HS Pforzheim vs GISMA vs Saarland University


Hello everyone,

I have been reading this forum for around 6 months and based on the information I received I applied to various schools for admission in MBA. Currently, I have been awarded admission in three universities:

HS Pforzheim
GISMA
Saarland University (Europa Institut)

Now from the impression that I have gotten from this forum, I can discard Saarland University. So the main competition is between GISMA and HS Pforzheim. Please any advice or info about these two schools which can help me make my decision?

I would also like to add that since I have been awarded scholarship by GISMA, its fees is now 13200 euros compared to 7900 euros of Pforzheim.

Looking forward to your reply, fellow forum members.

Hello everyone,

I have been reading this forum for around 6 months and based on the information I received I applied to various schools for admission in MBA. Currently, I have been awarded admission in three universities:

HS Pforzheim
GISMA
Saarland University (Europa Institut)

Now from the impression that I have gotten from this forum, I can discard Saarland University. So the main competition is between GISMA and HS Pforzheim. Please any advice or info about these two schools which can help me make my decision?

I would also like to add that since I have been awarded scholarship by GISMA, its fees is now 13200 euros compared to 7900 euros of Pforzheim.

Looking forward to your reply, fellow forum members.
quote
Duncan

I think the big advantage of Pforzheim are its German courses, but in every other way GIMSA will be better, with a world-class Purdue MBA and a much better cohort. GISMA will also save you a huge amount of time, part of which you could invest in German classes before and after GISMA.

I think the big advantage of Pforzheim are its German courses, but in every other way GIMSA will be better, with a world-class Purdue MBA and a much better cohort. GISMA will also save you a huge amount of time, part of which you could invest in German classes before and after GISMA.
quote

I think the big advantage of Pforzheim are its German courses, but in every other way GIMSA will be better, with a world-class Purdue MBA and a much better cohort. GISMA will also save you a huge amount of time, part of which you could invest in German classes before and after GISMA.


Thank you JK Duncan for the answer.

You are right. Pforzheim has German classes integrated with the MBA program whereas GISMA does not. But apart from the German classes, what sets GISMA apart when it comes to quality of program and post MBA job opportunities. As it is pretty clear now after going through the forum that you need strong German skills to be able to find employment there.

<blockquote>I think the big advantage of Pforzheim are its German courses, but in every other way GIMSA will be better, with a world-class Purdue MBA and a much better cohort. GISMA will also save you a huge amount of time, part of which you could invest in German classes before and after GISMA. </blockquote>

Thank you JK Duncan for the answer.

You are right. Pforzheim has German classes integrated with the MBA program whereas GISMA does not. But apart from the German classes, what sets GISMA apart when it comes to quality of program and post MBA job opportunities. As it is pretty clear now after going through the forum that you need strong German skills to be able to find employment there.
quote
Namita

Hi Nabeel,

May i know your background.
I have applied to HS Pforzheim
Any idea how much time they take to response about an application .

Regards,
Namita

Hi Nabeel,

May i know your background.
I have applied to HS Pforzheim
Any idea how much time they take to response about an application .

Regards,
Namita
quote
Duncan

Hi Nabeel,

GISMA's MBA leads to a world-class MBA from Purdue: that's a top ranked MBA taught by research active faculty from a leading business school. The placement report is really impressive. None of those things is true for Pforzheim, although it's perhaps the strongest of the Fachhochschule MBAs.

Hi Nabeel,

GISMA's MBA leads to a world-class MBA from Purdue: that's a top ranked MBA taught by research active faculty from a leading business school. The placement report is really impressive. None of those things is true for Pforzheim, although it's perhaps the strongest of the Fachhochschule MBAs.
quote

Hi Nabeel,

May i know your background.
I have applied to HS Pforzheim
Any idea how much time they take to response about an application .

Regards,
Namita


Hi Namita,

Sure. I have a degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore, a premier engineering institute of Pakistan with a history of more than 80 years. Currently, I have more than 2.5 years of professional experience.

Oh that is great. When did you send in your application?

It varies case by case but normally they take around 2 to 4 weeks after receiving the application.

If you have any more questions, do not hesitate to ask me.

Regards,
Nabeel Tahir

<blockquote>Hi Nabeel,

May i know your background.
I have applied to HS Pforzheim
Any idea how much time they take to response about an application .

Regards,
Namita</blockquote>

Hi Namita,

Sure. I have a degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore, a premier engineering institute of Pakistan with a history of more than 80 years. Currently, I have more than 2.5 years of professional experience.

Oh that is great. When did you send in your application?

It varies case by case but normally they take around 2 to 4 weeks after receiving the application.

If you have any more questions, do not hesitate to ask me.

Regards,
Nabeel Tahir
quote

Hi Nabeel,

GISMA's MBA leads to a world-class MBA from Purdue: that's a top ranked MBA taught by research active faculty from a leading business school. The placement report is really impressive. None of those things is true for Pforzheim, although it's perhaps the strongest of the Fachhochschule MBAs.


Hi JK,

If Pforzheim is the strongest Fachhochschule in Germany, then how come its placement report not impressive? Aren't their MBA graduates hired by major companies?

<blockquote>Hi Nabeel,

GISMA's MBA leads to a world-class MBA from Purdue: that's a top ranked MBA taught by research active faculty from a leading business school. The placement report is really impressive. None of those things is true for Pforzheim, although it's perhaps the strongest of the Fachhochschule MBAs.</blockquote>

Hi JK,

If Pforzheim is the strongest Fachhochschule in Germany, then how come its placement report not impressive? Aren't their MBA graduates hired by major companies?
quote
Duncan

I didn't and would not say that Pforzheim is the strongest *Fachhochschule*, but that it has the strongest MBA run by a Fachhochschule. It's certainly one of the top seven or eight Fachhochschulen *for business*. In that context it is impressive: even Indian students are able to get placement in Germany from the programme. Pforzheim MBAs get salaries equal to or better than graduates from the German-language programmes in other Fachhochschulen.

In that context, they are impressive.

In the context of Germany's universities (and the private or semi-private, ranked, business schools) their results are less impressive. These institutions have national or international reputations and attract the best students. However, that's not a fair comparison. Only an uninformed applicant would struggle to decide between a Fachhochschule and a ranked business school.

Fachhochschulen generally attract less employable students, who are less prepared to invest in their own education. They have reputations and networks which are local, often very local. Major companies, especially those which are large-scale employers of MBAs, want to recruit the best talent from the best schools. Few of those major MBA employers come to Pforzheim.

The Pforzheim MBA is aimed at foreigners. The vast majority of alumni will work outside Germany:- many return to India, Turkey, China. I think it's totally unfair to expect that it should have similar possibilities, and to expect the sort of outcomes that Mannheim, WHU, HHL, GISMA get from a programme with a 550 GMAT minimum and that costs under 6k.

I didn't and would not say that Pforzheim is the strongest *Fachhochschule*, but that it has the strongest MBA run by a Fachhochschule. It's certainly one of the top seven or eight Fachhochschulen *for business*. In that context it is impressive: even Indian students are able to get placement in Germany from the programme. Pforzheim MBAs get salaries equal to or better than graduates from the German-language programmes in other Fachhochschulen.

In that context, they are impressive.

In the context of Germany's universities (and the private or semi-private, ranked, business schools) their results are less impressive. These institutions have national or international reputations and attract the best students. However, that's not a fair comparison. Only an uninformed applicant would struggle to decide between a Fachhochschule and a ranked business school.

Fachhochschulen generally attract less employable students, who are less prepared to invest in their own education. They have reputations and networks which are local, often very local. Major companies, especially those which are large-scale employers of MBAs, want to recruit the best talent from the best schools. Few of those major MBA employers come to Pforzheim.

The Pforzheim MBA is aimed at foreigners. The vast majority of alumni will work outside Germany:- many return to India, Turkey, China. I think it's totally unfair to expect that it should have similar possibilities, and to expect the sort of outcomes that Mannheim, WHU, HHL, GISMA get from a programme with a 550 GMAT minimum and that costs under 6k.
quote

@Nabeel

First of all, congratulations on making it to these schools. I was faced with the same situation last year before I took up the MBA in IM @ HS Pforzheim.

Will mention a few things which might help you to decide in a better manner. I see that you have talked about the placements, the German language course, the fees among other things.

1. HS Pforzheim costs a little more than half the course fees which GISMA demands. It will help if you do the math here. You will for sure take up a German language course externally which will cost you over and above the fees for GISMA. Please do your research on such language courses and how much do they cost, which otherwise are offered for free in HS Pforzheim throughout the length of the MBA course.

2. Looking at the language course alone as a decisive factor - Assuming that you have already completed your A1 from Pakistan, you will have the opportunity of elevating yourself at a level more than B1 by the end of your MBA semesters. The courses will be stretched out comfortably along with informal German speaking meetings every semester. This works out far better than a month long extensive course, where you dont end up speaking fluently. I do not need to emphasize more on how the language helps in a job hunt and subsequent interviews.

3. Placements - Looking at both the courses purely from the ROE perspective, I can easily claim that HS Pforzheim works brilliant. I am not aware of how you will be financing yourself, but in case you are on a student loan - please bear in mind that a considerable part of your post MBA income every month will be spent on repaying your education loan which will be higher in case of GISMA. I have mentioned this before in many of the threads regarding HS Pforzheim that the alumni which consisted of mostly non German and non EU students have found employment in Germany and EU with ease and with major companies like HSBC, Cisco, Oracle, BASF, KPMG, Daimler, Toyota, Bosch, Infosys, Henkel, Continental etc. We have an impressive record with the hidden champions as well.

The school website just mentions the companies that have hired our students in the past and does not have a placement report. Let me know what you are referring to, when you say a placement report. The statistics could be flawed if it is not coming from the school itself.

Wishing you all the luck with whatever you decide to go ahead with. A great time in Germany awaits you.

@Nabeel

First of all, congratulations on making it to these schools. I was faced with the same situation last year before I took up the MBA in IM @ HS Pforzheim.

Will mention a few things which might help you to decide in a better manner. I see that you have talked about the placements, the German language course, the fees among other things.

1. HS Pforzheim costs a little more than half the course fees which GISMA demands. It will help if you do the math here. You will for sure take up a German language course externally which will cost you over and above the fees for GISMA. Please do your research on such language courses and how much do they cost, which otherwise are offered for free in HS Pforzheim throughout the length of the MBA course.

2. Looking at the language course alone as a decisive factor - Assuming that you have already completed your A1 from Pakistan, you will have the opportunity of elevating yourself at a level more than B1 by the end of your MBA semesters. The courses will be stretched out comfortably along with informal German speaking meetings every semester. This works out far better than a month long extensive course, where you dont end up speaking fluently. I do not need to emphasize more on how the language helps in a job hunt and subsequent interviews.

3. Placements - Looking at both the courses purely from the ROE perspective, I can easily claim that HS Pforzheim works brilliant. I am not aware of how you will be financing yourself, but in case you are on a student loan - please bear in mind that a considerable part of your post MBA income every month will be spent on repaying your education loan which will be higher in case of GISMA. I have mentioned this before in many of the threads regarding HS Pforzheim that the alumni which consisted of mostly non German and non EU students have found employment in Germany and EU with ease and with major companies like HSBC, Cisco, Oracle, BASF, KPMG, Daimler, Toyota, Bosch, Infosys, Henkel, Continental etc. We have an impressive record with the hidden champions as well.

The school website just mentions the companies that have hired our students in the past and does not have a placement report. Let me know what you are referring to, when you say a placement report. The statistics could be flawed if it is not coming from the school itself.

Wishing you all the luck with whatever you decide to go ahead with. A great time in Germany awaits you.
quote

@Duncan

I was on the GISMA website just out of plain curiosity. Can you give me the link to their Placement Report if it is available online?

Also, what kind of figures are published in the report - the companies, salaries and management positions?

@Duncan

I was on the GISMA website just out of plain curiosity. Can you give me the link to their Placement Report if it is available online?

Also, what kind of figures are published in the report - the companies, salaries and management positions?
quote
Duncan

There's a page on placement in their brochure, but they don't publish the average salary. It's around 64,000 euro. While Pforzheim is cheaper, the difference in fees is made up after one year in the workforce.

There's a page on placement in their brochure, but they don't publish the average salary. It's around 64,000 euro. While Pforzheim is cheaper, the difference in fees is made up after one year in the workforce.
quote
Namita

As it depends on person priority,He/she can choose the schools based on his/her requirement.
If good post-mba salary is your goal ,so as its been said "Invest more,earn more".
But if your aim is to get good quality education with comparable less fess from those others then go for it.
Ya,but post-mba salary then will be less...

