Germany: The MBA powerhouse of Europe

Business schools in Germany are climbing up the international rankings fast

European MBA rankings are dominated by a small cadre of business schools. The popularity of institutions such as LBS, Insead, HEC, Rotterdam School of Management and Instituto de Empresa is evidence that the UK, France and Spain take management education very seriously. So why isn't Germany, arguably Europe's foremost industrial power, currently at the top table?

A German MBA is about to set the record straight. As the Berlin-based European School of Management and Technology (ESMT) heads for its 10th anniversary, its full-time and executive MBA will soon be eligible to enter the Financial Times' rankings. The private business school is funded by a consortium of 25 of Germany's biggest multinational companies, including Allianz, Daimler-Benz, Siemens, Bosch, BMW and Deutsche Bank. It is already ranked ninth in Europe and 16th in the world for executive education by the Financial Times. ESMT's full-time and executive MBA are now set to prove their strength too.

The MBA is a relative newcomer in Germany, partly due to the fact that managers there are already among the most highly educated in the world. But the competition for global talent and the emergence of a global executive elite has made the acceptance of the qualification inevitable.

ESMT's executive MBA is designed to cater for the needs of executives at top international companies, based mainly in Germany, and 80 per cent of which sponsor their employees to undertake the course. The business school also attracts students from Russia and the former Eastern bloc. ESMT's latest corporate sponsor is the Russian energy giant Gazprom. "Berlin is at the heart of Europe and the eurozone, but it is also a bridge between East and West. We are only 50 miles from the border with Poland. If any international student wants to experience what it is like to be at the heart of Europe then where better to study than with us," says Jörg Rocholl, the president of ESMT.

ESMT has 40 students on its one year full-time MBA programme and 50 on its executive MBA, which is taught over 18 months. Students come from across Germany, Europe and around the world. Since East and West were reunified in 1990, Berlin has become the political and cultural hub of the new German republic. Parliament and all of the government ministries are based in Berlin and young technology businesses are a growth sector. "We specialise in international management for technology and industry," says Nick Barniville, director of the MBA programme at the school.

Berlin is a young city in both the age of its population and its outlook. Since the wall came down in 1989, the city has reinvented itself. East Berlin in particular has been transformed by the rebuilding of landmark public buildings like the Neues Museum and the ongoing restoration of the Unter den Linden while historic districts have been revived with modern apartments, boutiques and street cafés. Berlin's vibrant social life is a major attraction. "Berlin is a great international city. A recent workforce survey has told us that young Germans would take a 30 per cent cut in salary just to live in Berlin," says Barniville.

Located right in the centre of the former East Berlin, ESMT occupies what was once the headquarters of the former German Democratic Republic and a showcase of socialist modernist architecture. "Our building is the German equivalent of Grade I listed. It's ironic that management students learn business theory in rooms covered in murals depicting noble farm and factory workers, and heroes of communism," says Barniville.

I meet a group of students fresh from an integrative leadership exercise. How do they view their business school? Chandana Thirumalasetty, 25, a business development executive from Bangalore, is set to graduate in December 2012: "The ESMT MBA is personalised and customised. My focus is on finance, operations and strategy and I'm about to start a consulting project with ThyssenKrupp in Dortmund as part of my studies." Gizem Baskocagil, 28, a commercial banking specialist from Istanbul, heard about ESMT through the QS MBA World Fair. "A couple of friends were studying the MBA and said I should do it. Berlin is an amazing city and I live with other students in the Kreuzberg district, which is also the heart of the Turkish community, so I feel right at home. Sponsored by Allianz and from the USA, Youssef B'lal, 45, has brought his family over from Minneapolis to live in Berlin while he studies for his MBA. "I'm about to take part in a consulting project in India for two to three weeks helping a green energy start-up. The MBA is enjoyable and challenging."

Most of the students will be looking for work in Germany after graduation. The country has recently relaxed its visa restrictions, granting foreign graduates leave to stay for 18 months while they look for a job.

Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace in Summer's Supermarket Secrets
tv All of this year's 15 contestants have now been named
Arts and Entertainment
Inside the gallery at Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow
tvSimon Usborne goes behind-the-scenes to watch the latest series
Life and Style
A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
newsThe industry's trade body issued the moratorium on Friday
News
Winchester College Football (universally known as Winkies) is designed to make athletic skill all but irrelevant
Life...arcane public school games explained
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Could we see Iain back in the Bake Off tent next week?
tv Contestant teased Newsnight viewers on potential reappearance
Life and Style
Silvia says of her famous creation: 'I never stopped wearing it. Because I like to wear things when they are off the radar'
fashionThe fashion house celebrated fifteen years of the punchy pouch with a weighty tome
News
i100(and it's got nothing to do with the Great British Bake Off)
News
Angelina Jolie with her father Jon Voight
peopleAsked whether he was upset not to be invited, he responded by saying he was busy with the Emmy Awards
News
Bill Kerr has died aged 92
peopleBill Kerr appeared in Hancock’s Half Hour and later worked alongside Spike Milligan and Peter Sellers
News
news It's not just the world that's a mess at the moment...
Sport
footballPremiership preview: All the talking points ahead of this weekend's matches
News
Keira Knightley poses topless for a special September The Photographer's issue of Interview Magazine, out now
people
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
News
i100
Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in his Liverpool shirt for the first time
football
Life and Style
tech
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

Junior Analyst - Graduate - 6 Month fixed term contract

£17000 - £20000 Per Annum Bonus, Life Insurance + Other Benefits: Clearwater P...

Nursery Room Leader

Negotiable: Randstad Education Plymouth: JOB DESCRIPTION - NURSERY ROOM LEADER...

Recruitment Consultants - Banking & Finance

£20000 - £30000 per annum + OTE £40 - £50K first year: SThree: SThree Group an...

Nursery Room Leader

Negotiable: Randstad Education Plymouth: JOB DESCRIPTION - NURSERY ROOM LEADER...

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone