GISMA Business School, the German International Graduate School of Management and Administration, was founded by former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder in 1999.
Its purpose is to offer globally recognised management education and gives students the opportunity to study in an international setting. The idea for GISMA came from the need to retain management talent in Germany and attract skilled internationals to study and subsequently work in the country.
GISMA was created with the help of the State of Lower Saxony and several organisations around the region including: Continental, Georgsmarienhütte, Nord/LB, Siemens, TUI, and Volkswagen.
Until August 2013, the school operated and financed as a public/private partnership, partially by the State of Lower Saxony and by sponsoring companies. GISMA’s founding basis - the combination of its strong location and the international focus of its programmes has remained the guiding principle and rationale for the school’s existence.
From 1999 to 2013, GISMA offered full-time and executive MBA programmes in cooperation with Purdue University, Indiana, USA, and from 2008-2013, the school also offered MBA programmes with Leibniz Universität Hannover (LUH), one of the largest public universities in Northern Germany. A Weekend MBA programme was offered with LUH until 2015.
GISMA’s MBA programmes enjoy accreditation by the Association of MBAs (AMBA), an honour the school has had since 2011.
In August 2013, GISMA was acquired by Global University Systems (GUS) and is now part of the GUS global alliance of institutions of higher education. Founded in 2003 and re-organised in 2012, GUS is an international group aimed at empowering higher education institutions with the tools needed to gain global presence.
With over 40,000 students, GUS’s portfolio ranges from business, finance, and law, to arts and hospitality courses, delivered at vocational, undergraduate, postgraduate, and executive levels across international campuses and online.
From 2014-2017, GISMA offered an MBA programme in cooperation with the AMBA-accredited Maastricht School of Management (MSM). In May 2015, GISMA also partnered with MSM to offer the Master in Management programme.
In January 2016, GISMA and Grenoble Ecole de Management (GEM) partnered to run the Grenoble MBA, Grenoble MIB, Grenoble MSc Marketing Management, and Grenoble MSc in Innovation, Strategy and Entrepreneurship in Berlin.
Grenoble Ecole de Management (GEM) is triple-accredited - an honour shared by less than 1% of the world’s elite business schools. GEM’s triple accreditation includes: AMBA (Association of MBA’s), EQUIS (European Quality Improvement System), and AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business).
At the beginning of 2017, GISMA partnered with The University of Law to run MSc International Marketing, MSc Corporate Financial Management, MSc Leadership and Human Resource Management, and MSc Strategic Business Management. The University of Law is the UK's longest-established specialist provider of legal education. It was established in 1876, and was awarded a Gold ranking in the government-led Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) in 2017.
In June 2018 GISMA Business School announced the opening of its first centre outside Germany, with London being the chosen location to expand its international presence.