As it depends on person priority,He/she can choose the schools based on his/her requirement.
If good post-mba salary is your goal ,so as its been said "Invest more,earn more".
But if your aim is to get good quality education with comparable less fess from those others then go for it.
Ya,but post-mba salary then will be less...
quote
Duncan

The education is also better at better schools: if you want knowledge for low cost, join a library.

The education is also better at better schools: if you want knowledge for low cost, join a library.
quote
Namita

Students like me ,who have financial constraints but still have a dream to pursue good mba would prefer Pforzheim.
Infact,these is the case with most of Indian mba aspirants students.

Students like me ,who have financial constraints but still have a dream to pursue good mba would prefer Pforzheim.
Infact,these is the case with most of Indian mba aspirants students.
quote
Duncan

You are missing the point. Pforzheim can't recruit more than one or two dozen Indian students every year. It will never struggle to recruit students. Most Indian MBA aspirants will not get admission to both Pforzheim and a ranked school like Mannheim, HHL, WHU etc.

The question is this: if a student actually has a choice between Pforzheim and a ranked school, what should their choice be? If the additional fees are less than the additional salary in the first year, for example, why should someone choose Pforzheim?

If someone doesn't have the choice of a better option, then Pforzheim is good. But don't pretend it's the best option if you do have the choice.

You are missing the point. Pforzheim can't recruit more than one or two dozen Indian students every year. It will never struggle to recruit students. Most Indian MBA aspirants will not get admission to both Pforzheim and a ranked school like Mannheim, HHL, WHU etc.

The question is this: if a student actually has a choice between Pforzheim and a ranked school, what should their choice be? If the additional fees are less than the additional salary in the first year, for example, why should someone choose Pforzheim?

If someone doesn't have the choice of a better option, then Pforzheim is good. But don't pretend it's the best option if you do have the choice.
quote
kylekues

You are missing the point. Pforzheim can't recruit more than one or two dozen Indian students every year. It will never struggle to recruit students. Most Indian MBA aspirants will not get admission to both Pforzheim and a ranked school like Mannheim, HHL, WHU etc.

The question is this: if a student actually has a choice between Pforzheim and a ranked school, what should their choice be? If the additional fees are less than the additional salary in the first year, for example, why should someone choose Pforzheim?

If someone doesn't have the choice of a better option, then Pforzheim is good. But don't pretend it's the best option if you do have the choice.


I go to Pforzheim with Avigyan, and I got into Mannheim, as well as a couple of top 100 programs in the US, where I am from. I chose Pfrozheim for the opportunity cost, I could come to Pforzheim and pay the school and cover living costs for the whole year and a half of the program (really only a year, then you can work and/or do your thesis along with an internship) for like 2/3 the cost of Mannheim, not counting living. I get to the use the breaks for travel too, my wife and I just got back from Zürich! I am probably sacrificing some salary at the start, but my program/schedule is more relaxed and I will come away from this program with no debt. So I will be free to move anywhere here in Europe I can find a job, or back to the US and not have to worry about any kind of debt stifling my decisions.

<blockquote>You are missing the point. Pforzheim can't recruit more than one or two dozen Indian students every year. It will never struggle to recruit students. Most Indian MBA aspirants will not get admission to both Pforzheim and a ranked school like Mannheim, HHL, WHU etc.

The question is this: if a student actually has a choice between Pforzheim and a ranked school, what should their choice be? If the additional fees are less than the additional salary in the first year, for example, why should someone choose Pforzheim?

If someone doesn't have the choice of a better option, then Pforzheim is good. But don't pretend it's the best option if you do have the choice.
</blockquote>

I go to Pforzheim with Avigyan, and I got into Mannheim, as well as a couple of top 100 programs in the US, where I am from. I chose Pfrozheim for the opportunity cost, I could come to Pforzheim and pay the school and cover living costs for the whole year and a half of the program (really only a year, then you can work and/or do your thesis along with an internship) for like 2/3 the cost of Mannheim, not counting living. I get to the use the breaks for travel too, my wife and I just got back from Zürich! I am probably sacrificing some salary at the start, but my program/schedule is more relaxed and I will come away from this program with no debt. So I will be free to move anywhere here in Europe I can find a job, or back to the US and not have to worry about any kind of debt stifling my decisions.
quote
Duncan

With Pforzheim you don't have the option of Mannheim salary. That's a bigger opportunity cost: the NPV.

