GISMA Business School

Since its foundation in 1999, GISMA Business School has paved the way for talented and qualified people to enter the international business world. Equipped with an interdisciplinary foundation and digital literacy, our graduates are able to pinpoint problem situations in companies of all sizes, start-ups or other organisations, and develop innovative solutions with commitment, motivation and creativity. With our goals in mind, we continue to expand and support students from all over the world to find their dream job and be successful. As a state-recognised university, GISMA Business School awards its own Bachelor's and Master's degrees. In addition, we enjoy the trust of some of the best universities in Europe to offer their degree programmes through GISMA.GISMA Business School is a privately owned business school in Germany with its main site in Hannover and a branch in Berlin. It was launched in September 1999 as a joint initiative by the German state of Lower Saxony and several large private-sector companies that were based there. In financial difficulty after its partnership with Krannert School of Management ended, GISMA was rescued from bankruptcy when it was bought by the for-profit education company Global University Systems in September 2013. As of 2018 it offers a variety of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, including MBAs, all of which are delivered and awarded by external institutions, as well as short courses in executive education.GISMA was established by the state of Lower Saxony as a private non-profit foundation in 1998 and opened in Hannover in September 1999. Among those behind the initiative were former Federal Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and several large German companies, including Continental AG, Volkswagen AG, and the steel industry conglomerate Georgsmarienhütte Holding GmbH, all of which are based in Lower Saxony. The companies supported the school by making annual donations and sending their employees to its MBA programmes. From the outset GISMA formed a partnership agreement whereby it would pay Krannert School of Management in the United States to deliver and award the MBAs. Krannert's students also had the option of studying for their MBAs at the GISMA site in Hannover. The first class of 21 MBA students graduated in July 2000.Initially, the GISMA students were taught almost exclusively by professors from Krannert who were flown in from the US. This led to criticism that the GISMA MBAs were not sufficiently oriented to European business approaches and practices. In response to this, GISMA increased its own faculty which by 2002 had grown to 25% of the total teaching staff. In addition to the 11-month full-time MBA and the two-year part-time Executive MBA programmes provided by Krannert, GISMA also started a home-grown Executive MBA in Health Management in cooperation with Hannover Medical School. It was jointly taught by faculty from GISMA and the Hannover School of Health Management. GISMA formed an additional partnership with Leibniz Universität Hannover in 2008 which allowed German graduates enrolled in GISMA to simultaneously receive MBAs from Krannert and from Leibniz Universität. In turn, Leibniz Universität and the GISMA Foundation became joint shareholders in GISMA GmbH.Our MissionGISMA educates individuals to become highly sought-after, leading members of the global business community. GISMA offers both traditional physical and modern virtual learning spaces that enable the acquisition of future-oriented competencies through state-of-the-art technology, an innovative and creative learning environment, and highly qualified staff. GISMA stands for practical and inspiring management education, where students learn from research-strong professors as well as top executives and founders. GISMA cooperates with a network of globally active organisations from business and education. It supports business and society by preparing students for management practice in a world characterised by permanent change, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. GISMA offers a learning environment characterised by a high degree of internationality.Our faculty and staff are passionate about creating the leaders of tomorrow. Students are supported in their search for internships and jobs in Germany. With our Career Centre, our students have access to numerous employers ranging from start-ups to SMEs, hidden champions to the world's largest technology companies. Collaborations between GISMA and employers enable students to find exciting job opportunities and work on joint projects. Discover our range of programmes here to start on your journey with GISMA Business School.Financial difficulties which arose in 2010 led to GISMA becoming an Associated Institute of the Leibniz Universität in 2011. It was hoped that the new arrangement would secure the business school's future. A new management board was appointed for the GISMA Foundation consisting of the Economics Minister of Lower Saxony, Jörg Bode; the President of the Leibniz Universität, Erich Barke; and the Chief Executive of the Lower Saxony Associations of Employers, Volker Müller. Later that year GISMA moved its site from Heideviertel in the outskirts of Hannover to Goethestraße in the city center close to the Leibniz Universität campus. However, by 2012 GISMA was facing an increasing problem with student recruitment and its financial difficulties resurfaced. That year it had only been able to recruit 24 students to its full-time MBA programme which at that time had a capacity of 60 students.By 2013 the school's deficit had grown to 1.2 million euros, the Lower Saxony Ministry of Economic Affairs had frozen its annual grant, and Volkswagen had canceled its sponsorship. When Krannert requested information about GISMA's potential bankruptcy in early May 2013 and did not receive a response from the school, it ceased its partnership. In June 2013 GISMA began bankruptcy proceedings. GISMA's former CEO Sonning Bredemeier told the Financial Times that there were a number of factors contributing to the school's insolvency, including the downturn in student numbers in 2012. Chris Earley, the Dean of Krannert School of Management at the time, said in an official statement that in addition to GISMA's difficulties in attracting students, "its internal struggles with turnover in its own organization ha[d] made a problematic fiscal situation even more difficult.GISMA was saved from bankruptcy in September 2013 when it was bought by the for-profit education company Global University Systems (GUS). The partnership with Leibniz Universität Hannover ended, apart from a weekend MBA programme which had enrolled students prior to the GUS takeover and ran until they completed their degrees in 2015. Following the takeover, GISMA formed new partnerships with several other European institutions (including two owned by GUS) to deliver and award its degrees. Maurits van Rooijen, chief academic officer of GUS, was appointed its acting rector. A second site was opened in Berlin in 2017. As of 2019, it is located on the campus of University of Applied Sciences Europe. In early 2019 GISMA opened a UK centre at the University of Law's Bloomsbury campus where it delivers executive education and business short courses. In 2021, GISMA Business School received official ‘University of Applied Sciences’ status which allows the school to offer bachelor's and master's degrees at its locations in Potsdam and Berlin, as well as a range of Hochschule programmes which focus on digital transformation, business, technology and agribusiness.

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