University of Konstanz

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University of Konstanz
Universität Konstanz
Logo Universität Konstanz.png
Logo of the University of Konstanz
Type Public
Established 1966
Budget € 184.2 million (2016)[1]
Rector Ulrich Rüdiger[de]
Academic staff
Administrative staff
Students 10,759[1]
Location Konstanz, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Affiliations German Excellence Universities, EUA, YERUN, IBH
laying of the foundation stone, 21 June 1966
A view of the University of Konstanz campus
A view of the Island of Mainau
Foyer glas ceiling designed by Otto Piene (1970)
The entrance area of the university library

The University of Konstanz (German: Universität Konstanz) is a university in the city of Konstanz in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It was founded in 1966, and the main campus on the Gießberg was opened in 1972. The University is situated on the shore of Lake Constance just four kilometers from the Swiss border. As one of eleven German Excellence Universities, University of Konstanz is consistently ranked among the global top 250 by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings .[2] In 2016 it was ranked 7th globally by the Times Higher Education 150 under 50 rankings.[3] It is often referred to as "small Harvard" by the German media.[4][5][6]

Over 10,000 students from close to 100 countries are enrolled at the university, while over 220 links to European partner universities and numerous exchange programmes facilitate global networking.[7] Students may choose from more than 100 degree programs. Moreover, Konstanz University cooperates with a large number of renowned universities such as Johns Hopkins University,[8] Yale University,[9] the University of Chicago,[10] UC Berkeley[11] and the University of Zurich.[12] Its library is open 24 hours a day and has more than two million books.[13]


In 1965 the founding committee of the university developed the concept of a reform university with new forms of study and teaching, a central administration and central facilities for technology, computers and language training. New forms of self-administration replaced traditional university structures. In 1966 the university began its work in a wing of today's Inselhotel, formerly a Dominican monastery. Professor David Daube, Regius Professor of Civil Law at the University of Oxford, gave the inaugural lectures.

The beginning was makeshift - in the middle of Sonnenbühl on the edge of the town quarter Petershausen on the right side of the Rhine, with only a handful of professors and a few dozen students. Starting in 1967, today's campus was developed through individual construction projects on the hill known as the Gießberg. Until today, the university has continued to be structurally altered and expanded. In 2007 the University joined the German Universities Excellence Initiative competition and succeeded in becoming Germany's smallest and youngest University of Excellence. The University secured funding for its institutional strategy "Towards a Culture of Creativity",[14] the graduate school "Chemical Biology"[15] as well as the cluster of excellence "Cultural Foundations of Integration".[16] This result was reconfirmed when the university succeeded in the second programme phase (2012–2017)[17] with all projects and additionally was granted the "Graduate School of Decision Sciences".[18]


The campus is located on the Gießberg, about 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) from the center of the city and comes with its own beach facing the Lake Constance.[19]

The university was planned as a place of life and learning, in which new forms of research and teaching should be reflected in the architectural style. Dense construction, short paths, the absence of large auditoriums in exchange for a large number of seminar rooms, as well as the variety of work, traffic, and quiet areas, are all part of the architectural concept. In addition, there was the idea of creating lasting "Kunst am Bau" (structural art) accents, so that the building of a desolate concrete landscape could be avoided in an effective manner.[20]


Faculties and Departments[edit]

The 13 departments of the university are divided into three faculties:

Faculty of Sciences[edit]

Faculty of Humanities[edit]

Faculty of Politics, Law and Economics[edit]

Collaborative Research Centres[edit]

  • Anisotropic Particles as Building Blocks: Tailoring Shape, Interactions and Structures (SFB 1214)
  • Chemical and Biological Principles of Cellular Proteostasis (SFB 969)
  • Controlled Nanosystems: Interaction and Interfacing to the Macroscale (SFB 767)
  • Quantitative Methods for Visual Computing (SFB-TRR 161)

Research groups[edit]

  • The Dynamics of Risk – Perception and Behavior in the Context of Mental and Physical Health (Risk Dynamics - FOR 2374)
  • New Insights into the Bcl-2 family interactions – from biophysics to function (FOR 2036)
  • Nonlinear response to probe vitrification (FOR 1394)
  • Mediale Teilhabe. Partizipation zwischen Anspruch und Inanspruchnahme (FOR 2252)
  • PsychoEconomics (FOR 1882)
  • Questions at the Interfaces (FOR 2111)
  • What if? (FOR 1614)

Institutions in the context of the German Excellence Initiative[edit]

  • Cluster of Excellence "Cultural Foundations of Social Integration"
  • Konstanz Research School Chemical Biology
  • Graduate School of Decision Sciences
  • Institutional strategy "Modell Konstanz - Towards a Culture of Creativity"
  • Zukunftskolleg


University rankings
ARWU[21] 401-500
Times[22] 194
QS[23] 352

In the "Times Higher Education 150 Under 50 University Rankings", the University of Konstanz achieved 7th position globally in 2016.[24] This position makes Konstanz the best German university amongst those assessed, all of which are under 50 years old. This assessment was underscored by the 2014 edition of the global ranking "QS Top 50 under 50", which also concentrates on universities under the age of 50. In this case Konstanz came 21st in the global comparison.[25]

Well-known individuals[edit]

Honorary citizens of the University of Konstanz[edit]

  • Gerhard Hess, Founding Rector
  • Kurt Georg Kiesinger, former German Chancellor
  • Horst Sund, former Retor
  • Gerhart von Graevenitz, former Retor

Honorary senators of the University of Konstanz[26][edit]

