University of Heidelberg

University of Heidelberg

Infobox University
name = Ruprecht Karl University of Heidelberg
native_name = Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg

latin_name = Ruperto Carola Heidelbergensis
motto = "Semper apertus" (Latin)
mottoeng = (The book of learning is) always open.
established = 1386
type = Public
staff = 2,897 full time faculty
rector = Bernhard Eitel
students = 26,582
city =
country = Germany
campus = Urban
colors = Sandstone red and Gold color box|#960018color box|#CFB53B
affiliations = German Excellence Universities LERU
Coimbra Group
website =
footnotes = Data as of 2007
The Ruprecht Karl University of Heidelberg (University of Heidelberg, Ruperto Carola, Heidelberg University, or simply Heidelberg) is a public research university located in Heidelberg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Founded in 1386, it is the oldest university in Germany and was the third university established in the Holy Roman Empire. [cite web |url=|title=QS - World's oldest universities|accessdate=2008-05-17 |format=html |work=QS - Top Universities] A coeducational institution since 1899, today Heidelberg consists of twelve faculties and offers degree programs at undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral levels in some 100 disciplines. [The university does not include departments of business, visual arts, and engineering, except for computer engineering. For a list of subjects offered see cite web |url=|title=Subjects offered at Heidelberg University |accessdate=2008-05-16 |format=html |work=University of Heidelberg Homepage] It is a German Excellence University, as well as a founding member of the League of European Research Universities, the Coimbra Group, and the European University Association.

Rupert I, Elector Palatine established the university when Heidelberg was the seat of the Prince-Electors of the Holy Roman Empire. [cite web|url=|title=University of Heidelberg - Britannica Online Encyclopedia|accessdate=2008-05-16|format=html|work=Britannica Online Encyclopedia] Consequently, it served as a center for theologians and law experts from throughout the Holy Roman Empire. Matriculation rates declined with the Thirty Years' War, and the university did not overcome its fiscal and intellectual crises until the early 19th century.cite web |url= |title=University of Heidelberg - Catholic Encyclopedia|accessdate=2008-05-16 |format=html|work=Catholic Online] Subsequently, the institution once again became a hub for independent thinkers, and develeloped into a "stronghold of humanism and democracy". [cite web |url=|title=Article on Heidleberg in THES 2005|accessdate=2008-05-16 |format=pdf|work=THES - QS World University Rankings 2005 kindly provided by ETH Zürich Homepage] However, the university lost many of its dissident professors and was marked a NSDAP cadre university during the Nazi era between 1933 and 1945. It later underwent an extensive denazification after World War II—Heidelberg serving as one of the main scenes of the left-wing student protests in Germany in the 1970s. [cite web |url= |title=Student protests at Heidelberg|accessdate=2008-05-16 |format=html|work=Ruprecht online - University of Heidelberg Homepage]

Associated with 29 Nobel Prize laureates, the university continues to emphasize on research. It is consistently ranked among Europe's top overall universities, [Its latest overall ranking positions range from 9th to 18th in Europe; the peer review scores, reflecting academic esteem, are usually higher. It was never ranked outside Europe's top 20 by any major university ranking. See rankings.] and is an international education venue for doctoral students, with approximately 1,000 doctorates successfully completed every year, and with more than one third of the doctoral students coming from abroad. [cite web |url=|title=Graduate Academy of the University of Heidelberg|accessdate=2008-05-16 |format=html|work=University of Heidelberg Homepage] cite web |url=|title=Interview with Rector Bernhard Eitel - Vorstoss in die internationale Dimension |accessdate=2008-05-16 |format=html |work=Rhein Neckar Zeitung online ] International students from some 130 countries account for more than 20 percent of the entire student body. [cite web |url=|title= Heidelberg Research Magazine Ruperto Carola 1/2004|accessdate=2008-05-16 |format=html|work=University of Heidelberg Homepage] The university comprises two campuses: one in Heidelberg's Old Town and another in the Neuenheimer Feld quarter on the outskirts of the city.



