The best universities in Europe if you want to be a top economist

Castle Arenberg, part of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium.Juhanson, WikipediaKU Leuven in Belgium made it into the top 20.

Economics as a university subject has boomed in popularity since the financial crisis, but which European institutions are producing the best graduates?

QS recently released its worldwide university rankings, which it has broken down by both by region and subject.

The university ranking is based on the institution’s reputation with academics and employers, and the number of research citations the school gets per paper published in a specific discipline — in this case, economics and econometrics.

20) Maastricht University is the Netherlands' fourth-best institute for an education in economics, according to QS. Sixty per cent of business and economics students come from abroad and many courses are taught in English.

19) Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich comes second for Germany. This is where controversial German economist Hans-Werner Sinn teaches.

18) KU Leuven is Belgium's second-highest ranking university for economics. It's the oldest university in the country and many of the courses are offered in English.

17) Aarhus University is the only Danish university that makes the top 20, and the country's biggest. It has one economics Nobel Prize to its name: Dale T. Mortensen, who taught at Aarhus from 2006 to 2010, won the award five years ago.

16) The university of Bonn is Germany's best-ranked school for economics, according to QS. Economist Joseph Schumpeter taught at the school, and it's where Karl Marx got an education.

15) Université catholique de Louvain is Belgium's top entry on the list. The school produced Philippe Van Parijs, an economist known for his proposals for a universal basic income.

14) ETH Zurich, Switzerland's only entry to the top 20, is probably best known for producing famous theoretical physicist Albert Einstein, who later taught at the school.

13) The University of Amsterdam is another of the many Dutch universities that make it into the list. Like the others in the Benelux region, many of the courses are offered in English.

12) Erasmus University Rotterdam is the second-best ranked university for economics in the Netherlands. It's home of the Tinbergen Institute, named for 1969 Nobel laureate Jan Tinbergen, who worked at the school.

11) The Charles III University of Madrid is the second-best for economics in Spain, and the third-best in southern Europe overall.

10) Tilburg University makes it into the ranks as the Nethlands' top school for economics -- probably because the institute started off as the 'Roman Catholic University of Commerce' and as a result it has a wider range of economics-related courses than any other subject.

9) The Stockholm School of Economics is Scandinavia's top school for the subject. Former Professor Gunnar Myrdal got the Nobel Prize in 1974, shared with Friedrich Hayek.

8) The University of Warwick makes it into the top 10, but it's only the UK's sixth-best higher education institute for economics. Andy Haldane, the Bank of England's chief economist, did his postgraduate degree at the university.

7) The London Business School is a postgraduate-only institution, unlike most of the other schools listed. For business and management studies alone, it's ranked as the best in the world, beating Harvard University.

5) Bocconi University is Italy and Southern Europe's highest-ranked institution for economics. Economist Mario Monti, who was drafted in as Italy's PM during the euro crisis, went to the school.

4) University College London is the fourth-highest ranked institution for economics in the UK (and Europe). Mahatma Gandhi is likely the institution's most famous alumni.

3.) Cambridge University sneaks into the top three, beaten by the institution it has rivalled for centuries. Cambridge was home to Lord Keynes, and has consistently ranked as having one of the best economics departments in the world.

2) Oxford University misses out on the top spot for economics by one place. Four Oxford graduates and five academic staff have received Nobel prizes in economics alone.

1) The London School of Economics is the best school for the subject in Europe, and the fourth-best in the world. Twelve staff members or former students gained the Nobel prize for economic sciences.

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