With Pforzheim you don't have the option of Mannheim salary. That's a bigger opportunity cost: the NPV.
quote
kylekues

With Pforzheim you don't have the option of Mannheim salary. That's a bigger opportunity cost: the NPV.


That's to say that salary right after graduation is the only criteria which you should use to choose an MBA program. Opportunity cost is more than just that. My wife and I both left good jobs (I even turned down a promotion - that they tried to get me to take twice - in the last months before leaving, and my wife was in line for a promotion with about a 50% raise tacked on), money wise it didn't make sense to leave at all, really. But, here, we can pay for the school, accrue no debt, live comfortably, and travel. At Mannheim, that isn't possible.

Am I going to make the same money here in Germany that I would have there? No. But if I go back to the US I look more competitive than people who went to like a third tier school in the US. It gives me an edge, and yeah, I could probably make as much money there as a Mannheim grad here. And long term it's like 90% odds that I will end up back in the US after a few years. Over time, I'll make that difference over someone who graduates from Mannheim and stay here.

<blockquote>With Pforzheim you don't have the option of Mannheim salary. That's a bigger opportunity cost: the NPV.</blockquote>

That's to say that salary right after graduation is the only criteria which you should use to choose an MBA program. Opportunity cost is more than just that. My wife and I both left good jobs (I even turned down a promotion - that they tried to get me to take twice - in the last months before leaving, and my wife was in line for a promotion with about a 50% raise tacked on), money wise it didn't make sense to leave at all, really. But, here, we can pay for the school, accrue no debt, live comfortably, and travel. At Mannheim, that isn't possible.

Am I going to make the same money here in Germany that I would have there? No. But if I go back to the US I look more competitive than people who went to like a third tier school in the US. It gives me an edge, and yeah, I could probably make as much money there as a Mannheim grad here. And long term it's like 90% odds that I will end up back in the US after a few years. Over time, I'll make that difference over someone who graduates from Mannheim and stay here.
quote
Duncan

Well, I think NPV is the best way to evaluate any investment, especially one like an MBA which is a business investment involving capital, opportunity cost and the time value of money. It's not only about the salary on graduating, but the fact that over the time differences increase, rather than decrease, between different schools. You would probably make more money in the US with a Mannheim degree because of the opportunity to study at Stern or Thunderbird through Mannheim. And, of course, the quality of students, faculty, resources and network is qualitatively higher at Mannheim.

Well, I think NPV is the best way to evaluate any investment, especially one like an MBA which is a business investment involving capital, opportunity cost and the time value of money. It's not only about the salary on graduating, but the fact that over the time differences increase, rather than decrease, between different schools. You would probably make more money in the US with a Mannheim degree because of the opportunity to study at Stern or Thunderbird through Mannheim. And, of course, the quality of students, faculty, resources and network is qualitatively higher at Mannheim.
quote
kylekues

Professors like:

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-06-24/research-fraud-allegations-trail-a-german-b-school-wunderkind

There is more to it than money, there just is. I'm married, so going to study abroad, packing up and moving every four months doesn't work. To look at just money factors is short sided. This is an experience, and the decision I made is allowing me to enjoy and experience Europe more, in ways which I could not at Mannheim or an American school. If it was all money, I would have stayed stateside, much better for us financially.

I got into Mannheim, and turned it down for Pforzheim. You can make those decisions logically. I will grant, on paper because of starting salaries and everything else, Mannheim is a better overall school. But it does make sense for people to go elsewhere.

Professors like:

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-06-24/research-fraud-allegations-trail-a-german-b-school-wunderkind

There is more to it than money, there just is. I'm married, so going to study abroad, packing up and moving every four months doesn't work. To look at just money factors is short sided. This is an experience, and the decision I made is allowing me to enjoy and experience Europe more, in ways which I could not at Mannheim or an American school. If it was all money, I would have stayed stateside, much better for us financially.

I got into Mannheim, and turned it down for Pforzheim. You can make those decisions logically. I will grant, on paper because of starting salaries and everything else, Mannheim is a better overall school. But it does make sense for people to go elsewhere.
quote

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