The university was founded in 1386 at the behest of Rupert I, Count Palatine of the Rhine, in order to provide faculties for the study of philosophy, theology, jurisprudence, and medicine. On October 19, 1386 the first lecture was held, making Heidelberg the oldest university in Germany.cite web |url=|title=A History of the city of Heidelberg|accessdate=2008-05-16 |format=htm |work=University of Heidelberg Homepage]

The Great Schism in 1378, which split European Christendom into two hostile groups, was initiated by the election of two popes after the death of Pope Gregory XI in the same year. One successor resided in Avignon (elected by the French) and the other in Rome (elected by the Italian cardinals). The German secular and spiritual leaders voiced their support for the successor in Rome, which had far-reaching consequences for the German students and teachers in Paris: they lost their stipends and had to leave. Rupert I recognized the opportunity and initiated talks with the Curia, which ultimately lead to the creation of the Papal Bull Foundation.. On October 18, 1386, a ceremonial fair in the Heiliggeistkirche commemorated the opening of the doors of the university. As a motto for the seal, Marsilius von Inghen, the first rector of the university chose "semper apertus"—i.e., "the book of learning is always open."cite web |url= |title=University of Heidelberg - Catholic Encyclopedia|accessdate=2008-05-16 |format=html|work=Catholic Online] At this point in time, the city of Heidelberg had approximately 3,500 inhabitants, including 600 students enrolled at the university.cite web |url=|title=A History of the city of Heidelberg|accessdate=2008-05-16 |format=htm |work=University of Heidelberg Homepage]

Early development

The newly created university acted from the outset as an intellectual center for theology and jurisprudence scholars from throughout the Holy Roman Empire.cite book |title=Kleine Geschichte der Stadt Heidelberg und ihrer Universität|last=Cser|first=Andreas|year=2007|publisher=Verlag G. Braun|location=Karlsruhe|isbn=978-3-7650-8337-2]
Nominalism had been prevalent from the time of Marsilius until after 1406, when Jerome of Prague, the friend of John Hus, introduced realism at Heidelberg, on which account he was expelled by the faculty. Six years later, the teachings of John Wycliffe were also condemned. Between 1414 and 1418, several distinguished professors of the University of Heidelberg took part in the Council of Constance and acted as counselors for Louis III, who attended this council as representative of the emperor and chief magistrate of the realm, and had John Hus executed as a heretic. In 1432 the university, pursuant to papal and imperial requests, sent two delegates to the Council of Basle who faithfully supported the legitimate pope.

The transition from scholastic to humanistic culture was effected by the chancellor and bishop Johann von Dalberg in the late 15th century. Humanism was represented at the University of Heidelberg particularly by the founder of the older German Humanistic School Rudolph Agricola, Conrad Celtes, Jakob Wimpfeling, and Johann Reuchlin. Æneas Silvius Piccolomini was chancellor of the university in his capacity of provost of Worms, and later always favored it with his friendship and good-will as Pope Pius II. In 1482, Pope Sixtus IV permitted laymen and married men to be appointed professors in the ordinary of medicine through a papal dispensation. In 1553, Pope Julius III sanctioned the allotment of ecclesiastical benefice to secular professors.cite web |url=|title=University of Heidelberg - Catholic Encyclopedia|accessdate=2008-05-16 |format=html|work=Catholic Online]

Martin Luther's disputation at Heidelberg in April 1518 made a lasting impact, and his adherents among the masters and scholars soon became leading Reformationists in Southwest Germany. With the Palatinate's turn to the Reformed faith, Otto Henry, Elector Palatine, converted the university into a calvinsitic institution.cite web |url=|title=History of the University |accessdate=2008-05-16 |format=html|work=University of Heidelberg Homepage ] In 1563, the Heidelberg Catechism was created under collaboration of members of the university's divinity school. As the 16th century was passing, the late humanism stepped beside Calvinism as a predominant school of thought; and figures like Paul Schede, Jan Gruter, Martin Opitz, and Matthäus Merian taught at the university. It attracted scholars from all over the continent and developed into a cultural and academic center.cite book |title=Kleine Geschichte der Stadt Heidelberg und ihrer Universität|last=Cser|first=Andreas|year=2007|publisher=Verlag G. Braun|location=Karlsruhe|isbn=978-3-7650-8337-2] However, with the beginning of the Thirty Years' War in 1618, the intellectual and fiscal wealth of the university declined. In 1622, the then-world-famous Bibliotheca Palatina (the library of the university) was stolen from the University Cathedral and taken to Rome. The reconstruction efforts thereafter were defeated by the troops of King Louis XIV, who destroyed Heidelberg in 1693 almost completely.cite web |url=|title=History of the University |accessdate=2008-05-16 |format=html|work=University of Heidelberg Homepage ] [cite web |url=|title=A history of the Church of St. Peter|accessdate=2008-05-16 |format=html|work=University of Heidelberg Homepage ] As a consequence of the late Counter-Reformation, the university lost its Protestant character, and was channeled by Jesuits. In 1735, the Old University was constructed at University Square, then known as Domus Wilhelmina. Through the efforts of the Jesuits a preparatory seminary was established, the Seminarium ad Carolum Borromæum, whose pupils were also registered in the university. After the suppression of the Jesuit Order, most of the schools they had conducted passed into the hands of the French Congregation of Lazarists in 1773. They deteriorated from that time forward, and the university itself continued to lose in prestige until the reign of the last elector Charles Theodore, Elector Palatine, who established new chairs for all the faculties, founded scientific institutes such as the Electoral Academy of Science, and transferred the school of political economy from Kaiserslautern to Heidelberg, where it was combined with the university as the faculty of political economy. He also founded an observatory in the neighboring city of Mannheim, where Jesuit Christian Meyer labored as director. In connection with the commemoration of the four hundredth anniversary of the university, a revised statute book, which several of the professors had been commissioned to prepare, was approved by the elector. The financial affairs of the university, its receipts and expenditures, were put in order. At that period, the number of students varied from three to four hundred; in the jubilee year, 133 matriculated. As a consequence of the disturbances caused by the French Revolution and particularly because of the Peace of Lunéeville, the university lost all its property on the left bank of the Rhine, so that its complete dissolution was expected.cite web |url=|title=University of Heidelberg - Catholic Encyclopedia|accessdate=2008-05-16 |format=html|work=Catholic Online]

