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This was 2020! Annual Review of EBS Universität

21 December 2020 | By: Pressestelle EBS Universität
Student at her laptop

Thanks to the short-term switch of classes to a digital learning platform, EBS University was able to ensure that students completed their semester or degree program on time as planned.

2020 was anything but an everyday year. Creativity in finding solutions, flexibility and a high dynamic in research and teaching have characterised the past year. While the Corona pandemic kept the world on tenterhooks, EBS Universität sought opportunities in the crisis and embraced the challenges.

The employees of EBS implemented the digital transformation almost overnight. As a result, EBS can demonstrate a clearly positive growth trend in student numbers even in this difficult year.

The impact of the pandemic on the university

Like many universities, EBS Universität was faced with the question of how to maintain teaching in times of the Corona crisis. The decision was quickly made to teach online without exception. In a very short time, EBS Universität switched its classroom courses, and as of March 16, all lectures and seminars were held online. Kim Dillenberger and Prof. Dr. Matthias Waldkirch are scientifically supporting EBS Universität in this digital transformation process in their research project: EBSDigital: From Campus Life to Online Teaching. Likewise, a task force was set up to focus exclusively on what we can learn from the crisis and which digital solutions will make sense in teaching but also in the daily working environment of all employees in the future. Almost overnight, also student life turned upside down – interaction with fellow students and learning in small groups was only possible online. Law student Luca Manns gives an insight into student life during the first lockdown. Likewise, the students’ resort work had to be completely rethought – a congress with 800 people on-site was no longer conceivable. The EBS Symposium, the EBS Law Congress and the EBS Real Estate Congress were successfully held online or in hybrid form for the first time. For the first time in the history of EBS, all employees also found themselves in the home office for several months starting in March. Schools and daycare centers are closed, but work still has to get done. “How do you manage that without freaking out?” asked Julia Hartmann, Professor of Sustainable Supply Chain Management. EBS professors were often interviewed as experts during the crisis: Prof. Julia Hartmann assessed the impact of the corona virus on supply chains in manager magazin, Prof. Will was interviewed for Hessenschau on the permissibility of curfews. Likewise in the Hessenschau he commented on the restrictions of fundamental rights in Corona times. The pandemic was also the subject of some studies of the university: Prof. Julia Hartmann investigated what the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change have in common. Prof. Katrin Burmeister-Lamp and her PhD student Tom Orben, MSc show the impact of the Corona crisis on investment behavior in start-ups. Prof. Ralph Tunder, Vivienne Dierkes, and Pavel Vitis reviewed strategies to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and provide an initial outlook on what basic requirements are necessary to successfully contain the spread of the virus. Alexander Götmann and Prof. Myriam Bechtoldt examined stressors and coping strategies during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Academic Year

For the winter semester 2020/21, we welcomed a total of over 560 new students at EBS Universität (an increase of 30% compared to the previous year). At EBS Law School, the anniversary class was welcomed in October, for the 10th time the saying went: “Welcome, dear freshmen!” In addition, EBS Universität was able to award 10 German scholarships to students of all disciplines. At the end of the year, great joy at EBS Law School: since the first graduating class of 2016, EBS Law School has been training the best law graduate in Hesse. In 2019, EBS student Tobias Törk passed the First Law Examination with distinction and ranks first among the 720 successful graduates. He continues the series as the best graduate in Hesse from EBS Universität for the fourth year in a row. In 2020, a lot of effort was put into realigning the institute landscape to sharpen the university’s profile, and two new institutes were founded: Institute for Technology, Innovation and Customer Centricity (TICC) under the responsibility of Prof. Tobias Gutmann and Prof. Sven Henkel and the Institute for Entrepreneurship & Family Firm Institute (EFFI) under the responsibility of Prof. Matthias Waldkirch.


Another topic affected EBS Universität in 2020: Long-time President Prof. Markus Ogorek followed a call from the University of Cologne and took over the leadership of the renowned Institute for Public Law and Administrative Studies there in the fall. Until a new president is elected, the Senate and the University Council of EBS Universität established a Presidential Council chaired by Prof. Dr. Henning Werner from SRH University of Applied Sciences Heidelberg. Since August 2020, Prof. Dr. Falko Paetzold strengthens the Faculty of Business Administration at EBS Universität as Qualification Professor for Social Finance and since then leads our EBS Impact Institute alongside Prof. Karin Kreutzer. At the beginning of the 2020/21 winter semester, EBS Universität was able to recruit Dr. Hans Volkert Volckens, Partner and Head of Real Estate and Asset Management at KPMG Germany, as a lecturer and adjunct professor. In 2021, we are looking forward to further growing faculties when eight new professors will support EBS Universität.

New partners

Beginning in the winter semester 2020/21, EBS Universität, in cooperation with Berkeley Global, is expanding its range of courses to include the new English-language specialization “Digital Marketing” in the Master in Management programme. In April 2021, the first academic certificate programme on “Digital Transformation” will start at EBS Executive School in cooperation with Siemens Advanta.

Research year

The Corona Crisis was not the only topic of research at EBS Universität in 2020. Here is a small sample:

Prominent guests

From time to time, EBS Universität welcomes practitioners from the worlds of business, politics and law. This year, students discussed freedom of speech and an open and fair debate culture online with FDP politician Wolfgang Kubicki. Likewise, Karl von Rohr, President of Deutsche Bank, and Gisbert Rühl, CEO of Klöckner, among others, also answered students’ questions via Zoom.

Construction measures on Campus Schloss

The year 2020 was unfortunately also marked by cancellations and many quiet moments. EBS Universität also had big plans: the laying of the foundation stone of the new auditorium was to be celebrated together. Now at the end of the year, the construction work of the shell is completed, and in early 2021, the interior construction will already begin. How the pandemic affects the construction and whether everything is going according to plan, answered Dr. Hofer, Managing Director of EBS Universität, an interview.

Responsible students

EBS Universität wants to send responsible and strong leaders into the professional world. In other words, people who can inspire and engage others, who are empathetic and agile in adapting to changes in challenges. One such student is Clara von Glasow: she founded the “Sail for Climate Action!” project. EBS students also showed social commitment in times of the Corona crisis. They packed goodie bags for a youth facility and the hospital staff of SRH Kliniken. Enable Digital, a student project founded in 2015, created educational videos explaining the use of various messaging services to seniors.

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