A recent study by ESADE Business School placed Spain as the fourth most popular country in the world in terms of attracting talent for advanced degrees in business. Placed only behind the US, UK and Canada, Spain was therefore ranked as the second country in Europe when it comes to attracting MBA talent.
Barcelona stood out as the most attractive city in Spain for foreign MBA students, and ranked as the eighth city in the world and the top city in Europe per million inhabitants, more popular than Paris or London.
The study, which is called MBA City Monitor and was published by Ivan Bofarull, the Director of the Global Intelligence Office at ESADE, focussed on the importance of cities as magnets of talent in an increasingly competitive market. It drew on issues such as talent mobility, the disruptive potential of urbanisation and the growth of a highly skilled and global class for whom study abroad is an increasingly fundamental aspect of their education and training.
American cities in particular dominated the ranking, with cities like New York, Boston and Chicago heading the list of foreign MBA students. With over 10,000 enrolled foreign students, the US appears to be in a league alone, compared to the UK’s second place, with a mere 1,400 international MBA students.
The study highlights the importance played by international MBA students in entrepreneurial projects, especially in countries like Spain and France, whose labour markets are struggling to keep afloat. Bofarull argues that entrepreneurs in these countries are often foreign MBA students, and that part of the current upsurge in technology in the US lies in the country’s appeal to international students.