19th and early 20th century

It was not until 1803 that this decline stopped. In this year, the university was reestablished as a state-owned institution by Karl Friedrich, Grand Duke of Baden, to whom the part of the Palatinate situated on the right bank of the Rhine was allotted. Since then, the university bears his name together with the one of Ruprecht I. Karl Friedrich divided the university into five faculties and placed himself at its head as rector, as did also his successors. During this decade Romanticism found expression in Heidelberg through Clemens Brentano, Achim von Arnim, Ludwig Tieck, Joseph Görres, and Joseph von Eichendorff, and there went forth a revival of the German Middle Ages in speech, poetry, and art.cite book |title=Kleine Geschichte der Stadt Heidelberg und ihrer Universität|last=Cser|first=Andreas|year=2007|publisher=Verlag G. Braun|location=Karlsruhe|isbn=978-3-7650-8337-2] The German Students Association exerted great influence, which was at first patriotic and later political. After Romanticism had eventually died out, Heidelberg became a center of Liberalism and the movement in favor of German national unity.cite book |title=Kleine Geschichte der Stadt Heidelberg und ihrer Universität|last=Cser|first=Andreas|year=2007|publisher=Verlag G. Braun|location=Karlsruhe|isbn=978-3-7650-8337-2] The historians Friedrich Christoph Schlosser and Georg Gottfried Gervinus were the guides of the nation in political history. The modern scientific schools of medicine and natural science, particularly astronomy, were models in point of construction and equipment, and the University of Heidelberg was especially noted for its influential law school.cite web |url=|title=University of Heidelberg - Catholic Encyclopedia|accessdate=2008-05-16 |format=html|work=Catholic Online] Heidelberg’s professors were important supporters of the Vormärz revolution and many of them were members of the revolutionary Frankfurt Parliament of 1848. During the late 19th century, the university housed a very liberal and open-minded spirit, which was deliberately fostered by Max Weber, Ernst Troeltsch and a circle of colleagues around them. In the Weimar Republic, the university was widely recognized as a center of democratic thinking, coined by professors like Karl Jaspers, Gustav Radbruch, Martin Dibelius and Alfred Weber.cite book |title=Kleine Geschichte der Stadt Heidelberg und ihrer Universität|last=Cser|first=Andreas|year=2007|publisher=Verlag G. Braun|location=Karlsruhe|isbn=978-3-7650-8337-2] Unfortunately, there were also dark forces working within the university: Nazi physicist Philipp Lenard was head of the physical institute during that time. Following the assassination of Walther Rathenau, he refused to half mast the national flag on the institute, thereby provoking its storming by communist students.cite web |url=|title=History of the University |accessdate=2008-05-16 |format=html|work=University of Heidelberg Homepage ]

