HHL celebrates its 120th anniversary

by Media Relations | February 03, 2020
HHL celebrates its founding in Leipzig 120 years ago and wants to dedicate itself even more to the subject of digital transformation.

Ideas for the Future

The jubilee week celebrating the 120th anniversary of HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management concluded on Friday, November 2, 2018. In the jubilee speeches, presentations and panels the university took stock looking back on its entrepreneurial achievements and presented its ideas for the future.

HHL is Germany’s oldest business school

“For the last 120 years, we have been successfully training future managers here in Leipzig. HHL is not only Germany’s oldest and thus first business school but also one of the most innovative ones,” emphasized Prof. Stephan Stubner, Dean of HHL, in his welcome speech opening the festivities and the congress attended by over 400 guests from politics and science.

HHL’s success can be quantified. In the last 20 years alone, more than 280 companies were founded with HHL as their breeding ground which generated more than 10,000 jobs. These include three extraordinarily successful startups classified as unicorns, which are valued at more than one billion dollars. They are AboutYou, Delivery Hero and trivago and were all co-founded by HHL graduates.

About HHL Leipzig Read more

With the opening of the Handelshochschule Leipzig in 1898, management education in Germany was established at university level. It started off in the building of the Public Commercial College in Löhrstraße where the city’s Community College is located today.

Later, the school moved into (Ratsfrei-)Schulstraße before eventually settling in Ritterstraße 8/10 in 1910. After World War II, it was integrated into the University of Leipzig as the Department of Economics and Social Science and transformed into the Domestic Trade Training Center in 1953. Ten years later, it became a state-run business school until the demise of the GDR.

In 1992, the Leipzig Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Association of Friends of HHL secured the future of HHL as a private, non-profit limited liability company.

Digital transformation management

The numerously honored and well-known man of finance and banking Friedrich von Metzler praised “the courage and determination of HHL” and its method of instruction. He stated, HHL promotes and supports people thinking outside the box. Just teaching facts is not enough. You prepare your students for a future which, today, we do not at all know what it is going to look like.” In his visionary keynote address for the anniversary conference, Fabian J.G. Westerheide examined the challenging relationship between Artificial Intelligence and humanity.

Veronika Bienert, CFO of Siemens Financial Services, confirmed the rapid development which led even an enterprise steeped in tradition to a startup strategy and stated, “Digitalization questions the products and solutions which the company offers.” Julian Deutz, CFO of Axel Springer SE, substantiated the necessity to change and estimated the latest proportion of the digital business in current sales of the Springer publishing house at “over 80 percent”.

Further enhancement of the program profiles

HHL has adapted its programs and Prof. Stubner presented the enhancement of the school’s profile to the general public for the first time at the ceremony. The focus of the general management education is on its two pillars — entrepreneurship and leadership which both contribute to mastering the challenges of digital transformation in a major way.

The programs will also be complemented by more content from the fields of new technologies and programming. Additionally, the offer of on-the-job continuing education will facilitate digital transformation in small and medium-sized enterprises as well as public administration.

First business school to receive AACSB accreditation

Since then, HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management has become one of the leading business schools and, once again, a trailblazer. It was the first business school in Germany to be internationally accredited by AACSB, to offer programs in English as well as the first part-time MBA program and to have the first German chairs for business ethics and entrepreneurship.

The goal of the first business school established in German-speaking Europe is to educate effective, responsible and entrepreneurially-minded leaders. HHL stands out for its excellent teaching, its clear research focus, its effective knowledge transfer into practice as well as its outstanding student services. The courses of study include full and part-time Master in Management programs as well as MBA programs, a Doctoral Program and Executive Education. HHL is accredited by AACSB International.

HHL’s Master in Management is one of the best academic programs worldwide; the school’s Career Service even achieved fifth place in the global 2018 M.Sc. Ranking by the Financial Times.

As of the 2018 fall semester, a total of 750 students from 65 countries have enrolled at HHL. They are taught by more than 75 business experts and are completing six different academic programs. Additionally, HHL also has a constantly expanding continuing education offer for companies and executives.

The Deans of HHL

The current Dean of HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management, Prof. Stephan Stubner (right), celebrated the 120th anniversary of the school with six of his predecessors. From left to right:

  • Heribert Meffert (1995–1997)
  • Gert Assmus (1997–2000)
  • Arnis Vilks (2000–2005 and as interim 2010–2011)
  • Hans Wiesmeth (2005–2010), currently President of the Saxon Academy of Sciences and Humanities
  • Andreas Pinkwart (2011–2017), currently Minister of Economic Affairs, Innovation, Digitalization and Energy of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia