Jacobs University Bremen

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Coordinates: 53°10′N 8°39′E / 53.167°N 8.650°E / 53.167; 8.650

Jacobs University Bremen
Jacobs University Bremen logo.svg
Logo of Jacobs University Bremen
Other name
JU Bremen, JUB or JU
Former name
International University Bremen (IUB)
MottoInspiration is a Place
Established2001 (2001)
PresidentAntonio Loprieno
Academic staff
265 (of which 66 are Professors)
Administrative staff
169 (2020)
Students1571 (2020)[1]
Undergraduates1015 (2020)[1]
Postgraduates230 (2020)[1]
247 (2020)[1]
Other students
65 (2020)[1]
LocationBremen, State of Bremen, Germany
CampusSuburban, 80 acres (0.32 km2)

Jacobs University Bremen (abbreviated JU Bremen or JU) is an international, private, residential, doctorate-granting research university located in Vegesack, Bremen, State of Bremen, Germany. It offers study programs in engineering, humanities, natural and social sciences, in which students can acquire bachelor's, master's or doctorate degrees. Furthermore, the university offers a preparatory program – the Foundation Year. Jacobs University’s students come from more than 120 countries.[2] With about 80% foreign students[3] and approx. 33% international faculty members.


Jacobs University Bremen Campus Center

Jacobs University Bremen (originally called International University Bremen) was founded in 1999 with the support of the University of Bremen, Rice University in Houston, Texas, and the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen, with study programs beginning in 2001.[4] The Jacobs Foundation[5] invested €200 million in the institution in November 2006, thus taking over a two-thirds majority of the partnership share. At the beginning of 2007, the university changed its name to Jacobs University Bremen.[6]

The campus is located on the site of the former Roland Barracks in Bremen-Grohn. The site was erected in 1938 during the National Socialist period. After the Second World War it was transformed into a displaces-persons camp by the International Refugee Organization under the management of the American forces known as Camp Grohn. Shortly after the formation of the Bundeswehr, Camp Grohn was passed into the responsibility of the German government in 1955 and renamed Roland Kaserne. Roland Kaserne housed a Bundeswehr logistics school during the Cold War. In 1999, the military base was inactivated, making way for the university.[7][8]

The approximately 34-hectare site of the campus university is home to four residential colleges, buildings for administration, lecturing and research, an Information Resource Center (IRC) with a library and digital resources, sport, leisure and park facilities.


At the end of a four-year plan (2014-2017) for realignment, Jacobs University generated revenues of €50.2 million in fiscal year 2017, an increase of €2.8 million (5.9 percent) over the previous year.[9] Compared to the reference year 2012, Jacobs University was able to continuously reduce its losses.[10] As part of its restructuring, the university cut a total of 65 jobs in 2014.[11]

The long-term financing of Jacobs University is an ongoing debate in Bremen. The university generates its income through different areas, including study fees, donations, third-party funding, business cooperations and contributions from the Jacobs Foundation. The funding from the state of Bremen, which amounts to three million euros a year, expired in 2017.[12][13]

In June 2018, the Jacobs Foundation decided to support the private university until 2027 with a maximum of another 100 million Swiss francs. Simultaneously, the city of Bremen took over a loan from the start-up phase of the university in order to strengthen the financial abilities of the institution in the long term.[14]


The university is managed by a not-for-profit company Jacobs University Bremen gGmbH. In line with the statutes, it is composed of four organs: the Councilors, the Board of Trustees, the Board of Governors and the Executive Board, which comprises the Managing Director and the President. The Board of Governors is the central decision-making committee for all the fundamental questions of the university's development, including the appointment of the president and the professors. Christian Jacobs, the eldest son of the entrepreneur and patron Klaus J. Jacobs (1936–2008), is a member of the board of trustees of the Jacobs Foundation.[15][16]

University Leadership[edit]

On December 1, 2019, Prof. Dr. Antonio Loprieno took over as President of the University from Prof. Dr. Michael Hülsmann.[17] Prof. Dr. Antonio Loprieno (President and Chairman of the Executive Board), Andrea Herzig-Erler and Prof. Dr. Thomas Auf der Heyde (Managing Directors) form the university’s Executive Board.

Jacobs University’s presidents in chronological order

  • 1999 – 2006 Dr. Fritz Schaumann[18]
  • 2006 – 2012 Prof. Dr. Joachim Treusch[19]
  • 2013 Prof. Dr. Heinz-Otto Peitgen[20]
  • 2014 – 2018 Prof. Dr.-Ing. Katja Windt[21]
  • 2018 – 2019 Prof. Dr. Michael Hülsmann[22]
  • Since 2019 Prof. Dr. Antonio Loprieno[23]

The Board of Governors is lead by Dr. Claudia Schilling, Senator for Justice and Constitution and Senator for Science and Ports, Bremen. Further members are among others:

  • Prof. Dr. Antje Boetius, Director Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research
  • Dr. Jörg Dräger, Board Member of the Bertelsmann Stiftung and former Senator for Science and Research of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg
  • Dr. Philipp Rösler, CEO of the Hainan Cihang Charity Foundation in New York and former Vice-Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany.[24]

Study Programs[edit]

Within these focus areas, 15 undergraduate programs and 7 graduate programs are offered. In addition, Jacobs University also offers a preparatory and orientation year, the Foundation Year Program. The program was established to support students in deciding on their future path of study and to meet international admission criteria.

The study programs and courses are generally taught in English and are practice-oriented. Psychologie (MSc) is the only study program that requires German-language skills. Students are involved in the research work of their professors from the first semester onwards. In the fifth semester, they have the possibility to study abroad.