Nazi era and Federal Republic

With the advent of the Third Reich in 1933, the university supported the Nazis like all other German universities at the time. It dismissed a large number of lecturers and expelled many students for political and racist reasons. Many dissident fellows had to emigrate, some Jewish and Communist professors were deported, and two professors directly fell victim to Nazi terror. Particularly members of the university took part in a book burning at University Square, and Heidelberg was eventually ill-famed as a NSDAP cadre university. The inscription above the main entrance of the New University was changed from "The Living Spirit" to "The German Spirit", and many professors paid homage to the new motto. After the end of World War II, the university underwent an extensive denazification. Since Heidelberg was for the most part spared from destruction during the war, the reconstruction of the university was realized rather quickly. With the foundation of the Collegium Academicum, the University of Heidelberg became the home of Germany's first and, until today, only self-governed student hall. Newly laid statutes obliged the university to "The Living Spirit of Truth, Justice and Humanity".cite web |url=|title=History of the University |accessdate=2008-05-16 |format=html|work=University of Heidelberg Homepage ] During the Sixties and Seventies, the university grew dramatically in size. At this time, it developed into one of the main scenes of the left-wing student protests in Germany. In 1975, a massive police force arrested the entire student parliament AStA. Shortly thereafter, the building of the Collegium Academicum, a progressive college in immediate vicinity to the universities main grounds, was stormed by over 700 police officers and closed once and for all. On the outskirts of the city, in the Neuenheimer Feld area, a large campus for medicine and natural sciences was constructed.cite web |url=|title=History of the University |accessdate=2008-05-16 |format=html|work=University of Heidelberg Homepage ] Today, about 26,500 students are enrolled for studies at the University of Heidelberg. There are 2,897 full time faculty, [cite web |url=|title=QS - Heidelberg University statistics|accessdate=2008-05-16 |format=html|work=QS - Top Universities] including 476 university professors.cite web |url=|title=Interview with Rector Bernhard Eitel - Vorstoss in die internationale Dimension |accessdate=2008-05-16 |format=html |work=Rhein Neckar Zeitung online ] In 2007, the university was appointed "University of Excellence" within the scope of an initiative started by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the German Research Foundation in order to enhance the German university system by establishing a small network of exceptionally well-funded universities, which are expected to generate a strong international appeal. [cite web |url=|title=Press Releases - Rector Prof. Eitel: “An invaluable opportunity to aim at goals that would otherwise have been unattainable” |accessdate=2008-05-16 |format=html|work=University of Heidelberg Homepage ]


Academic profile

chool statistics

The university employs more than 15,000 academic staff, the most of which are engaged in the University Hospital. [cite web |url=|title=Conferences 2007: Introducing Heidelberg University|accessdate=2008-05-16 |format=html|work=University of Heidelberg Homepage] As of 2007, the faculty encompasses 2,897 full time staff, excluding visiting professors as well as graduate research and teaching assistants. 318 faculty members have been drawn from abroad. Heidelberg enrolls a total of 26,582 students; including 5,455 international students. In addition there are 1,467 international exchange students at Heidelberg. 23,130 students pursue taught degrees, 4,597 of whom are international students, and 1,453 are international exchange students. 2,473 students pursue a doctoral degree, including 881 international doctoral students and 14 international exchange students. In 2007, the university awarded 962 Ph.D. degrees. [cite web |url=|title=Heidelberg University profile|accessdate=2008-05-16 |format=html|work=QS - Top Universities]


The THES - QS World University Rankings ranked the University of Heidelberg overall between 12th and 15th in Europe, between 45th and 60th in the world, and consistently as the foremost German university. Based on the overall academic peer review score of 2005, Heidelberg ranked 6th in Europe and 28th in the world. In the separate THES - QS rankings of broad subject areas, Heidelberg ranked globally between 17th and 43rd in life science and biomedicine, between 22nd and 45th in science, between 41st and 61st in arts and humanities, and between 54th and 78th in social sciences. [cite web |url=|title= THES - QS 2004 |accessdate=2008-05-16 |format=pdf|work=THES - QS World University Ranking 2004 kindly provided by ETH Zürich Homepage] [cite web |url=|title=THES - QS 2005 |accessdate=2008-05-16 |format=pdf |work=THES - QS World University Ranking 2005 kindly provided by ETH Zürich Homepage ] [cite web |url=|title=THES - QS 2006|accessdate=2008-05-16 |format=pdf |work=THES - QS World University Ranking 2006 kindly provided by ETH Zürich Homepage] [cite web |url=|title=THES - QS 2007 |accessdate=2008-05-16 |format=pdf|work=THES - QS World University Ranking 2007 kindly provided by ETH Zürich Homepage]

