Why the best location to take your MBA may just be in London

THE CAPITAL’S status as an international hub for business is matched by a strong offering of MBA programmes. And for applicants able to afford the cost of living, it is well worth considering what London’s business schools have to offer.

In the latest Financial Times Global MBA Rankings, three London business schools rank in the top 50 (London Business School, Cass and Imperial). And if you include nearby Oxford and Cambridge, this figure jumps to five – one of the densest populations of world-class business schools on the planet. But according to Nunzio Quacquarelli, founder and managing director of QS Top MBA, it is more than just academic excellence that explains London’s allure as an MBA destination. “London’s employers have a very positive pre-disposition towards business school as a route to career progression,” he says. “And the high concentration of firms in financial services, professional services, strategy consultancy, and startups, means students have a lot of choice.”

London Business School’s Lara Berkowitz agrees. “It’s not just through career services that employers engage with students. They often take part in classroom sessions, and have an active involvement with student clubs.” Such strong links with employers have helped Cass and London Business School consistently achieve post-MBA employment rates above 90 per cent.

But London’s strength as an MBA destination is also a reflection of its highly international student cohort. Quacquarelli highlights QS research showing that 40 per cent apply to business school with a view to building networks. He points out that, at Cass and London Business School, 87 and 91 per cent respectively come from abroad, equipping students with an extensive array of contacts to draw on after graduation.

Such a broad network of contacts, all with differing backgrounds and prior business experiences, could prove invaluable in an increasingly global business landscape. “Being able to call on someone you know from another part of the world is highly useful in many industries,” says Berkowitz.