Degrees can be completed to the academic levels of Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Science (BSc), Master of Arts (MA), Master of Science (MSc), and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). The Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences (BIGSSS) is a joint graduate school founded by Jacobs University and the University of Bremen. It offers several doctorate programs.[25]

Jacobs University's study programs are:[26]

Mobility (of People, Goods, and Information):

Health(Focus on Bioactive Substances):

Diversity (in modern Societies):

Tuition and fees[edit]

The tuition fees including room and board amount to €28,650 per academic year. Individualized financial aid packages, involving grants, scholarships, and tuition deferrals assist qualified applicants for Bachelor’s and Master’s programs in commencing their studies at Jacobs University. True to the motto "Study now, pay later", Jacobs University offers a new financing model for tuition fees together with the education fund "Brain Capital".[27][28]

Student Body[edit]

The international nature of the student body is one of the defining characteristics of Jacobs University. Currently more than 1,500 students from over 120 nations are matriculated at the university (status as of December 2019).[7] Most students come from Germany (18%) followed by India (8,7 %), Pakistan (5,8 %), Nepal (6,6 %), China (4,8 %), USA (4,2 %), Albania (3,8 %), Ethiopia (2,7 %), South Korea (2,5 %) and Morocco (2,2 %). Exchange programs with a total of 26 international partners help to foster the international atmosphere.[29]

Overseen by resident mentors, the vast majority of students live on campus in one of four colleges. They pursue their sporting, social, political or cultural interests in more than 50 student clubs. Jacobs students organize a number of recurring events on campus such as conferences, culture information days, sports competitions and art exhibitions.

Jacobs University has two groups of student government: The Undergraduate Student Government (USG) and the Graduate Student Association (GSA), representing the undergraduate and graduate student body, respectively.


Research in the three Focus Areas is an important pillar of Jacobs University. Its scientists have made a name for themselves through a large number of international and national research projects.[30] Jacobs University's faculty members have been very successful in attracting third-party funding. In 2017, each professor raised an average of 205,900 euros in third-party funding.[31] Jacobs University's research projects are funded by the German Research Foundation or the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation of the European Union as well as by leading global companies. Professors often involve the students in their research work from the first semester onwards.


University rankings
Global – Overall
THE World[32]251–300

In THE Young University Rankings 2019, Jacobs University is ranked 26th among young universities worldwide and among the top 5 in Germany.[33] In the THE ranking of the best small universities, Jacobs University is the only German university represented and ranks tenth in the world.[34]

In the CHE University Ranking 2019, the university achieved top positions in the subjects electrical engineering, information technology and psychology, 2018 in geo, social and political sciences, 2017 in economics and industrial engineering.[35]

In the international university ranking U-Multirank, Jacobs University was ranked in the top five German universities in 2017. It received top ratings in the categories of international alignment and research.[36]

According to USNWR's 2019 indicator rankings, Jacobs University was ranked as #364(tie) in Europe, #57 in Germany, Subject Chemistry #535(tie) worldwide.


The university closely cooperates with many local and international partners,[37] including students exchange, faculty mobility, joint programs, and research collaborations. The partners include world-renowned institutions,[38] such as:

  • North America (now US only):
Carnegie Mellon University
Rice University
New York University
University of Pennsylvania
Cornell University
Case Western Reserve University
University of Notre Dame
  • Europe:
University of Edinburgh, UK
University of Warwick, UK
University of Groningen, The Netherlands
Sciences Po, France
Uppsala University, Sweden
University of Oslo, Norway
St. Petersburg State University, Russia
  • Germany:
Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), Bremen
Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Marine Microbiology, Bremen
University of Bremen
  • Asia (Far & Middle East):
Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Israel
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
Ritsumeikan University, Japan
University of Nottingham Ningbo, China
Fudan University, Shanghai, China

Alumni Association[edit]

The Jacobs University Alumni Association was founded in 2004. It comprises around 2,400 members; around 70 percent of all graduates have joined the Alumni Association. In 2008 a limited company was founded as Jacobs University Bremen Alumni & Friends GmbH, laying the legal foundations to give the alumni a say in the university's development. The limited company, which is 99-percent owned by the Alumni Association, with one percent owned by the university, is one of three shareholders in Jacobs University and owns a sixth of the shares in the school.[39] The president of the Alumni Association is also a member of the Board of Governors, thus taking a very active role in shaping the future of the institution.

Categorization of the study model[edit]

Jacobs University has combined features of typical US and German higher education institutions.

US universities can be public or private and typically offer 4-year undergraduate programs. They charge high annual tuition fees and provide accommodation for students to live on campus. in contrast, most German universities are public and offer 3-year undergraduate programs in accordance with the Bologna Process. The majority of German universities does not charge tuition fees, but only collect a small service fee. Dormitories and meals are managed by Studentenwerk, a municipal student service organization independent of universities. Now Jacobs, a private university, offers 3-year undergraduate programs with less expensive tuition fees and provides accommodation on the residential campus for its student.

A typical 4-year US program includes physical educations, requiring its students to take around four to five courses per semester. Like German universities, Jacobs's 3-year program offers athletics in the form of extracurricular activities. The average 30 ECTS per semester include more than 6 courses of soft skills training(e.g. language courses as additional competences). Jacobs also provides career advising as mandatory courses.

The admission process of Jacobs University follows the US-American system.

Cooperation with Businesses[edit]

Jacobs University offers companies various opportunities for cooperation, which include long-term research collaborations, the provision of scientific services as part of short-term research and development projects, or training of junior and managerial staff.[40]


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  4. ^ "Jacobs University: Die Drehtür zur Welt - brand eins wissen". www.brandeins.de (in German). Retrieved 2018-01-23.
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  40. ^ "Business Solutions". Jacobs University - Inspiration is a Place. 2017-04-21. Retrieved 2018-01-23.