Free University of Berlin
|Freie Universität Berlin|
|Motto||Veritas, Iustitia, Libertas (Latin)|
|Motto in English||Truth, Justice, Liberty|
|Endowment||274 Mio. € (without the Charité medical school)|
|President||Prof. Dr. Peter-André Alt|
|Admin. staff||4,000; 348 Professors; 2,200 Scientific Assistants (excluding those in the Charité medical school)|
|Students||28,500 (WS 2012/13)|
|Affiliations||German Excellence Universities|
The Freie Universität Berlin ("Free University of Berlin") is one of the four research universities in Berlin, Germany. Research at the university is focused on the humanities and social sciences, as well as on health and natural sciences. Founded in West Berlin during the early Cold War period and born out of the increasingly Communist-controlled Humboldt University, its name refers to West Berlin's status as part of the free world, as opposed to the Soviet-occupied areas surrounding the city.
The Freie Universität Berlin was one of nine German top-universities (also known as elite universities) to win in the German Universities Excellence Initiative, a national competition for universities organized by the German Federal Government. Winning a distinction for five doctoral programs, three interdisciplinary research clusters (some of them in cooperation with other universities) and its overall institutional strategy, the Freie Universität Berlin was the single most successful university in the initiative. In university rankings, the Freie Universität Berlin ranks among the best German universities; it has established a strong international showing in the Arts & Humanities followed by the Social Sciences and Law, making it one of Europe's top institutions in these fields.
Excluding the Charité medical school which is co-administered by the university with the Humboldt University, the Freie Universität is currently the lead university for eight collaborative research centres of the German Research Foundation (DFG) and also has five DFG research units. Fourteen scholars of the Freie Universität have to date been awarded the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize of the DFG - the most acclaimed award for research achievements in Germany.
Most of the university's facilities are located in the Dahlem district of the southwest Berlin borough of Steglitz-Zehlendorf. The first independent structure to be completed on campus was the Henry Ford Building, funded by the American Ford Foundation. To that point, the university was housed in several older structures around the neighbourhood, including the Otto Hahn Building, which houses the biochemistry department to this day.
The largest single complex of university buildings is the Rost- und Silberlaube, which translates roughly to the "Rust and Silver Lodges". This complex consists of a series of interlinked structures corresponding to either a deep bronze (hence, "rust") or shiny white ("silver") hue, surrounding a variety of leafy courtyards. It has recently been complemented by a new centrepiece, the brain-shaped Philological Library, designed by British architect Lord Norman Foster.
The Freie Universität Berlin was founded by students and scholars on December 4, 1948, with the support of the American Allies and Berlin politicians as a response to the persecution of students critical of the system at Humboldt University in the Soviet sector of the divided city of Berlin. These students and scholars wanted to study and carry out research at the Freie Universität, free of political influence. Thanks to generous donations from the United States, the Freie Universität was able to construct several new central building complexes including the Benjamin Franklin university clinic complex and the Henry Ford Building, the central lecture building. Based on its founding tradition, the Freie Universität’s seal to this day bears the Latin terms for Truth, Justice, and Liberty. In 2007, the Freie Universität dedicated a monument to the founding students who were murdered by the Soviet secret service. The university presents its Freedom Award to personalities who have made a special contribution toward the cause of freedom.
The years 1968, 1990 and 2007 mark turning points in the history of the Freie Universität. During the 1960s, the university was the scene of student protests that provided the impulse for more openness, equality, and democracy. After German unification in 1990 and increasingly since 2000, the Freie Universität Berlin has revamped itself. The university’s research performance increased markedly with regard to the number of graduates, Ph.D.s granted, and publications. Underlying this successful trend were fundamental reforms such as the introduction of modern management systems in the administration, a reorganization of the departments, and an efficient utilization of resources. Prognos, the renowned economic institute in Basel, Switzerland, presented the Freie Universität with an award for its good entrepreneurial principles. Since 2003, the Freie Universität has been regrouping its research capacities into transdisciplinary research focus areas called clusters. The year 2007 was another crucial year for the Freie Universität: It was the university with the most approved funding applications in the German Universities Excellence Initiative, and it is now one of nine elite German universities to receive funding for its future development strategy.
