Freie Universität Berlin
Freie Universität Berlin is a leading research institution. It is one of the German universities successful in all three funding lines in the federal and state Excellence Initiative, thereby receiving additional funding for its institutional future development strategy.
Freie Universität can thus take its place as an international network university in the global competition among universities. Development and assessment of research projects takes place within various focus areas, research networks, and platforms for interdisciplinary collaborative research.
The university’s performance in the Excellence Initiative provided funding for several new graduate schools and transdisciplinary research clusters. In particular, the graduate schools play a key role in the development of internationally competitive research centers of excellence.
Freie Universität Berlin is a broad-based university with 15 departments and central institutes offering over 150 degree programs across a wide range of subjects.
Freie Universität Berlin in the Excellence Initiative
Freie Universität is one of the eleven universities to have been successful in all three lines of funding in the German government%27s Excellence Initiative in 2012. The future development concept of Freie Universität is based on three key strategic centers: the Center for Research Strategy, which focuses on research planning; the Center for International Cooperation; and the Dahlem Research School, which supports next-generation academic talent.
Interdisciplinary Work within Research Alliances
The main features of Freie Universität’s research activities include the broad variety of global academic and scientific cooperation arrangements in place as part of alliance projects and networks with other entities active in research, alongside the university’s innovative support concepts for junior scholars and scientists and the scope of the external funding the university raises.
The various areas of focus in the research conducted at Freie Universität are organized into various structures, including interdisciplinary focus areas, excellence clusters, collaborative research centers, and research centers.
Wide Variety of Academic Offerings and Excellent Support for Junior Scholars and Scientists
Freie Universität is a full-spectrum university, comprising twelve departments and three Central Institutes that together offer more than 150 different academic programs in a broad range of disciplines. Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin is the joint medical school of Freie Universität Berlin and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.
Dahlem Research School (DRS) at Freie Universität Berlin offers the framework encompassing a range of outstanding structured doctoral programs. By establishing the DRS, Freie Universität Berlin broke new ground in the field of graduate education in Germany, all with the aim of offering junior scholars and scientists the best possible conditions for their academic development. At the DRS, strategies to support doctoral candidates and postdoctoral students at Freie Universität are developed, research within interdisciplinary and international alliances is fostered, and established graduate schools and research training groups receive support alongside new initiatives.
Freie Universität owes its founding, in 1948, to international support, and international impulses have shaped the university’s research activities and student life ever since. As an International Network University, Freie Universität thrives on its many contacts with higher education institutions and organizations in Germany and abroad, which provide critical impetus for the university’s research and teaching activities.
Today, Freie Universität maintains roughly 100 partnerships at the university-wide level, along with about 330 university partnerships within the Erasmus academic exchange network and ca. 45 institute partnerships, forming a wide-ranging and tight-knit global network.
Each year, about 600 international scholars and scientists contribute to the variety of teaching and research activities pursued at Freie Universität. One groundbreaking development that demonstrates the way the university takes international cooperation to the next level is the seven international liaison offices of Freie Universität that were founded beginning in 2007 – in Beijing, Brussels, Cairo, Moscow, New Delhi, New York, and São Paulo. Another is the establishment of special arrangements with selected universities in the form of strategic partnerships.
At Freie Universität more than 6,500 individuals from some 130 countries study, teach, or conduct research.
An international outlook defines the research activities and academic life at Freie Universität Berlin, a fact that has been true ever since the university was founded. Extensive exchanges of scholars, researchers, scientists, and students as well as global cooperative arrangements in research and teaching remain hallmarks of the international character of Freie Universität to this day. As a result, raising the university’s international profile is one of the three main areas of emphasis in the future development concept put forward by Freie Universität, alongside providing graduate education and promoting collaborative research in specific focus areas.
Freie Universität currently maintains more than 100 bilateral international partnerships at the university-wide level, along with more than 340 university partnerships within the ERASMUS academic exchange network, and over 50 institute partnerships. The university also operates liaison offices around the world – in Brussels, Cairo, Beijing, Moscow, New York, New Delhi, and São Paulo – which help to expand and maintain its international network on an ongoing basis within their specific regions.
Attractive for Students from All Over the World
Of the university’s approximately 28,000 students, roughly 18 percent are from other countries. At the beginning of each summer semester, about 500 foreign students come to Freie Universität to spend one or two semesters here as part of an exchange program. At the same time, the university sends hundreds of its own students abroad every year, through both the Erasmus program and its own extensive range of direct exchange options.
Owing to the history of its founding, Freie Universität maintains very close connections with institutions in the United States. This is also reflected in the university’s major education abroad programs, such as those with the University of California, the Berlin Consortium, or the options offered by the FU-BEST Program. The Dahlem campus is home to a lively atmosphere during the International Summer and Winter University (FUBiS), when hundreds of students come to Freie Universität for short academic programs.
More than 6,500 people from about 130 different countries are currently involved in undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral studies and in teaching activities at Freie Universität. The university is a leading destination for international researchers. Alongside Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich, Freie Universität Berlin has been the most popular site for visiting scholars and scientists of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation for years. Freie Universität also shares the top slot in Germany in terms of the number of international doctoral candidates, this time with the University of Heidelberg. In addition, about 600 scholars and scientists from other countries come to Freie Universität each year, contributing to the broad spectrum of research and teaching activities.
International Forums and Events
Freie Universität also supports research and international networking through specific formats and events that foster the exchange of ideas.