The Shanghai Jiao Tong University's Academic Ranking of World Universities ranked Heidelberg between 2nd and 3rd nationally, between 12th and 18th in Europe, and between 58th and 66th in the world. [cite web |url=|title=Academic Ranking of World Universities (free)|accessdate=2008-05-16 |format=htm |work=Shanghai Jiao Tong University Homepage]

The 2007 Performance Ranking of Scientific Papers for World Universities, issued by the Higher Education Evaluation and Accreditation Council of Taiwan, placed Heidelberg 2nd in Germany, 12th in Europe, and 61st globally. [cite web |url=|title=Performance ranking of Scientific Papers for World Universities|accessdate=2008-05-16 |format=htm|work=Higher Education Evaluation and Accreditation Council of Taiwan Homepage ]

The Scientometrics Journal Gatekeepers Indicator Ranking, created by Eötvös Loránd University of Budapest in 2007, ranks the University of Heidelberg at the top of German universities, 12th in Europe, and 73rd globally. [cite web |url=|title=Scientometrics - Journal Gatekeepers Ranking|accessdate=2008-05-16 |format=pdf|work=Eötvös Loránd University of Budapest Homepage]

According to the Ranking of Scientific Impact of Leading European Research Universities compiled by the European Commission, Heidelberg ranks 4th nationally and 9th in Europe. [cite web |url=|title=CORDIS: Science and Technology Indicators: Snapshots|accessdate=2008-05-16 |format=pdf|work=Third European Report on Science and Technology Indicators] [cite web |url=|title=CORDIS: Science and Technology Indicators: full version|accessdate=2008-05-16 |format= |work=Third European Report on Science and Technology Indicators]

The German Center for Higher Education Development Excellence Ranking, which measures academic performance of European graduate programs in biology, chemistry, mathematics, and physics, placed Heidelberg in the excellence group for physics and chemistry, and in the top group for mathematics and biology, which is overall a 2nd place in Germany, and a joint 9th place in Europe. [cite web |url=|title=CHE ExcellenceRanking 2007|accessdate=2008-05-16 |format=pdf|work=Center for Higher Education Development Excellence Ranking]

Ranked by the number of Nobel Laureates affiliated with the university at the time of Nobel Prize announcement, Heidelberg is placed 1st in Germany, 4th in Europe and 13th in the world by 2007.cite web |url=|title=Nobel Prizes and Universities|accessdate=2008-05-16 |format=html |work=Nobel Foundation Homepage]

The Times of London referred to the University of Heidelberg as "the oldest and most eminent in the country of Luther and Einstein" and as "the jewel of German learning". [cite web |url=|title=New Times World University Ranking|accessdate=2008-05-16 |format=html |work=The Times Online]

Organization and length of courses

The academic year is divided into two semesters. The winter semester runs from 1st of October - 31st of March and the summer semester from 1st of April - 30th of September. Classes are held from mid-October to mid-February and mid-April to mid-July. Students can generally begin their studies either in the winter or the summer semester. However, there are several subjects students can begin only in the winter semester. The standard time required to finish a Bachelor's degree is principally 6 semesters, and a further 4 semesters for consecutive Master's degrees. The normal duration of Ph.D. programs for full-time students is 6 semesters. The overall period of study for an undergraduate degree is divided into two parts: a period of basic study, lasting at least 4 semesters, at the end of which students must sit a formal examination, and a period of advanced study, lasting at least 2 semesters, after which students take their final examinations. [cite web |url= |title=Akademisches Auslandsamt - Information for international applicants|accessdate=2008-05-16 |format=htm|work=University of Heidelberg Homepage]


