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Humboldt University of Berlin

Humboldt University of Berlin

The Humboldt University of Berlin is a public educational institution in Germany, established in 1810, which focuses on the sciences and humanities.


The Humboldt University of Berlin is a public university providing education through learning and research. The university was founded with the goal to achieve a unity of teaching and research, and to provide students with an all-round humanist education.

The Humboldt University of Berlin is made up of nine faculties: Arts and Humanities; Economics and Business Administration; Humanities and Social Sciences; Law; Language, Literature and Humanities; Life Sciences; Mathematics and Natural Sciences; Theology; and Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin. There are currently around 37,920 students, 440 professorships, and 1,968 lectureships and research assistantships at Humboldt University Berlin.

The university's mission statement, from 2002, covers fourteen points: humanity and scholarship; ongoing reform in the direction of excellence; social responsibility and cultural presence; the unity of research and teaching; scholarly obligations; innovation in study and teaching; research as the lifeblood of the university; enabling new growth; equal opportunity; resources, endowments, and graduates; self-administration; internationalism; a university open to the world; and Berlin – a city of scholarship.

The university has been associated with twenty-nine Nobel Prize winners, among them Albert Einstein and Max Born. Since June 15, 2012, the Humboldt University of Berlin has been recognized as one of Germany's Eleven Universities of Excellence. For the years 2020-21, HU ranked at #3 in the Nation and #66 in the world, according to the Center for World University Rankings (CWUR).


The university began in 1810 as Berlin University, by Wilhelm von Humboldt and colleagues. Their aim was to create a school that valued the independence of science, the integration of the humanities and natural sciences, and the unity of teaching and research. The first semester at the university consisted of 256 students and fifty-two teachers. It was then divided into several faculties of Law, Medicine, Philosophy, and Theology. The Berlin University employed professors such as Georg Friedrich Wilhelm Hegel (philosophy), Friedrich Karl von Savigny (law), August Boeckh (classical philology), Christoph Wilhelm Hufeland (medicine) and Albrecht Daniel Thaer (agriculture). The school was known as the Friedrich Wilhelms University until gained its current name in honor of Wilhelm von Humboldt and his brother Alexander in 1949.

The university, under National Socialism from 1933-1945, caused damage to the academics at HU, and many staff and students were expelled or left by their own volition. HU was heavily impacted by communist reform in the years 1950-1951 and 1967-1968, but in 1990 with the German Reunification, the school was able to return to some of its root ideologies. Women were allowed to study beginning in 1908, but did not receive appropriate appointments as staff members until 1945. In August 1998, the computer scientists moved to Adlershof and were soon followed by mathematicians, chemists, and physicists. The geographers and psychologists last moved into their buildings in autumn 2003. The university continues to expand with over 300 properties in Berlin and Brandenbur.


June 15, 2012
HU of Berlin is recognized as one of Germany's Eleven Universities of Excellence by the German Excellence Initiative (now the Excellence Strategy).
October 3, 1990
The German Reunification takes place and HU of Berlin begins a process of reform and reassessment.
The school is renamed Humboldt University of Berlin in honor of Wilhelm and Alexander Humboldt.
National Socialism begins to affect the Universities education policies, staff and students.
Women are allowed to study at the university.
The Berlin University is founded by Wilhelm Humboldt and colleagues.


Further Resources


CAMPUS TOUR (in ENGLISH) - CAMPUS MITTE of the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin


February 13, 2021

German Universities Excellence Initiative


Humboldt Hören - Podcast der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin -- Podcampus


Humboldt University of Berlin


November 30, 2014


Krista Charles
July 23, 2021
New Scientist
It's sometimes been assumed that we experience brief periods without vision every time we shift our focus from one point to another - but now it turns out the assumption is wrong


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