Hasso-Plattner-Institut für Softwaresystemtechnik
Facts and Figures

Facts and Figures

Hasso Plattner Institute for IT-Systems Engineering in Potsdam is Germany's only completely privately financed university institute - a prime example for a successful Public-Private Partnership. The institute was founded in 1998.

The founder is Germany's probably most eminent private patron of science: Prof. Dr. h. c. Hasso Plattner (Co-Founder of SAP and Chairman of its supervisory board). He established the non-profit "Hasso Plattner Foundation for IT-Systems Engineering", the owner and sole shareholder of the Institute. Its legal form of organization is a limited company. Plattner finances Germany's excellence center for IT-Systems Engineering to 100 percent.

In 2005, Hasso Plattner extended his commitment to technological and economic development in Potsdam with the setup of a venture capital fund for founders of IT companies: Hasso Plattner Ventures. In 2008 Plattner increased its capital with a new fund and founded a subsidiary in South Africa.

In 2005, Plattner facilitated the establishment of a Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (also known as the "d.school") at the US elite university Stanford. The institute teaches "Design Thinking", which translates into innovative development in multidisciplinary teams. In 2007, a corresponding "School of Design Thinking" also opened at the HPI in Potsdam: Europe's first school of innovation for (graduate) students from all disciplines. In November 2008, HPI and Stanford University launched a joint design thinking research program.

In early 2009, the HPI Academy was founded. It offers workshops and training for executives.

A practice-oriented course of study

The Hasso Plattner Institute opened its doors to students in the winter term of 1999/2000. It is the only university institute in Germany that offers an undergraduate (bachelor) and a graduate (master) course of study in IT-Systems Engineering. Students acquire the knowledge to conceptualize, develop and implement large, highly complex and cross-linked IT systems. The bachelor and master degree courses are designed for highly talented young people who are looking for an innovative, practice- and engineering-oriented computer science studies at a university level.

The institute's special characteristics are its engineering orientation, the teaching of soft skills and the early intensive integration of industrial projects into the studies. Using an innovative tele-teaching technology called "tele-TASK" HPI makes it possible for each internet user to follow university lectures and other events live and online or "on demand", respectively. Practically, this is electronic distance learning for everyone. The recorded content is not only accessible via HPI's own tele-TASK platform, but also on Apple's iTunes U.

Distinctions and honors

Students at Hasso Plattner Institute enjoy the advantages of facilities, support, and supervision that usually can only be provided by a private education. However, the HPI does not charge tuition fees. A good dozen professors and more than 50 other lecturers,  visiting professors and contract teachers work at HPI instructing around 450 students at the Griebnitzsee campus - an excellent student-teacher ratio. The new main building was completed in 2010 and accommodates a top-level research lab for high-performance computing, additional work spaces, seminar rooms for students and a new floor for the HPI School of Design Thinking.

According to the latest rankings of the Centre for Higher Education Development (CHE), Hasso Plattner Institute is among the four university institutions offering the best computer science programs in the German-speaking countries.

Three times in a row HPI was chosen as a "Distinguished Location" by the initiative "Germany - Land of Ideas".

The ten areas of expertise

Currently HPI features the following research groups:

Excellent research

Hasso Plattner Institute also features a "Research School" (a graduate school for doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows) which was set up in October 2005 and currently accommodates more than 50 top junior researchers. This Research School is also financed by HPI's founder. Its research focus is "Service-Oriented Systems Engineering". The Research School maintains three international branches, one at Technion in Haifa (Israel), one at the University of Cape Town (South Africa) and one at Nanjing University (China).

In cooperation with industry partners HPI launched a computing research lab of international significance in June 2010. Equipped with high-performance computers, the "HPI Future SOC Lab" is a top-level research lab for computer science.

HPI cooperates closely with renowned research partners, among them Stanford University in the United States, with the Technical University of Beijing and with various universities in Europe. Many well-known large corporations and institutions, such as Microsoft, SAP, IBM, Deutsche Telekom, Metro Group, Charité, the Federal Office for Information Security and others cooperate with HPI.

Qualified graduates

The graduates (by now almost 630 Bachelors of Science, 250 Masters of Science, nearly 50 PhDs as well as one habilitation) are well qualified for their future jobs as young executives in the IT industry, for example as Chief Information Officers, project team leaders, or software architects. Graduates of Hasso Plattner Institute have already founded several start-up companies. Examples are d-labs GmbH, 3D Geo GmbH (now part of the Autodesk Group), Signavio GmbH, and ARCWAY AG. They specialize in products and services in IT design, computer graphics, prototyping of websites, and software architectures.

The Hasso Plattner Institute in brief

The Potsdam-based Hasso Plattner Institute of Software Systems Engineering (HPI) is Germany's leading academic center of excellence in the field of IT systems engineering. It is the only institute in Germany to offer a university degree in IT Systems Engineering - a hands-on computer science program; 460 students are enrolled in the program at present. Overall, ten professors and more than 50 other lecturers, visiting professors and contract teachers work at the HPI. The Institute conducts academic research at the highest level - some of it on behalf of leading companies. Its main objective is to equip students with the skills to develop applications for highly-sophisticated, large-scale networked IT systems. According to the latest rankings of the Centre for Higher Education Development (CHE), Hasso Plattner Institute is among the four university institutions offering the best computer science programs in the German-speaking countries.