools. This year the Portuguese school climbed six places to finish 53rd.

The business school of the University of Porto ranks 30th and 29th in Custom and Open Executive Education, respectively; 56th in Executive MBA; and 43rd in Global MBA. Among Porto’s most noteworthy distinctions is that it has the lowest percentage of non-domestic faculty of any ranked school — just 2%. IMD, in Switzerland, has the most at 98%.

“It is a source of pride for Porto Business School to once again be featured in the Financial Times ranking,” says José Esteves, dean of Porto Business School. “We continue to demonstrate positive progress, reflecting our capacity for improvement and adaptation to the ever-changing demands of the world, particularly in terms of digital development and a focus on sustainability.

“This distinction attests to the success of our efforts in becoming a national and international benchmark institution, committed to fostering innovation and education, with a focus on fundamental areas of management such as leadership, digital transformation, artificial intelligence, and cybersecurity.”


2023 FT Rank School Location 2022 Rank 2021 Rank MBA 2023 – Salary Today
1 HEC Paris France 1 1 172,393
2 London Business School UK/UAE 2 2 182,254
3 IESE Business School Spain/US/Germany 6 4 181,270
4 ESCP Business School France/Germany/Italy/Poland/Spain/UK 3 14 130,888
5 SDA Bocconi School of Management Italy 4 5 192,815
6 University of St Gallen Switzerland 5 6 142,148
7 Edhec Business School France 7 10 130,039
8 IE Business School Spain 10 12 165,391
9 Essec Business School France/Singapore/Morocco 9 8 110,087
10 EMLyon Business School France 12 19 117,111
11 Warwick Business School UK 16 18 136,033
12 Esade Business School Spain 17 13 157,209
13 IMD — International Institute for Management Development Switzerland 11 10 171,116
14 University of Oxford: Saïd UK 25 9 164,874
15 Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University Netherlands 14 17 123,260
16 WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management Germany 13 20 123,410
17 Mannheim Business School Germany 21 21 135,560
18 INSEAD France/Singapore/UAE 15 3 198,363
19 ESMT Berlin Germany 8 7
20 University of Cambridge: Judge UK 18 15 173,775
21 Nova School of Business and Economics Portugal 24 27 109,899
22 Católica Lisbon School of Business and Economics Portugal 27 29 109,899
23 Stockholm School of Economics Sweden 20 22
24 University College Dublin: Smurfit Ireland 22 28 115,468
25 Audencia France 38 31 79,457
26 Frankfurt School of Finance and Management Germany 26 24 102,092
27 Bayes Business School UK 29 23 142,031
28 Imperial College Business School UK 19 16 151,143
29 Kedge Business School France 39 40
30 Eada Business School Barcelona Spain 27 25 105,971
31 Vlerick Business School Belgium 23 39 103,168
32 Trinity College Dublin, Trinity Business School Ireland 37 32 113,910
33 Grenoble Ecole de Management France 40 36 95,443
34 Neoma Business School France 41 44
35 Henley Business School UK 35 34
36 Politecnico di Milano School of Management Italy 31 37 93,126
37 Cranfield School of Management UK 56 34 111,573
38 Tias Business School, Tilburg University Netherlands 33 30 94,786
39 BI Norwegian Business School Norway 48 50
40 Kozminski University Poland 52 54
41 WU (Vienna University of Economics and Business) Austria 43 41
42 Nyenrode Business Universiteit Netherlands 45 41 88,952
43 Koç University Graduate School of Business Turkey 42 61
44 Iscte Business School Portugal 67 77
45 NHH Norwegian School of Economics Norway 45 55
46 TBS Education France 55 58
47 Copenhagen Business School Denmark 36 26 104,673
47 Antwerp Management School Belgium 49 46
49 Alliance Manchester Business School UK 51 33 139,428
50 Aalto University Finland 34 38
51 HEC Lausanne, University of Lausanne Switzerland 45 51
52 Prague University of Economics and Business Czech Republic 62 55
53 University of Porto – FEP | PBS Portugal 59 66 83,743
54 Excelia Business School France 61 64
55 Iéseg School of Management France 63 62
56 Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management Belgium 70 78
57 Durham University Business School UK 66 45 117,289
58 Sabanci Business School Turkey 68 67
59 ISEG – Lisbon School of Economics and Management Portugal 65
60 Rennes School of Business France 57 88
61 Luis University Italy 72 90
62 University of Strathclyde Business School UK 72 53 110,002
63 Lancaster University Management School UK 54 43
64 University of Ljubljana, School of Economics and Business Slovenia 69 84
65 HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management Germany 50 60
66 Bologna Business School Italy 90 84,170
67 University of Edinburgh Business School UK 63 52 112,554
68 ICN Business School France 77 80
68 University Carlos III de Madrid Spain 73
70 Lund University School of Economics and Management (Lusem) Sweden 78 89
71 University of Cologne Germany 72
71 Hanken School of Economics Finland 80 75
71 Skema Business School France 58 48
74 ZHAW School of Management and Law Switzerland 82 83
75 MBS (Montpellier Business School) France 76 75
76 Institut Mines-Télécom Business School France 84 84
77 University of Glasgow: Adam Smith UK 95 68 98,090
78 University of Amsterdam Business School Netherlands 91
79 Birmingham Business School UK 91 65 101,555
80 Essca School of Management France 79
81 EBS Business School Germany
82 Jönköping International Business School Sweden 88 95
82 Tum School of Management Germany 71 70
84 EM Normandie Business School France 85 86
85 IAE Aix-Marseille Graduate School of Management France 82 79
86 ESC Clermont Business School France
87 Esdes Business School France 86
88 University of Antwerp Faculty of Business and Economics Belgium 92 93
89 Corvinus University of Budapest Hungary 94
90 DCU Business School Ireland 94


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