The Freie Universität is located in the residential garden district of Dahlem in southwestern Berlin. Around the beginning of the 20th century, Dahlem was established as a centre for research of the highest calibre. Academic activity in Dahlem was supported by Friedrich Althoff, Ministerial Director in the Prussian Ministry of Culture, who initially proposed the foundation of "a German Oxford." The first new buildings housed government science agencies and new research institutes of the University of Berlin. The Kaiser Wilhelm Society – forerunner of the present-day Max Planck Society – was founded in 1911 and established several institutes in Dahlem. A dynamic group of researchers carried out pioneering research resulting in numerous Nobel Prizes. Since its foundation, The Freie Universität Berlin has been using buildings formerly belonging to the Kaiser Wilhelm Society and, in addition, has added numerous architecturally innovative buildings. The Freie Universität’s central campus consists of building ensembles within walking distance of each other. The planners oriented themselves along the type of campus found in the United States – a novelty in post-war Germany.
The university has 12 departments, three interdisciplinary central institutes and other central service institutions:
- Biology, Chemistry, Pharmacy
- Business and Economics
- Earth Sciences
- History and Cultural Studies
- Mathematics and Computer Science
- Medicine (Charité - University Medicine Berlin)
- Pedagogy and Psychology
- Philosophy and Humanities
- Political and Social Science
- Veterinary Medicine
Interdisciplinary Central Institutes 
- John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies
- Institute for Eastern European Studies
- Institute for Latin American Studies
Graduate Schools 
- Friedrich Schlegel Graduate School of Literary Studies
- Berlin Graduate School for Transnational Studies (BTS)
- Graduate School of Global Politics
- Muslim Cultures and Societies
- Berlin-Brandenburg School for Regenerative Therapies
- Graduate School of North American Studies
- Berlin Mathematical School
Clusters of Excellence 
- Languages of Emotion
- Topoi - The Formation and Transformation of Space and Knowledge in Ancient Civilizations
- NeuroCure - Towards a Better Outcome of Neurological Disorders
Interdisciplinary Centres 
- "Ancient World"
- "Art and Aesthetics"
- "Ecosystem Dynamics in Central Asia"
- "Efficient Mathematical Modeling"
- "European Languages: Structures - Development - Comparison" (ZEUS)
- "Historical Anthropology"
- "Middle Ages - Renaissance - Early Modern Times"
- "Research on Teaching and Learning"
- "Social and Cultural History of the Middle East"
Central Service Institutions 
- Botanical Garden Berlin and Botanical Museum Berlin
- Centre for Academic Advising, Career and Counselling Services
- Centre for Continuing Studies
- Centre for Recreational Sports
- Centre for the Promotion of Woman's and Gender Studies
- Computer Centre
- Language Centre
- University Library
International Partnership 
The Freie Universität maintains wide-ranging international contacts to other universities and organizations which provide key impulses for research and teaching. In the 1950s, the Freie Universität had already established partnerships with leading universities in the United States such as the University of California System (including University of California, Berkeley, University of California, Los Angeles), University of Chicago, Cornell University, Stanford University, Duke University, Princeton University, Yale University and Columbia University, as well as with Western European universities like University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, University College London and École Normale Supérieure in Paris. The university is a founding member of the global educational centre for the study of transnational law, the Centre for Transnational Legal Studies in London. The Freie Universität also develops a double degree in Public Policy and Management with the top-ranking European business school, HEC Paris. First contacts with universities in Eastern Europe were made in the 1970s. In particular in the 1990s, links were extended to include growing numbers of institutions in North America, Eastern Europe, and the Far East. The newly established Centre for International Cooperation (CIC) concentrates on identifying new strategic partners for international projects.
Today, the Freie Universität has 130 partnerships worldwide, and every year some 600 visiting scientists contribute to the university teaching and research. For the grant programs in Germany, the Freie Universität is one of the first choices both for the Erasmus and Tempus as well as for the Fulbright program and the international programs of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). An International Summer University has been set up for foreign students offering internationally accepted credits.
Foreign Branch Offices 
The Freie Universität Berlin operates foreign branch offices in New York City, Brussel, Moscow, Beijing, Cairo and New Delhi. The foreign branch offices work to expand upon cooperation partnerships already existing with universities in the country.
In April 2005, the Freie Universität Berlin, in conjunction with Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU), opened a joint representative office in New York. This German University Alliance, located in German House, the seat of the German Consulate General and the German UN Mission, represents the interests of the two universities in the U.S. and Canada and works to increase the exchange of students and scientists.
In addition, the Freie Universität Berlin, as the first German institution of higher education, founded an alumni- and fundraising organization, the Friends of the Freie Universität Berlin (FFUB) in New York. Since 2003 this alumni- and fundraising organization has maintained close contact to alumni and scientists of the Freie Universität in the U.S. and attempts to gain alumni and friends as sponsors, to strengthen the long-lasting trans-Atlantic relations. Some of the proceeds from these fundraising activities were contributed to the renovation of the Henry Ford Building.
