The Zollverein School of Management and Design is the only research and educational institute of its kind in Europe. The school was founded in 2004 and tuition for its first international MBA degree course in Business Design will get underway in February 2005. The course’s interdisciplinary programme seeks to teach students both management and design skills in an innovative way. All courses offered by the Zollverein School focus on the practical rather than on the theoretical.

The Zollverein School offers full- and part-time postgraduate Master’s degree courses. They are aimed at managers and up-and-coming executives in the creative sector as well as managers working in the worlds of business, science, culture, and politics. Top international names will introduce participants to the theories and methodological principles of management and design. All forms of tuition (seminars, lectures, classes etc.) will feature a mutual exchange of the processes used in management and design.

Practical research topics and solutions will be developed on the basis of concrete corporate issues. Moreover, the Zollverein School will offer special doctoral programmes in conjunction with universities in the region.

Head of the school
Founding president and head of the Zollverein School is Prof. Dr. Ralph Bruder, who is largely responsible for the content of the school’s courses and its orientation. ‘We consider design to be a key skill for professionals who have to make decisions regarding the design of products, services, organisations, and business models in their professional life. Companies need design strategies if they want to remain competitive and innovative.’

Construction of the new Zollverein School building will begin in spring 2005 and is set to finish by the middle of 2006. It will be the first new building on the Zollverein World Heritage site in Essen and will provide an impetus for the future transformation of the Zollverein into a design location with international reach. Together with a Design Park, which will be situated directly alongside the Zollverein School, a new ‘Creative Village’ for young companies in the design and communications sector will develop, making the Zollverein a business location with a really bright future.

The school, which enjoys the status of a non-profit-making GmbH (a form of limited liability company), is supported by an advisory board and an academic advisory council. From 2006, the Zollverein school will be run as a public-private partnership. The University of Duisburg-Essen, the University of Wuppertal, and the Initiativkreis Ruhrgebiet [Ruhr initiative], which comprises 56 leading companies, are all partners in the Zollverein School.