Ranked: Italy’s best MBAs in English

Italy is casting aside its image as a monolingual country for higher education, by inviting foreign business students to study in English. The Local takes a look at the top three MBAs in the country.

Ranked: Italy's best MBAs in English
Italy's highly-ranked business schools are in Milan and Rome. Graduation photo: Shutterstock

Located in the heart of Milan – Italy’s financial capital – SDA Bocconi School of Management comes third on Forbes’ Best Business Schools global ranking.

Bocconi is one of the oldest business education institutions in Europe and offers an MBA entirely in English. An impressive 83 percent of its students are international, coming from over 30 different countries.

The university’s great location also provides students with the possibility to experience and live in one of the main cultural, artistic and innovative cities in Italy.

Daniel Shavit, a Parisian and recent Bocconi graduate, told The Local the location is“the number one reason” foreigners pick the university.

“The city is undergoing a revival and in every year which passes by, the number and quality of venues for young people just improves,” he said.

Shavit has just completed a Bachelor of International Economics and Management (BIEMF) and said Bocconi is working hard to create interesting courses and attract leading business professors.

“The course satisfied me in every way: good teachers, great classmates, and a large range of classes to partake in. Having met several MBA professors they are of a very high quality; Bocconi is making a visible effort to acquire top-tier talent,” he said.

Within three months of completing Bocconi’s MBA programme 84 percent of graduates are employed, according to the Financial Times. On average they triple their income, according to Forbes, and go on to work in multinationals located all over the world.

Beyond Bocconi

But Bocconi is by no means the only location for foreign students in Milan. The Politecnico di Milano MIP School of Management is the 24th best business school in Europe, behind Bocconi’s sixth place, according to the QS Global 200 Business School Report 2013/2014.

The university also gets the backing of the Financial Times, ranked 38th in Europe compared to Bocconi’s eighth-place. Politecnico di Milano focuses particularly on providing managerial and organizational skills to its students.

Closely behind in the QS ranking, at 47th place, is Luiss Business School. Based in the Italian capital, Luiss offers students the opportunity to develop managerial skills in the heart of Rome.

It provides fantastic opportunities with manufacturing and services companies through its connection with business group Confindustria. Additionally, the business school also maintains relationships and builds career opportunities through with its graduates through the MBA Alumni Association. 

By Tiziana Buscemi

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EU finds Italy’s Alitalia loans ‘illegal’ but airline free to keep money

The EU's antitrust authorities ruled Friday that Italy's 900 million euro loans to long-struggling airline Alitalia were "illegal", but cleared the country's new carrier to get state funding and avoid paying back the money. 


“Following our in-depth investigation, we reached the conclusion that two public loans worth EUR 900 million granted by Italy to Alitalia gave the company an unfair advantage over its competitors, in breach of EU State aid rules,” said EU competition chief Margrethe Vestager said in a statement.

“They must now be recovered by Italy from Alitalia to help restore a level playing field in the European aviation industry.”

But the authorities in Brussels simultaneously said new flag airline ITA – set to start flying next month – was not liable to reimburse the money and that 1.35 billion euros being injected into the firm by Rome did not breach state aid rules.

“Italy has demonstrated that there is a clear break between Alitalia and the new airline ITA, and that its investment in ITA is in line with terms that a private investor would have accepted,” Vestager said.

“Once ITA takes off, it is for Italy and ITA’s management to make use of this opportunity once and for all. And we will continue to do our part to ensure fair competition in the European aviation sector.”


Loss-making Alitalia was placed under state administration in 2017 but Italy has struggled to find an investor to take it over. The situation was only exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic that grounded airlines worldwide.

The Italian government gave the company two loans for the amount of EUR 600 million and EUR 300 million in 2017, as Alitalia scrambled for liquidity without access to the debt market.

Earlier this year Italy said it had reached an agreement with the European Union for a bailout that creates a new debt-free company to take over some of Alitalia’s assets – ITA.

The board of directors of ITA last month approved a binding offer for 52 of Alitalia’s aircraft, related airport slots and other assets.

The Italian government has created a 100-million-euro ($117-million) fund to reimburse Alitalia customers.

Italy provided state loans to Alitalia totalling 1.3 billion euros between 2017 and 2019.

In July, it approved another 700 million euros for ITA.

Further sums are expected in 2022 and 2023, bringing the total to 1.35 billion euros.