With additional branch offices in Moscow (since 2004), Peking, and New Delhi (opened in February 2008), operated in cooperation with strong partners, large research institutions, or universities, the Freie Universität Berlin is strategically extending its radius of action as an international network university.
In April 2006 Peking University opened its first branch in Germany. Its objectives include the promotion of knowledge of Chinese culture, the cultivation of Chinese-German cooperation, and the spread of Chinese languages.
Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, has a Berlin Programm (Duke in Berlin), that is held in cooperation with the Freie Universität and Humboldt Universität.
The University of California System organizes programs for American students in Berlin and Potsdam. At the Freie Universität the UC System maintains an office to attend to the needs of the exchange students from California.
The Office of Global Programs of Columbia University in New York administrates the Berlin Consortium for German Studies. Students from Columbia University and the other colleges and universities included in the consortium (University of Chicago, Cornell University, Johns Hopkins University, University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University, and Vassar College) can attend classes at the Freie Universität for one or two semesters as external students. This temporary enrollment is preceded by a six-week intensive language program.
The Freie Universität Berlin is consistently ranked among Germany's top universities overall, with particularly strong showing in the Arts & Humanities followed by the Social Sciences internationally. For instance, the 2009 THE-QS World University Rankings subject rankings in Arts and Humanities place the university 1st in Germany, 6th best in Europe, and 27th in the world . The 2011 QS World University Rankings ranked the university at 66th internationally. The 2011 QS World University Rankings for law ranked the FU at 41th internationally, 12th best in Europe and 2nd in Germany. Notable rival German universities in terms of rankings, particularly in the fields of the Arts & Humanities as well as the Social Sciences include the University of Munich, University of Heidelberg and the Humboldt University.
Tables comparing the year-on-year ranking performance of the Freie Universität Berlin based on popular international ranking exercises are as follows:
|Year||Source||Overall International Ranking||Overall Regional Ranking (Europe)||International Arts & Humanities Ranking||International Natural Sciences Ranking||International Social Sciences Ranking||Overall National Ranking|
|2006||Times Higher Education Supplement||149||-||33||-||-||-|
|2007||Times Higher Education Supplement||146||-||38||-||-||7|
|2008||Times Higher Education Supplement||137||-||24||-||62||4|
|2009||Times Higher Education Supplement||94||-||27||-||47||3|
|2010||Times Higher Education Supplement||-||-||34||-||-||-|
|2011||Times Higher Education Supplement||151||-||29||-||-||-|
|2012||Times Higher Education Supplement||128||-||25||-||-||-|
|Year||Source||Overall International Ranking||International Arts & Humanities Ranking||International Natural Sciences Ranking||International Social Sciences Ranking||International Life Sciences and Biomedicine Ranking||Overall National Ranking|
|2006||QS World University Rankings||149||-||-||-||-||-|
|2007||QS World University Rankings||146||38||102||61||132||-|
|2008||QS World University Rankings||137||24||82||62||177||-|
|2009||QS World University Rankings||94||27||77||47||137||-|
|2010||QS World University Rankings||70||25||66||53||64||4|
|2011||QS World University Rankings||66||30||60||56||72||-|
|2012||QS World University Rankings||87||26||59||52||74||-|
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize Winners 
The DFG has awarded the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize to outstanding German scientists every year since 1985. The highest German research prize, it consists of a research grant of 2.5 million euros to be used within seven years. So far there have been 14 prize winners at the Freie Universität Berlin:
- Prof. Dr. Volker Erdmann, Biochemistry (1988)
- Prof. Dr. Wolfram Saenger, Crystallography (1988)
- Prof. Dr. Randolf Menzel, Neuroscience (1991)
- Prof. Dr. Irmela Hijiya-Kirschnereit, Japanese Studies (1992)
- Prof. Dr. Jürgen Kocka, History (1992)
- Prof. Dr. Johann Mulzer, Organic chemistry (1994)
- Prof. Dr. Peter Schaefer, Jewish Studies (1994)
- Prof. Dr. Emo Welzl, Computer science (1995)
- Prof. Dr. Onno Oncken, Geology (1998)