  • Herbert Beeck, businessman and CEO of the LBS (Badische Landesbausparkasse)
  • Dietrich H. Boesken, German industry manager and managing partner of the Boesken GmbH
  • Kurt Büttner, former chair of the Byk Gulden Lomberg (pharmaceuticals company)
  • Franz Josef Dazert, former chair of the Salamander company and co-founder of the “Förderkreis Tel Aviv” (Student Exchange with the University of Konstanz)
  • Theopont Diez † former president of the “Freunde der Universität Konstanz” (friends of the University of Konstanz), renamed in 1996 to “University of Konstanz Society” (Universitätsgesellschaft Konstanz - UGK)
  • Horst Eickmeyer, German administrative lawyer and politician
  • Joachim Fürst zu Fürstenberg † German entrepreneur
  • Hans-Werner Hector, German entrepreneur and co-founder of the SAP AG software company
  • Otto P. W. Hüni † Hüni & Co company
  • Dieter Jahn, former chair of the University Council
  • Heribert Knorr, politician
  • Wilhelm Krull, secretary general of the VolkswagenStiftung (Volkswagen Foundation)
  • Kurt Lion † Swiss entrepreneur, established the “Lion Foundation”
  • Karl Lion, son of Kurt Lion
  • Robert Maus, politician
  • Dagmar Schmieder, CEO of the Kliniken Schmieder (neurological rehabilitation clinics)
  • Nikolaus Schweickart, manager in the chemical industry
  • Frank Steinkühler, German financial and business consultant
  • Manfred Ulmer † textiles manufacturer
  • Johannes Weyl † German publisher
  • Brigitte Weyl, head of the “Universitätsverlag Konstanz”

Rectors of the University of Konstanz[edit]

  • 1966–1972: Gerhard Hess (1907–1983)
  • 1972–1974: Theopont Diez (1908–1993)
  • 1974–1976: Frieder Naschold (1940–1999)
  • 1976–1991: Horst Sund (* 1926)
  • 1991–1996: Bernd Rüthers (* 1930)
  • 1996–2000: Rudolf Cohen (* 1932)
  • 2000–2009: Gerhart von Graevenitz (1944–2016)
  • since 2009: Ulrich Rüdiger (* 1966)

Notable alumni[edit]


  • Foundation „Wissenschaft und Gesellschaft“
  • Foundation „Umwelt und Wohnen“
  • Dr. August und Annelies Karst foundation

Awards and honours awarded by the University of Konstanz[edit]

  • DAAD prize
  • Kurt Lion Medal
  • The University of Konstanz’s “Stiftung Wissenschaft und Gesellschaft” Award
  • LBS-Umweltpreis (environment award)
  • University of Konstanz Teaching Award (LUKS)
  • Nano Award of the University of Konstanz Society (UGK e.V.)
  • Doctoral Research Grant of the University of Konstanz Society (UGK e.V.)
  • Tina Ulmer Teaching Award of the "Stiftung Wissenschaft und Gesellschaft” (science and society foundation)
  • The University Council Award
  • The University of Konstanz Medal of Merit
  • VEUK prize

Points of interest[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "The University of Konstanz in numbers". University of Konstanz. Retrieved 2017-06-20. 
  2. ^ "THE World University Rankings". Times Higher Education. 
  3. ^ "". 
  4. ^ "". 
  5. ^ "". 
  6. ^ "Deutsche Welle". 
  7. ^ "Exchange programmes". University of Konstanz International Office. 
  8. ^ "CAAT Europe". Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. 
  9. ^ "Konstanz University website, exchange programs". 
  10. ^ "Network for Transatlantic Cooperation". University of Konstanz. 
  11. ^ "Konstanz University website, exchange programs". 
  12. ^ "Cooperations Switzerland". University of Konstanz. 
  13. ^ "Library of the year 2010". dbv (German Library Association). 
  14. ^ "The Institutional Strategy "Modell Konstanz – Towards a Culture of Creativity"". University of Konstanz. 24 May 2012. Retrieved 2 March 2013. 
  15. ^ "Graduate School Chemical Biology". University of Konstanz. Retrieved 2 March 2013. 
  16. ^ "Konstanz Center of Excellence Cultural Foundations of Integration". University of Konstanz. Retrieved 2 March 2013. 
  17. ^ "Germany Names New Top Universities". ScienceInsider. 15 June 2012. Retrieved 2 March 201.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  18. ^ "Graduate School of Decision Sciences". University of Konstanz. 28 January 2013. Retrieved 2 March 2013. 
  19. ^ "Segeln & Wassersportgelände" (in German). University of Konstanz. 24 October 2012. Retrieved 2 February 2013. 
  20. ^ "The History of the University of Konstanz". University of Konstanz. 
  21. ^ "Academic Ranking of World Universities 2017". Institute of Higher Education, Shanghai Jiao Tong University. 2017. Retrieved August 17, 2017. 
  22. ^ "World University Rankings 2018". Times Higher Education. 2018. Retrieved September 6, 2017. 
  23. ^ "QS World University Rankings 2018". Quacquarelli Symonds Limited. 2017. Retrieved June 21, 2017. 
  24. ^ "THE 150 Under 50 University Rankings". Times Higher Education. 
  25. ^ "QS Top 50 under 50". QS World University Rankings. 
  26. ^ "Honorary senators of the University of Konstanz". Website of the University of Konstanz, Retrieved 2017-09-18. 
  27. ^ "Zoran Djinjic (prime minister of Serbia)". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 2 March 2013. 
  28. ^ "Press Release No. 8 of 11 January 2007" (in German). 11 January 2007. Retrieved 24 February 2013. 
  29. ^ "UBS - CV Axel A. Weber". 22 January 2013. Retrieved 2 March 2013. 
  30. ^ accessdate=25 July 2015

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 47°41′24″N 9°11′17″E / 47.690°N 9.188°E / 47.690; 9.188