Prof. Dr. Christopher Jahns: The newest university town in Hessen offers chances for profiling

The year 2009 will always be a significant milestone in the history of the Euro­pean Business School: In the past weeks and months, together with the city of Wies­baden and the state of Hessen, we have laid the groundwork for the expansion of our college into a university. Over the course of this decision-making process, I have been – rightly – asked again and again what the new university will concretely bring to Wiesbaden, how the city will profit from it, and what significance, if any, Wiesbaden can achieve compared to the traditional Hessian university cities of Marburg, Frankfurt, Gie­ßen, Darm­­stadt and Kassel? My answer to these questions is: Wiesbaden may be the newest uni­ver­sity town in Hessen, but that is exactly what gives us the chance to make our city, within our specialist fields, into one of the most modern and innovative locations at the international level and to be the first German economic university to compete in the internation­al top league.

A university should be an economic factor and a driver of growth
The expansion into the university is there­fore the most important prerequisite: We are counted among the top five schools in business administration in Germany and are not only the oldest state-recognized, private academic college in business ad­­ministration, but also, with 70 professors, we provide the largest business faculty of the state. Even so, we are definitely still too small to be competitive in the international top seg­ment. Our second, legal department will also give us the opportunity to make a mark for our uni­­versity in international competi­tion as one of the best.

In the past, no German business school has ever been able to compete in this league. A university such as this, I am com­­pletely convinced, is not only ex­­treme­­ly attractive to prospective lawyers, but will also prove to be an additional at­­trac­tive economic factor for Wiesbaden and bring further growth. The broad field of professional services, in particular, comes to mind. Corporate law firms, con­sult­ing com­­panies, investment banks – our university will be an incredibly inter­­esting partner for all of them, in re­­search and training as well as recruiting. Here we will provide new mo­­men­tum from Wiesbaden and en­­rich the attractive­ness of Wiesbaden as a busi­ness centre with an­­oth­­er lo­­cational factor.


Creating attractive opportunities in high-class education
I have often been asked whether Hessen does not already have enough universities, and why we think it needs yet an­­other one.

The answer to this can be found in the German educational market: While we are already very well positioned in general education, we have, for a G-8 country, al­­most no significance in the top division in the fields of economics and law. That is just the gap that we want to fill with our university, a university that sets the highest standards in research and teach­­ing and can also measure up in size in­­ternationally with more than 100 profes­­sors. That is what makes our con­­cept unique, and what will positively dis­tin­guish the university city of Wies­baden from the others.

We do not want to compete with state uni­versities, but rather to create additional attractive training and continuing edu­ca­tion opportunities here in Hessen, in that we emphasize economic focus points above all within the study of law. That means we qualify in all basic subjects that are necessary according to le­­gal education regulations, but always from an economic standpoint.

Placed into the curriculum, that means focus points in: international competition and corporate law, capital markets law, trademark law and transportation law, to name only a few examples. Ex­­tensive language training is also provid­ed, above all in legal English, as well as a universal study including ethics, personality de­­vel­opment and scientific the­­ory and at least one mandatory semester abroad. Large law firms, banks and corporate groups have enormous interest in such exceptionally educated law­­yers. Until now, in Germany only the – likewise private – Bucerius Law School provided training targeted to this market; with a corresponding run on its of­­ferings. We see a giant market niche here for us. Es­­pe­cial­ly since, with the various synergies arising between bu­­si­­ness administration and le­­­gal studies, we have a clear competitive advantage, which gives us the possibil­i­­ty of securing a top spot in the in­­ter­na­­tion­al education market and establishing Wies­baden as a knowledge centre at the international level.


New possibilities in qualification with an international perspective
For the future lawyers who come to us in Wiesbaden, the additional certification possibilities offered by our law school are especially interesting. Passing the first state legal exams after nine se­­mes­­ters is indeed the primary goal of train­­ing. But in addition, our students can earn a Bachelor of Laws (L.L.B.) degree af­­ter the sixth semester; there is also the op­­tion of earning a Master of Laws (L.L.M.) at one of our international part­­ner uni­ver­sities. In preparation for an international career, students also prof­­­­it from our ex­­isting strengths and from the EBS net­work with the Career Serv­ice Center, the Center for Economic Lan­guages – with 31 foreign language in­­structors in nine languages – 200 coach­­es, and 154 part­ner universities across all continents.

We are glad to be able to give something back to Wiesbaden
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the city of Wiesbaden and the state of Hessen because, like us, they believe in the success of this project, and without their support we would not be able to realize our goals. I will be even more glad if – apart from the locational factors named above – we can give something back to Wiesbaden and, with our move into the old district court, keep our prom­ise to cre­­ate a lively university neighbour­hood here.


Jahns_3Born in 1969, the author has a doctorate from the Technische Universität Mün­chen in the field of economic science and ha­­bilitated there in 2004. In 2006 he be­­came managing director of the Eu­­ro­pean Business School, In­­ter­na­­ti­onal Uni­­versity Wies­baden/Oestrich-Win­­kel. Christopher Jahns has been its president since April 2009.