In the winter-semester 2006/2007 the university offered 3,926 places in undergraduate programs restricted by numerus clausus, with an overall acceptance rate of 16.3 percent.cite web |url=|title=Universität Heidelberg – Pressemitteilungen 1|accessdate=2008-05-16 |format=html|work=University of Heidelberg Homepage] Most selective are the undergraduate programs in clinical medicine, molecular cell biology, political science, and law, with acceptance rates of 3.6 percent, [cite web |url=|title=Angebot- und Nachfrage nach Studienpltzen in bundesweit zulassungsbeschrnkten Studiengngen zum Wintersemester 2006/2007 - Studiengang Medizin|accessdate=2008-05-16 |format=pdf|work=ZVS Homepage] 3.8 percent,cite web |url=|title=Universität Heidelberg – Pressemitteilungen 1|accessdate=2008-05-16 |format=html|work=University of Heidelberg Homepage] 7.6 percent [cite web |url=|title=Universität Heidelberg – Pressemitteilungen 2|accessdate=2008-05-16 |format=html|work=University of Heidelberg Homepage] and 9.1 percent [cite web |url=|title=Universität Heidelberg – Pressemitteilungen 3|accessdate=2008-05-16 |format=html|work=University of Heidelberg Homepage] respectively. The selection is exercised by allocating the best qualified applicants to a given number of places available in the respective discipline, thus depending primarily on the chosen subjects and the grade point average of the high school degree equivalent. For some majors and minors in humanities, particularly for those which are conceptually non-vocational like classics, philosophy, and ancient history, unrestricted admission is granted if certain criteria (e.g. relevant language proficiency) are fulfilled, as applications regularly do not exceed the number of places available. For prospective international undergraduate students a language test for German, such as the DSH, is required. Admission to consecutive Master's programs always requires at least an undergraduate degree equivalent to the German grade "good" (i.e., normally B+ in American, or 2:1 in British terms). Except for the Master's programs taught in English, a language test for German must be passed as well. Ph.D. admission prerequisite is normally a strong Master's-level degree, but specific admission procedures vary and cannot be generalized. [See the pages of the respective grad schools listed above for detailed information or start with [ Heidelberg Graduate Academy] ] International applicants usually make up considerably more than 20 percent of the applicant pool and are considered individually by the merits achieved in their respective country of origin. [cite web |url=|title=University of Heidelberg - Press Releases|accessdate=2008-05-16 |format=html|work=University of Heidelberg Homepage]


Studying at German universities is heavily subsidized by the state in order to keep higher education affordable regardless of socio-economic background. [As a benchmark: The effective costs which the state must pay for every single medical student account for approximately €33,000 (=$48,500) per year. See cite web |url= |title=Testergebnisse versus Schulnoten als Auswahlkriterien: Paternoster-Effekt, Filter-Effekt, Kosten-Nutzen-Effekte und Auswirkungen auf die Fairneß der Zulassung|accessdate=2008-05-16 |format=htm |work=University of Fribourg Homepage] Since 2007, Heidelberg charges tuition fees of approximately € 1,200 p.a., including student union fees, for undergraduate, consecutive Master's, and doctoral programs, for both EU and non-EU citizens, and for any subject area. The usual housing costs for on-campus dormitories range from € 2,200 to € 3,000 p.a. [cite web |url=|title=Information for incoming Erasmus Students|accessdate=2008-05-16 |format=htm|work=University of Heidelberg Homepage]

In the fiscal year 2005, the University of Heidelberg had an overall operating budget of approximately € 856 M (approximately € 218 M non-medical); consisting of approximately € 413 M government funds (approximately € 10 M non-medical);approximately € 311 M basic budget (approximately € 160 M non-medical); and approximately € 132 M from external grants (approximately € 48 M non-medical). The university spent approximately € 529 M in payroll costs (approximately € 162 M non-medical) and approximately € 326 M (approximately € 56 M non-medical) in other expenditures. [cite web |url=,vollanzeige.csp&ID=1020857|title=Desastis - Statistiken und Kennzahlen zur Hochschulfinanzierung|accessdate=2008-05-16 |format=html |work=Statistisches Bundesamt Homepage] Additionally, the university will receive another € 150 M in research grants, distributed over 5 years from 2007 onwards, due to the German Universities Excellence Initiative. In the fiscal year 2007, the university for the first time raised approximately € 19 M through tuition fees. Only approximately € 9.5 M of these were spent at the end of the year and the rectorate had to urge the faculties to make use of their monies. [cite web |url=|title=Fachbereiche horten Millionen|accessdate=2008-05-16 |format=php|work=Südwestumschau online]


The university puts an emphasis on natural sciences and medicine, but it retains its traditions with highly ranked faculties of humanities and social sciences. The "Marsilius Kolleg", named after Marsilius of Inghen, was established in 2007 as a Center for Advanced Study to promote interdisciplinary dialogue and research especially between the sciences and the humanities. [cite web |url=|title=Marsilius Kolleg|accessdate=2008-05-16 |format=html|work=Marsilius Kolleg Homepage] Other institutes such as the "Interdisciplinary Center for Scientific Computing", the "Interdisciplinary Center for Neurosciences", the "Heidelberg Center for American Studies", and the "South Asia Institute" also build a bridge between faculties and thus emphasize the concept of a comprehensive university.

