London is at the global heart of MBA learning


TODAY, many consider London to be the European home of the MBA. But it was only in 1965 that London Business School first offered the degree in the city.

Now the location of such well-regarded business schools as Imperial College, Cass Business School and London Business School, London can also boast good connections with the rest of the UK. Oxford University’s Saïd Business School, Cranfield School of Management, Cambridge University’s Judge Business School, and many other UK-based institutions are within a short journey of the capital.

Add to this the city’s enviable historical links throughout Europe, and to a certain extent the world, and it’s easy to understand why studying for an MBA in London can hold such a huge appeal to business school applicants.

“Put simply, London is an extremely vibrant and compelling city in which to study,” says Oliver Ashby, business development manager at London Business School. “As one of the most powerful business centres in the world, a third of the world’s largest companies are headquartered in London, a quarter of businesses here are foreign-owned and all of the leading financial institutions are represented here. Not only is the location ideal for business but, culturally, London offers a gateway into Europe and the world and an abundance of diverse activities, people and experiences.”

The Association of MBAs (AMBA), a UK-based postgraduate and management accreditation agency, gives its approval to 189 business schools in more than seventy countries. AMBA’s chief executive Sharon Bamford says that the diversity of class-intake among London’s MBA programmes means that graduates are highly employable on a global scale.

“The UK, more than anywhere else in the world, offers a complete international MBA experience, with an average of thirty to forty nationalities represented in a typical cohort of forty-five. Thus, in studying HR, strategy or international marketing, for example, a student is not just learning taught content from a professor, but developing an understanding of these subjects from their peers in the context of China, India, Latin America, Australia and Europe, and differing sectors in each of those countries.”

Emphasising the globally renowned reputation of studying business in London, the recently released QS Global 200 Business Schools Report 2012 found that the city claims the most respected business schools in Europe. The report’s European rating, compiled using MBA recruiters’ opinions on which institutions produce the most employable graduates, found that ten of the sixty-seven schools in Europe were located in, or within commutable distance to London. Four of these schools feature in the exclusive top cluster of institutions: London Business School, Oxford University’s Saïd Business School, the University of Cambridge’s Judge Business School, and Imperial College Business School.

“London is still recognised as an international hub, reflected in both its population and the companies that are based or headquartered here,” points out Erica Hensens, MBA programme director at Cass Business School. “For those who are already settled here and want to keep their base here, they have an opportunity to study a postgraduate qualification that will expose them to the rigours of academic study at this level, the organisations based in a city like London and the vast network that an MBA opens up for them, without uprooting themselves and their families. They gain experience of working in a culturally diverse environment.”

London Business School MBA

Cost: £57,500 (from Aug 2012)
Class size: 404
Average Work experience: 5.7 years
Percentage International: 89%
Source: London Business School, figures for class of 2013

Imperial College MBA

Cost: £36,000 (from Oct 2012)
Class size: 47
Average Work experience: 5.5 years
Percentage International: 87%
Source: Imperial College Business School, figures for class of 2011

Cass Business School MBA

Cost: £34,500 (from Sept 2012)
Class size: 80
Average Work experience: 7.6 years
Percentage International: 87.5%
Source: Cass Business School, figures for class of 2011