With the new study program „SuMO”, Kühne Logistics University (KLU) addresses the growing importance of the topic of sustainability. Prof. Dr. Johannes Meuer explains in an interview what it’s all about.
Practical experience shows that companies are changing their purely economically oriented business models increasingly in favor of more sustainability and that awareness of this issue is growing. At the same time, we see that many universities do not even address this subject area at all – or only in the form of individual courses or minor subjects. This results in a narrowing down to certain sub-aspects. However, since sustainability encompasses very complex interrelationships and the framework conditions are currently changing rapidly, we have decided to offer the topic as a complete package in a full course of study.
What does this course of study involve, and who is it aimed at?
SuMO is a practice-oriented continuing education program aimed at potential managers from logistics and supply chain management: Within twelve months, they can acquire precisely the competencies they need on a part-time basis to take on responsible tasks in this subject area and successfully implement sustainable solutions in their company. This is why we are supplementing SuMO, which consists of both online sessions and classroom events, with, among other things, a "Sustainable Impact Project": In this, students develop a six-page investment memo on a specific company problem with concrete proposals for solutions, alternative courses of action and a cost plan. SuMO will be accredited as a master's program until the end of 2022, so that students can call themselves "Master of Sustainable Management" after successful completion.
What are the arguments in favor of studying at KLU?
In my view, the combination of research strength and thematic focus makes KLU’s offerings unique. At the same time, we are distinguished by an excellent supervision ration of 1:15 between professors and students. But we also come off well in external evaluations. For example, a ranking by the “Wirtschaftswoche” last year ranked KLU as one of the most research-intensive universities in Germany, Austria and Switzerland in the field of business administration, and in the latest CHE-University ranking, we also received the highest rating in all the main criteria. If I also take into account the feedback from our students, English as the language of instruction, internationality and the global network are important key factors that influence their decision in favor of KLU.
Does your location in Hamburg’s Hafen City provide a locational advantage?
Yes, definitely. As a hub and “gateway to the world”, the metropolis on the Elbe plays a central role in global logistics and is close to the impulses and questions of industry. Since KLU is located close to the port, there are not only ideal conditions for practical excursions with visits to companies, port and logistics facilities, but also good opportunities for cooperation and the involvement of experts into the study contents. Due to the location, we have short distances to these important players, so we can also act sustainably here as well.
Original article: LIHH Logistik Report 2021/22 p.36