Noted regular publications of the Center for Astronomy include the Gliese catalog of nearby stars, the fundamental catalogues FK5 and FK6 and the annual published Apparent places, a high precision catalog with pre-calculated positions for over 3 thousand stars for each day. [cite web |url=|title=Center for Astronomy - Publications|accessdate=2008-05-16 |format=html |work=University of Heidelberg Homepage ] The Heidelberg Institute for International Conflict Research publishes the annual Conflict Barometer, which describes the recent trends in global conflict developments, escalations, de-escalations, and settlements. [cite web |url=|title=Conflict Barometer|accessdate=2008-05-17 |format=html |work=Heidelberg Institute for International Conflict Research] Regular publications by the "Max Planck Institute for International Law" include the "Heidelberg Journal for International Law", the "Max Planck Yearbook of United Nations Law"; the "Journal of the History of International Law"; the "Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law"; and the semi-annual bibliography "Public International Law". [cite web |url= |title=Publications of the Institute|accessdate=2008-05-17 |format=cfm|work=Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law Homepage]

The German Research Foundation (DFG) currently funds twelve long-term Collaborative Research Centers (SFB) with a duration of up to 12 years at Heidelberg [cite web |url=|title=DFG - Lists of Collaborative Research Centers|accessdate=2008-05-16 |format=html|work=German Research Foundation Homepage] , four Priority Programs (SPP) with a duration of 6 years, two Research Units (FOR) with a duration of up to 6 years, as well as numerous individual projects at the university's faculties and institutes. [cite web |url= |title=DFG: Funded projects|accessdate=2008-05-16 |format=html|work=German Research Foundation Homepage] As a result of the German Universities Excellence Initiative, two Clusters of Excellence are funded with € 6.5 M each - "Cellular Networks: From Molecular Mechanisms to Quantitative Understanding of Complex Functions" [cite web |url=|title=Cluster of Excellence - Cellnetworks|accessdate=2008-05-16 |format=html|work=University of Heidelberg Homepage] , and "Asia and Europe in a Global Context: Shifting Asymmetries in Cultural Flows" [cite web |url=|title=Cluster of Excellence - Asia and Europe|accessdate=2008-05-16 |format=html|work=University of Heidelberg Homepage]

Among historical scientific achievements of Heidelberg researchers features prominently the invention of spectroscopy,cite web |url=|title=History of Chemistry at Heidelberg|accessdate=2008-05-28 |publisher=University of Heidelberg Homepage|date=2008-05-28] and of the Bunsen burner; [cite web |url=|title=The Origin of the Bunsen Burner |accessdate=2008-05-28 |publisher=William B. Jensen , Journal of Chemical Education • Vol. 82 No. 4 April 2005] the discovery of chemical elements Caesium and Rubidium;cite web |url=|title=History of Chemistry at Heidelberg|accessdate=2008-05-28 |publisher=University of Heidelberg Homepage|date=2008-05-28] the identification of the absolute point of ebullition; [cite web |url= |title=Scientific achievements of Mendeleyev|accessdate=2008-05-28 |publisher=Britannica online|date=2008-05-28] and the identification and isolation of nicotine as the main pharmacologically active component of tobacco. [cite web |url=|title=Rituals of smoking|accessdate=2008-05-28 |publisher=University of Heidelberg Homepage|date=2008-05-28] Modern scientific psychiatry; psychopharmacology; psychiatric genetics; [cite book |title=Emil Kraepelin. 7 vols.|last=Burgmair |first=Wolfgang |coauthors=Eric J. Engstrom; Matthias Weber; et al. |year=2000-2008|publisher=Belleville |location=Munich|volume=V: Kraepelin in Heidelberg, 1891-1903 (2005)|isbn=3-933510-94-5] environmental physics; [cite web |url= |title=Introduction of the Faculty of Physics and Astronomy |accessdate=2008-05-28 |publisher=University of Heidelberg|date=2008-05-28] and modern sociology [William Petersen, "Against the Stream", Transaction Publishers, ISBN 0-7658-0222-8, 2004, [ Google Print, p.24] ] were introduced as scientific disciplines by Heidelberg faculty. Almost 800 dwarf planets, the North America Nebula, and the return of Halley's Comet have been discovered and documented at institutes of the Heidelberg Center for Astronomy. [cite web |url=|title=History of the Center of Astronomy|accessdate=2008-05-28 |publisher=University of Heidelberg Homepage|date=2008-05-28 ] Moreover, Heidelberg researchers invented the process of Plastination to preserve body tissue, [cite web |url= |title=Die Idee der Plastination|accessdate=2008-05-28 |publisher=Bodyworlds] conducted the first successful transplantation of hematopoietic stem cells, [cite web |url= |title=200 years medical history at Heidelberg University|accessdate=2008-06-05 |publisher=University of Heidelberg Homepage] and recently developed a new strategy for a vaccination in order to prevent certain forms of cancer. [cite web |url=|title=News|accessdate=2008-05-28 |publisher=Informationsdienst Wissenschaften]

