Copy Press Release: Which universities pay the most? Top 30 rankings
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NOTE: if using the data below, it is essential that you refer to as ‘salary-benchmarking site’ and use hyperlinks. 

Top 30 European universities
with the highest paid graduates

With UK universities increasing their tuition fees, European universities outside the UK have become an even more attractive option for students. But which produce the best paid graduates? has analysed 5,622 alumni's (5-10 years' professional experience) salaries and bonuses who graduated from a European university with a Bachelor or Masters degree. The results challenge the usual rankings with a breakthrough from Switzerland dominating other countries.The UK comes in at 5th place

  University Country Median Pay
1 University of St. Gallen Switzerland £160,000
2 University of Zurich Switzerland £140,000
3 Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich Switzerland £135,000
4 Zurich University of Applied Science Switzerland £127,000
5 London Business School UK £102,000
6 HEC Paris France £97,000
7 MINES ParisTech France £91,000
8 Ecole Polytechnique France £88,000
9 ESLSCA Business School France £86,000
10 London School of Economics UK £85,000
11 ESCP Europe France £84,000
12 Ecole des Ponts ParisTech France £83,000
13 Erasmus University Rotterdam Netherlands £83,000
14 Bristol University UK £82,000
15 Cambridge University & Judge Business School UK £82,000
16 Oxford University & Said Business School UK £82,000
17 Ecole Centrale Paris France £81,000
18 Imperial College London & Tanaka Business School UK £75,000
19 Maastricht University Netherlands £74,000
20 Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management Belgium £73,000
21 EM Lyon France £72,000
22 ESSEC France £71,000
23 Leuven University Belgium £70,000
24 City University London & Cass Business School UK £70,000
25 Warwick University & Business School UK £69,000
26 Catholic Institute of Business Administration Comillas Spain £68,000
27 EDHEC Business School France £67,000
28 Bocconi University & SDA School of Management Italy £66,000
29 University of Lund Sweden £66,000
30 Paris Dauphine University France £65,000
Table 1. Based on alumni (5-10 years' experience) annual total pay (salary + bonus) from European Universities & Business Schools

Swiss Breakthrough. Four Swiss universities hold the top spot in our league table.These prestigious institutions list alumni such as Nick Hayek, CEO of Swatch Group, Paul Achleitner, Chairman of Deutsche Bank to name but a few [1]. With an excellent education system and thriving economy, Switzerland topping the rankings is not a huge surprise. St Gallen's Masters' programme is particularly popular and well-regarded by employers in the financial sector in Switzerland which pays substantial bonuses early on.

Masters Vs Bachelors. French universities also appear high on the list. Traditionally, French students graduate with a Master's degree. Only recently have French universities started offering Bachelor programs. 90% of respondents from French universities held a Master's degree compared to only 50% from Oxford or Cambridge which could explain how they can demand high pay right from the start of their career.
Country Cost of Living Index
Switzerland 125.67
UK 72.73
France 76.89
Netherlands 73.03
Belgium 76.21
Spain 57.01
Italy 69.65
Sweden 77.63
Table 2. Figures from 

Pay indexed on cost of living. Most graduates start their career in the country in which they completed their studies. While it may seem that Swiss graduates earn 40% more than their UK peers from top universities, when adjusting for Switzerland's 40% higher cost of living [2], the pay gap disappears.

Best return on investment? Tuition fees in most European universities are much lower than the UK. At the University of St. Gallen, tuition fees are less than £2,000 a year compared to £9,000 for most UK institutions. After obtaining a degree at St. Gallen, why not start working in the UK to benefit both from low tuition fees and avoid an expensive lifestyle in Switzerland?

Alice Leguay, Co-Founder & COO at said: 'The question of return on investment is at the forefront of most students' mind when they look to enroll on a course. Being mindful that Masters' fees tend to be higher than Bachelor's, they clearly drive high pay levels upon graduation. Some universities also see a high proportion of their students start their careers in the high paying financial sector, which a clear aim: pay off their debts and polish off their formal education with hands on experience before moving to other horizons.'


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