Rhineland-Palatinate’s Minister for Science and Health Clemens Hoch visited WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management and learned about the special portfolio and challenges of a private business school. He showed great interest in the WHU's growth strategy and its attempt to increase its international competitiveness.
Clemens Hoch, Minister for Science and Health in Rhineland-Palatinate, visited WHU for an initial exchange with Prof. Dr. Markus Rudolf, WHU Dean. Even though WHU, which was founded in 1984 as a private business school, does not rely on state or federal government funding, it plays a crucial role in the state's higher education landscape. This is because many aspiring top managers, entrepreneurs, and startup founders seek an education at renowned international business schools. The best and most well-known of these are to be found in France, Spain, Italy, Great Britain, the US, and China. Their names are HEC Paris, London Business School, SDA Bocconi (Italy) and Yale School of Management (USA). "We offer such high-class management education here in Rhineland-Palatinate. It goes without saying that we cooperate with the top international schools in order to be able to send our students all over the world for semesters abroad and mandatory internships," Dean Markus Rudolf explained to the minister. "Moreover, of course, we attract students from around the globe who can earn highly regarded international degrees here. We export education, so to speak."
"With WHU we have a private business school here on the Middle Rhine in the Koblenz region that enjoys a tremendous international reputation and attracts students from all over Germany and beyond. It is not in competition with but complements state universities with their wide range of courses," Minister Clemens Hoch acknowledged. "I am pleased that WHU is based in Rhineland-Palatinate and that it is planning to further expand its activities here."
Asked about tuition fees, Markus Rudolf clarified that, for qualified applicants, tuition fees are never a hindrance to studying at WHU. While the majority of students claim one of the many scholarships or financing options, be it student loans from Sparkasse Koblenz or Brain Capital, only 40 percent of the students pay their tuition fees directly. With Brain Capital, the scholars pay back a fixed percentage of their income over ten years after graduation, but only if it exceeds 30,000 euros annually.
Minister Hoch said he was impressed by the speed with which WHU had responded to the challenges posed by the Corona pandemic, "You switched particularly quickly and professionally to online formats and made a virtue of necessity, for example, by setting up a video studio specifically for online teaching."
Good ranking results in international university rankings, such as those of the Financial Times or The Economist, are decisive for a business school’s success. It is these rankings which prospective students usually use to decide which business school they want to study at. "On a German scale, WHU has been in the top tier in the rankings for years. However, in a global perspective Germany is lagging behind. Our goal is to make it into the top 10 in Europe," Markus Rudolf said. To achieve this, the business school must grow and will do so using its self-generated earnings. Talks are already underway with the mayors of the City and Municipality of Vallendar about a possible expansion of the premises.
"Rhineland-Palatinate is well aware of the contribution that private universities make to our university landscape. I would like to thank WHU for the interesting insights it has provided and look forward to further cooperation," Minister Hoch stated.