The 20 most prestigious business schools in Europe

Vienna business universityWikipedia, Peter HaasVienna University of Economics and Business, reportedly the biggest business school campus in Europe.

Business schools and their applicants are fiercely competitive — but which ones deserve the prestige of being known as Europe’s best?

QS has released their rankings of the best universities in the world by subject and region, including Europe’s 20 best schools for business and management courses. The schools number among the best in the world and have produced a raft of CEOs of the world’s biggest companies.

The rankings are built through the number of research citations the school gets per paper released, its reputation among academics, and its reputation among employers — covering both undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

20. BI Norwegian Business School (no relation to Business Insider) is the fourth-best ranked in Scandinavia.

19. Aston University in Birmingham is a surprising entry, coming much further down on most UK university rankings, but the business school has gone from strength to strength and has broken into the top 20.

18. Aalto University in Helsinki, Finland, is the country's best business school. Alumni include Jorma Ollila, former Nokia chairman and current Royal Dutch Shell chairman.

17. IMD ranks second for Switzerland and 17th for Europe as a whole, and has educated a range of CEOs from companies as big as Maersk Line, UBS and Nestle.

16. Stockholm School of Economics is Sweden's best entry on the list, and comes second for the Scandinavian countries as a whole.

15. Vienna University of Economics and Business is Austria's only entry in the top 20, beating any German universities too. It's reportedly the biggest business campus in Europe.

14. Though Imperial College London is known best for its courses in scientific and engineering subjects, it ranks highly for business too, with QS naming it as Europe's 14th best and the UK's 7th.

13. The University of St. Gallen ranks as Switzerland's best business school. It has produced CEOs of Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank and UBS before.

12. The University of Manchester's business school ranks highly, and has been on the CV of a former CEO of Tesco and a chairman of Rio Tinto.

11. La Salle Universitat Ramon Llull is Spain's only entry in the top 20, and one of the best-ranked in Southern Europe, with a campus in Barcelona.

10. Warwick Business School just sneaks into the top ten. CEOs of Heinz, Jaguar Land Rover and Citroen were educated at WBS, though it's only the fifth-best ranked in the UK.

9. Erasmus University Rotterdam is the Netherlands' only spot in the top 20. Cor Herkstroter, a former chairman of Royal Dutch Shell, is part of the alumni.

8. The University of Cambridge is the UK's fourth-highest entry on the list, a few places behind its ancient rival in the European rankings.

7. HEC Paris School of Management is France's second-highest entry on the list, and one of the older business schools in Europe, going back to the late 19th century.

6. Copenhagen Business School in Denmark is Scandinavia's best-ranked institution in the discipline.

5. London School of Economics (LSE) is the UK's third-best ranked school for business courses, and number one for economics. It has produced a significant number of Nobel Prize winners in the past.

4. The University of Oxford is ranked as the UK's second-best university for business courses, just as it's regularly ranked among the best in the world for many other subjects.

3. Bocconi University is the only Italian institution that makes it into the top 20. The institution's current president (and former student) is the ex-Italian PM Mario Monti.

1. London Business School tops the list for Europe -- it's actually ranked by QS as the best in the world, having educated future chief executives at dozens of massive firms, including HSBC, Tata Group and Marks & Spencer.

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