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Press Release

FHWien der WKW Takes Over Hernstein Institute

January 18, 2023

With the integration of the long-established provider of executive and organizational development, the university of applied sciences for management and communication expands its portfolio.

Vienna, January 18, 2023 – On January 17, 2023, a new era has begun for FHWien der WKW: The university of applied sciences for management and communication took over the Hernstein Institute for Management and Leadership, which until then had belonged directly to the Vienna Chamber of Commerce (WKW). Hernstein has been imparting leadership and management competencies for over 50 years and accompanies executives and companies on their way to success. Its portfolio includes open programs as well as customized training for companies. All of Hernstein’s offerings are practical and geared to business requirements.

“What belongs together is growing together” 

For Michael Heritsch, CEO of FHWien der WKW and now also of the Hernstein Institute, the two organizations are an excellent fit: “With this takeover, what belongs together is growing together: Hernstein, as a renowned institute for executive and organizational development, fits perfectly into our university of applied sciences’ focus on management and communication. FHWien der WKW will thus become a unique provider in the higher education sector: In our degree programs, we prepare tomorrow’s managers for successful careers; in Hernstein’s trainings, managers develop their leadership skills alongside their jobs.”

Over 50 years of experience in executive development

“Hernstein is a strong and traditional brand in executive and organizational development. For more than 50 years, we have been helping managers advance in their day-to-day work through practical solutions. In doing so, we rely on experienced trainers,” explains Michaela Kreitmayer, Head of Hernstein Institute, whose name derives from Hernstein Castle in Lower Austria. The former Habsburg hunting lodge was converted into a seminar center by the Vienna Chamber of Commerce and was the site of the first Hernstein seminar in 1966.

Management training at the cutting edge

“The challenges facing companies and their managers have changed since the Hernstein Institute was founded – and so have our offerings,” says Michaela Kreitmayer. “Our trainings are always on the cutting edge, the content is constantly updated. Today, for example, they deal with leading teams in the home office, change management, managers as coaches and leadership in times of crisis.” Despite all the innovation, one thing remains unchanged, as Kreitmayer emphasizes: “Hernstein promotes reflection and personal development. More relevant than ever in this context are our group dynamics seminars.”

Win-win situation for Hernstein and FHWien der WKW

FHWien der WKW expects synergy effects from the integration of the Hernstein Institute: For example, Hernstein brings valuable knowledge about what skills managers need today to be successful. This wealth of experience can be incorporated into the design of the university of applied sciences’ degree programs in the future. Conversely, Hernstein can make use of research findings developed at FHWien der WKW – for example on the topics of sustainable corporate management, strategic management and organizational development.

An evaluation of Hernstein’s strategies and potential is planned for 2023; the proven range of services will remain unchanged for the time being.

Second milestone in expanding the continuing education programs

The acquisition of Hernstein is the second milestone FHWien der WKW has reached within a year in the expansion of its continuing education programs: It was only in February 2022 that the Vienna Management Academy by FHWien der WKW was unveiled. Under this new brand, the university of applied sciences has bundled its continuing education programs for professionals. Like Hernstein, the Vienna Management Academy offers open courses as well as continuing education tailored to a company.

The current program of the Hernstein Institute can be found on its website:

To the Hernstein Institute website (in German)


FHWien der WKW takes over the Hernstein Institute for Management and Leadership. “With this integration, what belongs together is growing together,” explains Michael Heritsch, CEO of FHWien and Hernstein.
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“Hernstein is a strong and traditional brand in executive and organizational development with over 50 years of experience,” says Michaela Kreitmayer, Head of Hernstein.
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Copyright: Philipp Tomsich

FHWien der WKW – University of Applied Sciences for Management & Communication 

FHWien der WKW is Austria’s leading university of applied sciences for management & communication. Working in close contact with Austrian corporations, FHWien der WKW offers comprehensive and practice-oriented academic programs to over 2,800 Bachelor’s and Master’s students. Two thirds of our teaching staff have a background in business. Our programs are tailored to the needs of companies, optimally preparing our students for their future careers. Since its foundation in 1994, FHWien der WKW has already produced over 13,600 graduates.


Bernhard Witzeling
Head of Corporate Communication, Marketing and Alumni & Career Services, Press Officer
Tel.: +43 (1) 476 77-5731