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Choosing where to study

Best MBA programmes in the world

Which university is the best for an MBA course? See where business schools around the world rank for MBAs.

Business executive giving presentation to corporate team

The MBA is a qualification sought out by thousands of budding business professionals. The average salary for graduates of AMBA-accredited business schools is over £82,000 a year, and when you look around the world it's a similar story. Graduates of Harvard Business School, for example, earn up to $180,000 a year three years after leaving university.

Our list counts down the top five MBA programmes in the world based on the Financial Times Global MBA Ranking 2020.

5. China Europe International Business School (CEIBS)

Accreditation: AACSB
Current cost: 438,000 Chinese Yuan (£48,139) for the entire course

Group of people chatting in a meeting room

CEIBS's MBA programme is certainly on the rise. The programme was only launched 25 years ago but has consistently ranked in the top 25 globally by FT. While CEIBS can't match the history and tradition of many of the other top ten universities, their stats are just as impressive: 94% of graduates are employed within three months and the salary increase is a staggering 187%, the highest of any programme. Expect CEIBS to become a mainstay of this list in years to come.

4. INSEAD

Accreditation: AACSB, AMBA, EQUIS
Current cost: €87,000 (£73,159) for the entire programme in 2020, and €89,000 (£74,841) for 2021

Two businessmen and a businesswoman talking

The MBA programme at INSEAD lasts a mere ten months, making it a seriously intensive course of study. Student thinking and outlook is challenged via a combination of study groups, classroom learning, case studies and computer simulations. INSEAD also ranks 8th overall for 'value', so you'll get more for your money there than at any of the others in this top ten.

3. Stanford Graduate School of Business

Accreditation: AACSB
Current cost: $73,062 (£55,673) per academic year

Outside view of a Stanford University building

The MBA programme at SGSB fancies itself a rather different prospect to other business school offerings. It aims to take students on a personal journey rather than provide a typical MBA course. It does this by focussing on three key areas: personal leadership and development; critical, analytical thinking; and creativity and innovative spirit.

2. The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

Accreditation: AACSB
Current cost: $81,378 (£62,009) per academic year

Outside view of a University of Pennsylvania hall

Philadelphia's most notable business school, Wharton, hasn't ranked outside the world's top five MBA programmes this millennia. The school's transformative MBA sees 94% of its graduates in employment three months after leaving, enjoying an average salary of $211,543 a year.

1. Harvard Business School

Accreditation: AACSB
Current cost: $73,440 (£55,957) per academic year

Front of the Harvard Business School building

Just like its university, Harvard Business School has legendary status and the fact it offers the world's best MBA programme only serves to support this. If you've got the smarts and funds to study there, it's surely worth your consideration.

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