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PRESENTED BY ESCP BUSINESS SCHOOL

Four key differences between European and American business schools

In today’s global economy, it’s now fairly commonplace for business professionals to find work outside of their home countries. But it’s not just workers who move abroad to pursue their careers.

Four key differences between European and American business schools
The ESCP class of 2022 includes students from over 50 different nationalities. Photo: ESCP Business School
Even before they reach working age, bright and talented students around the world are increasingly casting their net beyond their home countries when choosing where to pursue their undergrad business degrees.
 
With the QS University Rankings placing the majority of the world’s best business schools in either the United States or Europe, many students may consider crossing the pond to get their business degree. Likewise, students from Asia, the Middle East and South America also often look to the US or Europe for the right business school. 
 
While neither location is short of highly-respected institutions, there are some significant differences between European and American business schools. 
 
ESCP has campuses in Madrid (pictured), Berlin, London, Paris, Turin and Warsaw. Photo: ESCP Business School
 
Cost
 
Not least among these is cost. Tuition costs in the United States have more than doubled since the late 1980s and now range from just over $10,000 per year for public, in-state universities to over $35,000 per year for private universities. While tuition costs in Europe vary quite a bit depending on the country, and whether or not the students come from within the EU or not, costs at European business schools are on the whole much lower than their American counterparts. 
 
This price difference is even more pronounced when you consider that bachelor’s programmes in the US typically take four years while at European schools a bachelor’s degree is completed in just three years. Does that extra year of education better position graduates from American universities for a successful business career? Not if you ask Shirley Lui, the Marketing and Recruitment Manager for the Bachelor in Management programme at the prestigious ESCP Business School.
 
“Our undergraduate programme is three years compared to the traditional four years in the US, so students are out in the workforce a year earlier. And because we require internships to be completed in second and third year, students are fully equipped with experience on their CV and necessary contacts to be employable,” Lui said. 
 
 
escp-business-school-graduates
ESCP’s Bachelor in Management programme is the only one in the world that requires students to rotate to a new campus each year. Photo: ESCP Business School
 
Global outlook
 
Lui said that European universities tend to be more international in their focus while American universities are more geared toward priming students for a business career within the United States. The international outlook of European business schools is particularly pronounced in a programme like ESCP’s Bachelor in Management (BSc) programme, in which undergrads spend three years in three different countries, immersing themselves not only in a new culture year after year but also studying alongside fellow students who come to ESCP from near and far. 
 
“Ours is the only undergraduate programme in the world where students are required to rotate and move to a new country every year. With campuses in Berlin, London, Madrid, Paris, Turin and Warsaw, we have some very attractive cities so we draw students from different parts of the world. Everyone is very open minded about learning from each other and actively experiencing their new home city, especially if they moved abroad,” she said. 
 
ESCP’s Class of 2022 includes students over 50 different nationalities covering the Americas, Africa, Europe, Asia, Middle East, and Oceania. In addition to their main business studies, those students also have the local language built into their curriculum, something Lui said makes them adaptable for international careers anywhere in the world.
 
“Our students speak multiple languages and get an international outlook and approach that will help them in the workplace and make them excellent leaders,” she said. “It is often overlooked, but soft skills and interpersonal skills are very important aspects as people work differently around the world.”
 
 
Imagine studying in not one but three historic European cities. Photo: ESCP Business School
 
History
 
With the United States still a relatively young country, another major difference between American and European universities is their age. Not only is Europe home to nine of the ten oldest universities in the world, it’s also where students can find the world’s very first business school: ESCP. 
 
ESCP Business School was established in 1819 in Paris and was France’s only business school for some 50 years. The school’s unique multi-country concept began in the 1970s with the establishment of campuses in the UK and Germany. Other campuses were added through the years, with the most recent expansion being the establishment of a sixth European campus in Warsaw. 
 
“Our six urban campuses are firmly located in very international and corporate metropolitan cities, which gives students a different vibrant experience each year,” Lui said. 
 
 
Shirley Lui. Photo: ESCP Business School 
 
Approach and style
 
While Lui said that American business schools like Harvard and the Wharton School of Business are clearly among the best institutions in the world, those schools are better-known for their postgraduate programmes. She said that even though ESCP also offers a number of highly-ranked Masters programmes itself, the BSc in Management more than adequately prepares students for the real world. A big reason for that is the mandatory 12-week internships that students complete in their second and third years. There’s also the optional choice of doing an eight-week internship in the first year. 
 
“Because we have such a heavy emphasis on school projects, internships and social impact projects, students are constantly challenged with using their creativity and entrepreneurial spirit to take initiative and solving problems,” she said. “Students work on practical, real-life cases and business simulations forcing them to think on their feet. But because of the diversity of our cohorts, they also get to learn from their peers who have different approaches, too.” 
 
While Lui said that Europe and the United States are both home to numerous quality institutions, she naturally thinks that ESCP has distinguished itself from the pack with a unique BSc in Management unlike any other. She said the rotational model of the programme, and the immersive language and cultural learning that comes with, is an unparalleled enriching experience. 
 
“Our international focus and our diverse cohort are things students can’t find in an American school. You get to move to a different country every year and you do it with classmates are going through the same thing as you,” she said. “How great is that?”
 
Interested in a 3-year Bachelor in Management degree with international focus and real-world experience? Check out ESCP’s website to receive more information on the programme, course fees, scholarships and more
 

BREXIT

‘It’s their loss’: Italian universities left off UK special study visa list

The UK is missing out by barring highly skilled Italian graduates from accessing a new work visa, Italy's universities minister said on Wednesday.

'It's their loss': Italian universities left off UK special study visa list

Universities and Research Minister Cristina Messa said she was disappointed by the UK’s decision not to allow any graduates of Italian universities access to its ‘High Potential Individual’ work permit.

“They’re losing a big slice of good graduates, who would provide as many high skills…it’s their loss,” Messa said in an interview with news agency Ansa, adding that Italy would petition the UK government to alter its list to include Italian institutions.

Ranked: Italy’s best universities and how they compare worldwide

“It’s a system that Britain obviously as a sovereign state can choose to implement, but we as a government can ask (them) to revise the university rankings,” she said.

The High Potential Individual visa, which launches on May 30th, is designed to bring highly skilled workers from the world’s top universities to the UK in order to compensate for its Brexit-induced labour shortage.

Successful applicants do not require a job offer to be allowed into the country but can apply for one after arriving, meaning potential employers won’t have to pay sponsorship fees.

Students sit on the steps of Roma Tre University in Rome.

Students sit on the steps of Roma Tre University in Rome. Photo by TIZIANA FABI / AFP.

The visa is valid for two years for those with bachelor’s and master’s degrees and three years for PhD holders, with the possibility of moving into “other long-term employment routes” that will allow the individual to remain in the country long-term.

READ ALSO: Eight things you should know if you’re planning to study in Italy

Italy isn’t the only European country to have been snubbed by the list, which features a total of 37 global universities for the 2021 graduation year (the scheme is open to students who have graduated in the past five years, with a different list for each graduation year since 2016).

The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, EPFL Switzerland, Paris Sciences et Lettres, the University of Munich, and Sweden’s Karolinska Institute are the sole European inclusions in the document, which mainly privileges US universities.

Produced by the UK’s Education Ministry, the list is reportedly based on three global rankings: Times Higher Education World University Rankings, the Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings, and The Academic Ranking of World Universities.

Messa said she will request that the UK consider using ‘more up-to-date indicators’, without specifying which alternative system she had in mind.

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