Tuesday 19th February. Prof. Dr. Andreas Pinkwart. Dean of HHL Leipzig, photographed in London for FT Business Education.

HHL Leipzig in Germany has become the latest business school to forge links with a for-profit education provider to help it expand the footprint of its teaching. The deal will broaden the capital base of the school and will also fund an expansion in research, says Andreas Pinkwart, dean of HHL.

Under the deal with the Cognos Education Group, one of the biggest private education groups in Germany, Cognos will take a 25 per cent shareholding in the business school - other shareholders include the Leipzig Chamber of Industry and Commerce and the Association of Friends of HHL.

A specialist in blended learning and executive education, Cognos will provide the technology support for HHL to expand, says Prof Pinkwart. “It can be very cost-intensive to have the infrastructure for e-learning.

“It [the Cognos platform] will give us the opportunity to widen our programme supply to the bigger cities in Germany and maybe abroad. Leipzig is not so close to the main economic regions [in Germany].”

The dean says there are no plans to launch additional programmes but to teach the school’s flagship Masters in Management and MBA programmes more widely. “We want to be still and strong in general management.”

The money invested by Cognos will also be used to fund research specifically in the ares of leadership and regulation, says Prof Pinkwart. “In both fields we have the opportunity to bring in new professors and set up new research centres.”

HHL is the second German business school to announce changes in shareholding in recent weeks. In early September Gisma, in Hannover, announced that it had been bailed out by Global University Systems, the for-profit education group that owns the London School of Business and Finance, following financial difficulties at the school.

But Prof Pinkwart stresses that the Cognos partnership “is an additional investment in our strategy that strengthens our autonomy.“ The partnership is in line with other corporate investments at the school, he says, most recently that of car-maker Porsche.


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