GISMA Business School

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GISMA Business School
GISMA Hannover.jpg
Type Private business school
Established 1999
Managing Director Thorsten Thiel
Location Hanover, Germany
Campus Urban

GISMA Business School, (German International Graduate School of Management and Administration) is a privately owned business school located in Hannover, Germany. It was launched in 1999 as a joint initiative by the state of Lower Saxony and private-sector enterprises. In financial difficulty after a 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 2013.[1][2]


GISMA was founded in 1999 as a private non-profit organisation of the state of Lower Saxony. Among its founders was former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder. According to reports, the idea of setting up an international school in one of the industrial regions of Germany came following a meeting with Bill Gates, bankers and CEOs. The initiative was supported by 26 German companies. During the initial years, organisations such as Continental AG, Georgsmarienhütte Holding GmbH and Volkswagen supported the business school through annual grants and by enrolling their staff onto GISMA's MBA programme.[3][4]

GISMA started offering an MBA awarded by Purdue University and delivered in partnership with Purdue's Krannert Graduate School of Management. The programme was delivered in two modules: an 11-month full-time programme and a two-year executive MBA programme run with a consortium of six partners from 1999 to 2013.[2] GISMA also built an academic partnership with German public university Leibniz Universität Hannover, through which it offered a weekend MBA.[5][6]

In 2012 GISMA began running into financial difficulties and started bankruptcy proceedings in June 2013. By that time its 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.[7] Its former CEO Sonning Bredemeier told the Financial Times that there were a number of factors contributing to the school's insolvency, including a downturn in student numbers in 2012 with only 24 students enrolling in the MBA program that year.[5][8]

In September 2013, GISMA was acquired by Global University Systems.[2] Following the acquisition, GISMA's partnerships with both Purdue and Leibniz universities ended. In 2014 the school signed an agreement with Maastricht School of Management to deliver an MBA and a Masters in Management in Hannover.[9] In 2016, GISMA announced two further academic partnership agreements. An agreement with Grenoble Ecole de Management would see both schools delivering Grenoble's MBA and Master in International Business programmes at a new campus in Berlin due to open in early 2017.[9] A second agreement with Porto Business School (part of University of Porto) would deliver Porto's Magellan MBA in Hannover.[10]


  1. ^ Lavelle, Louis (6 September 2013). "German B-School survives brush with Bankruptcy". Bloomberg News. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Bradshaw, Della (5 September 2013). "Gisma rescued by for-profit education company". Financial Times. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  3. ^ Schröter Barbara (13 April 2002). "Karriere-Start an der Leine". Die Welt. Retrieved 18 January 2017 (German).
  4. ^ Schwertfeger, Bärbel (1 September 2002) "Zunehmend europäischer". Die Welt. Retrieved 18 January 2017 (German).
  5. ^ a b Bradshaw, Della (21 June 2013). "Gisma begins insolvency process with future of school in doubt". Financial Times. Retrieved 18 January 2017.
  6. ^ Schwertfeger, Bärbel (20 June 2011). "GISMA is now an Associated Institute of Leibniz Universität". MBA Journal. Retrieved 18 January 2017.
  7. ^ Döhner, Saskia (31 October 2014). "Die Gisma will wieder vorn mitspielen". Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung. Retrieved 18 January 2017 (German).
  8. ^ Schwertfeger, Bärbel (2 May 2013). "Gisma Business School kurz vor der Pleite?". MBA Journal. Retrieved 18 January 2017 (German).
  9. ^ a b Schwertfeger, Bärbel (22 February 2016). "Gisma eröffnet Standort in Berlin". MBA Journal. Retrieved 18 January 2017 (German).
  10. ^ Schwertfeger, Bärbel (6 June 2016). "Gisma startet Magellan MBA". MBA Journal. Retrieved 18 January 2017 (German).

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Coordinates: 52°22′29″N 9°43′45″E / 52.37472°N 9.72917°E / 52.37472; 9.72917