The Hasso Plattner Institute for Software Systems Engineering is Germany’s university excellence center for IT-Systems Engineering. HPI is financed entirely through private funds donated by its founder Prof. Hasso Plattner, who co-founded the software company SAP. HPI is the only university institution in Germany offering the Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in "IT-Systems Engineering"—a practical and engineering-oriented alternative to conventional computer science studies. Current enrollment is at approximately 480 students. The HPI School auf Design Thinking is Europe’s first innovation school for university students. It is based on the Stanford model of the d.school and offers 240 places annually for a supplementary course of study.
There are a total of twelve HPI professors and over 50 guest professors, lecturers and contracted teachers at the Institute. HPI carries out research noted for its high standard of excellence in its eleven topic areas. Research work is also conducted at the Potsdam HPI Research School for PhD candidates as well as at its branches in Cape Town, Haifa, and Nanjing. HPI teaching and research focuses on the foundation and application of large-scale, highly complex and distributed IT systems. The development and exploration of user-driven innovations for all sectors of life is an additional area of importance. HPI always earns the highest positions in the CHE university ranking. Its free, open online courses on openHPI.de are available to everyone.