- Prof. Dr. Regine Hengge-Aronis, Microbiology (1998)
- Prof. Dr. Joachim Kuepper, Romance studies (2001)
- Prof. Dr.-Ing. Rupert Klein, Mathematics (2003)
- Prof. Dr. Gabriele Brandstetter, Dramatics (2004)
- Prof. Dr. Gyburg Radke, Ancient Greek (2006)
Notable people 
- Johannes Agnoli, political scientist (Professor)
- Arnulf Baring, historian, political scientist (Professor)
- Ernst Benda, Minister of the Interior of Germany (1968 to 1969); 4th president of the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany (1971–1983) (Alumnus)
- Peter Bieri (author), philosopher and writer (Professor)
- Volkmar Braunbehrens, musicologist (Alumnus)
- Reinhold Brinkmann, musicologist (Alumnus)
- Dieter Claessens, sociologist and anthropologist (Professor)
- Christopher Clark, historian (Alumnus)
- Gordon A. Craig, historian and writer (Professor)
- Herta Däubler-Gmelin, Justice Minister of Germany (1998–2002) (Professor)
- Eberhard Diepgen, Mayor of (West) Berlin (1984–1989, 1991–2001) (Alumnus)
- Rudi Dutschke, spokesperson of the German student movement in the 1960s (Alumnus)
- Hans Eichel, German Minister of Finance (1999–2005) (Alumnus)
- Peter Eigen, Founder of Transparency International (Professor)
- Gudrun Ensslin, Terrorist (Alumnus)
- Gerhard Ertl, physicist and Nobel Prize in Chemistry (2007) (Professor)
- Günter Faltin, economist (Professor)
- Paul Feyerabend, philosopher (Professor)
- Andrea Fischer, Federal Minister for Health (1998–2001) (Alumnus)
- Ernst Fraenkel, political scientist (Professor)
- Jonathan Franzen, novelist (Alumnus)
- Reinhard Furrer, scienitst and astronaut (Alumnus / Professor)
- Edwin Gentzler, American Germanist and translation scholar (Alumnus)
- Klaus Hänsch, President of the European Parliament (1994–1997) (Alumnus / Scientific Assistant)
- Roman Herzog, President of Germany (1994–1999) (Professor)
- Irmela Hijiya-Kirschnereit, Japanologist and winner of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize (1992) (Professor)
- Ōe Kenzaburō, novelist and Nobel Prize in Literature (1994) (Professor)
- Jürgen Kocka, Historian (Professor)
- Renate Künast, Minister of Consumer Protection, Food and Agriculture (2001–2005) (Alumnus)
- Helga Zepp-LaRouche, German political activist, wife of American political activist Lyndon LaRouche (Alumnus)
- Jutta Limbach, president of the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany (1994–2002), president of Goethe-Instituts (2002–2008) (Alumnus / Professor)
- Herbert Marcuse, sociologist (Professor)
- Friedrich Meinecke, historian (Professor)
- Walter Momper, Mayor of (West Berlin) (1989–1991) (Alumnus)
- Herta Müller, novelist and Nobel Prize in Literature (2009) (Professor)
- Ernst Nolte, historian (Professor)
- Hans-Jürgen Papier, Federal Constitutional Court of Germany (2002–2010) (Alumnus)
- Günter Rexrodt, Economics Minister of Germany (1993–1998) (Alumnus)
- Thomas Risse, political scientist (Professor)
- Raúl Rojas, Computer scientist (Professor)
- Ernst Ruska, physicist and Winner of Nobel Prize in Physics (1986) (Professor)
- Otto Schily, Federal Ministry of the Interior (1998–2005) (Alumnus)
- Gesine Schwan, political scientist and candidate for the German presidential election (2004) (Professor)
- Reinhard Selten, economist and Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences (1994) (Professor)
- Vassilios Skouris, President of the Court of Justice of the European Communities (since 2003) (Alumnus)
- Amity Shlaes, Senior fellow in economic history at the Council on Foreign Relations and syndicated columnist
- Péter Szondi, literary scholar (Professor)
- Klaus Wowereit, Mayor of Berlin (since 2001) (Alumnus)
- Georges Tamer, Islamic studies scholar (Professor & Alumnus)
- Jacob Taubes, sociologist of religion, philosopher, and scholar of Judaism (Professor)
See also 
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: the Free University of Berlin|
- "2007 THES QS World University Rankings". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 2010-01-06.[dead link]
- "Times Higher Education-QS World University Rankings 2009". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 2010-01-06.
- "Times Higher Education-QS World University Rankings 2010".
- "Times Higher Education-QS World University Rankings 2011".
- "QS World University Rankings 2006 Results".
- "QS World University Rankings 2007 Results".
- "QS World University Rankings 2008 Results".
- "QS World University Rankings 2009 Results".
- "QS World University Rankings 2010 Results".
- "QS World University Rankings 2011 Results".
- "QS World University Rankings 2012 Results".