Little separates the ESADE and IESE business schools in Barcelona, as their EDUopinions comment sections will tell you. Students portray the colleges as challenging and elite centres of excellence which will provide those who attend with a top class education.
Both universities’ first and most obvious advantage is their location – a plus students at both institutions appear to be very aware and appreciative of. One EDUopinions commenter and ESADE alum note how, with the Barcelona location, there is a ‘new language to learn as opposed to most other European business schools’, a vibrant social life, and that it is a ‘hot scene for tech startups.’
After the geographical upper hand, perhaps the second most frequently mentioned positively for both ESADE and IESE is the multiculturalism and diversity among their students. The gratefulness they have for the chance to meet colleagues and friends from many different countries and cultural backgrounds is especially evident throughout the comment sections, for example, this is one of many similar comments on the IESE business school.
These two centres of business education seem to stand out as places to meet, and more importantly, befriend and enjoy the company of like-minded people.
A third element appearing several times in the comments of ESADE and IESE alike is the practical and useful way in which students are taught. Both schools seem to value the use of case studies in their teaching greatly, and students rave on EDUopinions about how this thoroughly prepared them for the reality that comes after business school.
The sense of refreshment is palpable as one reads the comments of ESADE and IESE alumni delighted to have completed studies at a school where they think beyond the theoretical. Along with the use of case studies, the practical teaching methods are made possible by teachers who themselves have real experience in business, which they then transfer to students. ESADE and IESE, you can never say, have their head in the sand when it comes to the real world of modern business.
A final point which seems to find its place in praise of students for both of these universities is, as previously touched on, the teachers – as this IESE commentator states.
EDUopinions users are commenting on both the schools mention the support they felt from the teachers, their help in networking, of course, their practical teaching methods which allow students to think for themselves, and their willingness to fairly reward hard work. As one previously mentioned ESADE commentator says, the ‘actual content’ covered in business schools is similar wherever one goes, what makes the difference is how you are taught, and the people around you. ESADE and IESE seem to have cracked how to make themselves stand out from the pack in the world of business schools.
There are unsurprisingly a few differences between the institutes. The 5-star EDUopinions rating system ranks ESADE and IESE as almost identical – ESADE averaging out on 4.6 stars, IESE on 4.7. Despite the 0.1 stars in favour of the IESE business school, it is not so easy to say that IESE is a better institute. IESE certainly trumps ESADE in its global locations (IESE has four campuses – in Barcelona, Madrid, Munich, and New York, and offices in Sao Paulo), its high-quality facilities are mentioned more so than those at ESADE. There is also a mention on EDUopinions of good health insurance and time off at IESE. ESADE, meanwhile, appears to trump IESE with its associations (their wide range of types, and their benefits for networking and socialising), and their exchange opportunities (rivalling IESE’s upper hand in several campuses around the globe). ESADE also offers both undergraduate and postgraduate courses, while IESE, only the latter. If you are looking to know which school is better, there is likely no hard and fast answer; it simply depends on what you are looking for in the course of study.
Perhaps the 0.1 difference in rating between the two schools lies in the rare negative comments left by ESADE alumni. The ‘internal management’ is mentioned as leaving ‘much to be desired’ and is said to be slow.
This comment seems to cover all of the criticisms there are on ESADE – which is very few amongst all the positives.
A further aspect in which IESE may have a competitive leg up is their website. While ESADE’s website is not bad by any stretch of the imagination, IESE’s is simply a more polished-looking final product. IESE seem, by even a brief look at their site, to have invested more – be that time or money – into their online presence. IESE’s web page is warm and attractive to the eye, while still coming across aesthetically as professional and slick. The dark grey and graduated red colour scheme is rich but not too heavy to look at, the size of the text is bigger and therefore far easier to read than that of ESADE’s home page, and, while IESE have undoubtedly more information laid out in front of the viewer on every page of their site (in the form of sidebars, etc.) it appears to all be useful links, events, and additional information.
While ESADE’s site, as mentioned above, is not a bad or uninviting page by any means, it still pales in comparison to that of IESE. It is difficult to precisely lay a finger on the reasons as to why. The colour scheme of varying shades of blue on a white background is clear and fresh, and there is less information on the screen compared to IESE’s site – which may make ESADE’s web presence a little more simple and straightforward to navigate at times. However, the overall ESADE online experience is not quite as enjoyable as the IESE one.
In the end, if one were to choose between ESADE and IESE, it would depend, as stated earlier, on what precisely you are looking to achieve from your studies. You can, though, take comfort in that fact that whichever institute you were to attend, you would receive a top-drawer level of education to prepare you for life after study.
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