From the very beginning, Ilona Renken-Olthoff's professional biography reveals a combination of well-founded expertise and a passion for education. After completing her teacher training, Ms Renken-Olthoff began accumulating first-hand experience in the transfer of knowledge as a teacher. Inspired by her work in and passion for education, from 1993 she founded a series of innovative educational companies active at the interface between healthcare and pedagogy, such as the IPW Institute for Practice-Oriented Training (Institut für praxisorientierte Weiterbildung) in Hamburg.
One of these first educational beacons is the Medical Healthcare Training Centre in Gera (Bildungszentrum für medizinische Heilberufe, BmH). This institution serves as an umbrella organisation for state-recognised vocational schools, today in eleven fields of healthcare training.
Thanks to her expertise, her nationwide and international network in healthcare, her experience in establishing and developing higher education institutions, and not least her dynamic and engaging personality, Ilona Renken-Olthoff has everything it takes to be a successful higher education and training entrepreneur.
In 2007, for example, Thüringen's first private, state-recognised technical college was opened under Ms Renken-Olthoff's management. With eight degree programmes and successful accreditation from the Science Council, this college is now firmly established in the nationwide education market. In this context, Ms Renken-Olthoff was largely responsible for developing the New Doctors Initiative, which endeavours to systematically adapt medical specialist training to meet the challenges of healthcare.
In December 2009 Ms Renken-Olthoff founded the state-recognised BSP Business School Potsdam - Hochschule für Management in the capital region of Berlin-Brandenburg, right in the historic centre of Potsdam. In 2011 it was renamed BSP Business School Berlin Potsdam - Hochschule für Management. Since the winter of 2012 BSP Business School Berlin Potsdam has been based in the historic Villa Siemens in Berlin-Steglitz. Aspiring economists, managers, communications experts and business psychologists can choose from four bachelor's and three master's degree programmes at BSP.
In the same year of 2009, Mrs Renken-Olthoff founded and established the MSH Medical School Hamburg - Fachhochschule für Gesundheit und Medizin in her chosen home of Hamburg. On 10 November 2009 the school attained state recognition; six degree programmes received accreditation in February 2010, before the first students were admitted. MSH began its first courses in the 2010/2011 winter semester with 140 students in fields of medicine, psychology and pedagogy. The school offers a unique study setting, with views of the Marco Polo Tower, cruise ships and the harbour. As of the 2012 winter semester it had over 600 students. Renowned scientists are drawn to MSH – not least thanks to its highly motivated, goal-oriented and talented young people.
The newly founded MSB Medical School Berlin - Hochschule für Gesundheit und Medizin, which benefits from a unique campus atmosphere at Villa Siemens, began its first courses in the 2012/13 winter semester. With the bachelor's degrees Applied Psychology, Medical Pedagogy, Medical Controlling, Interdisciplinary Early Education and a corresponding master's programme, MSB prepares its students for a professional career in the forward-looking industry of healthcare.