HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management is a private school whose chequered fortunes over 120 years of existence reflect those of its host city in Saxony.
Founded by the city’s Chamber of Commerce in 1898 as the Handelhochschule Leipzig underpins its claim to be the first German business school, as well as the birthplace of modern management education in Germany. It was amalgamated into the University of Leipzig under Russian occupation in 1946, but regained autonomy as the German Democratic Republic began to collapse in 1989 and was refounded in its current form in 1992.
It was among the earliest German business schools to teach most classes in English and to adopt the bachelor/masters model in place of the traditional German diploma. It offers a full range of graduate courses under the slogan "Innovative. International. Individual. We are HHL", proclaiming itself already one of the best business schools in Germany with ambitions to be among the best in Europe.
Teaching is based on the Leipzig Leadership Model, with an emphasis on "soft skills", a non-prescriptive model "leading to more questions than answers" and recognition that leaders do not operate in a vacuum, but within the framework of organisations.
Overseas students, numbering around 250 in 2018, are concentrated on the various MBAs with around 400 Germans mostly on specialist masters, doctoral and executive courses. HHL also brands itself as an ‘Entrepreneurial Graduate School’ with its "Spin Lab" accelerator for start-ups. It estimates that its alumni have created 250 new companies and 10,000 jobs since re foundation in 1992.