International cooperations

Heidelberg is a founding member of the League of European Research Universities, the Coimbra Group, and the European University Association, and it participates in 7 European exchange schemes for researchers and students, such as ERASMUS. Furthermore it is actively involved in the development of the German-speaking Andrássy University of Budapest, and co-runs the school of German law at the Jagiellonian University of Krakow. [cite web |url=|title=International cooperations|accessdate=2008-05-16 |format=html |work=University of Heidelberg Homepage] Beyond Europe, the university and its faculties maintain specific agreements with 58 partner universities in Africa, the Americas, Asia, Australia and the Russian Federation. In total, the Higher Education Compass of the German Rector's Conference lists staff and student exchange agreements as well as research cooperations with 236 universities world-wide, including some of the world's most renowned and highly ranked. [Some of the most notable parter universities include Cornell University, Duke University, Georgetown University, Harvard University, Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris, Pantheon Sorbonne University, University of Cambridge, University of Oxford, Tsinghua University, and Yale University. See cite web |url=|title=The Higher Education Compass - International Cooperations|accessdate=2008-05-16 |format=html|work=German Rectors Conference Homepage]

tudent life

The university offers a broad variety of athletics, such as teams in 16 different court sports from American football to volleyball, courses in 11 different martial arts, 26 courses in fitness and body building, 9 courses in health sports from aquapower to yoga, and groups in 12 different dance styles. Moreover equestrian sports, sailing, rowing, skiing in the French alps, track and field, swimming, fencing, cycling, acrobatics, gymnastics, and much more. Most of the sports are free of charge. [cite web |url=|title=Hochschulsport der Universität Heidelberg|accessdate=2008-05-16 |format=html |work=University of Heidelberg Homepage] Heidelberg’s competition teams are particularly successful in soccer, volleyball, equestrian sports, judo, karate, track and field, and basketball. The track and field team regularly achieves best placings at the German university championships. The University Sports Club men's basketball team, USC Heidelberg, is the championship record holder, won 13 national championships, and is the only university team playing at a professional level in the second division of Germany's national league. [cite web |url=|title=USC Heidelberg|accessdate=2008-05-16 |format=html|work=University Sports Club Heidelberg]

Moreover, the university supports a number of student groups in various fields of interest. Among them are the student parliament AStA, the student councils of the twelve faculties, four drama clubs, the university orchestra Collegium Musicum, four choirs, six student media groups, six groups of international students, nine groups of political parties and NGO’s, several departments of European organizations of students in certain disciplines, four clubs dedicated to fostering international relations and cultural exchange, a chess club, a literature club, a debate society, two student management consulting groups, and four religious student groups. [cite web |url=|title=Heidelberg student groups|accessdate=2008-05-16 |format=html|work=Ruperto Online - Universität Heidelberg]

Heidelberg’s student newspaper “ruprecht” is, with editions of more than 10,000 copies, one of Germany’s largest student-run newspapers. It was recently distinguished by the MLP Pro Campus Press Award as Germany’s best student newspaper. The jury, consisting of journalists of major newspapers, commended its “well balanced, though critical attitude”, and its “simply great” layout which “suffices highest professional demands”. The ruprecht is financed entirely by advertising revenues, thus retaining its independence from the university's management. Some very renowned journalists emerged from ruprecht’s editorial board. [cite web |url=|title=Der „ruprecht“ ist Deutschlands beste Studentenzeitung |accessdate=2008-05-16 |format=pdf |work=Rhein Neckar Zeitung online] However, the critical online student newspaper "UNiMUT", which is run by the joint student council of the faculties, criticized the ruprecht often for being conformed, and exceedingly layout-oriented. [cite web |url= |title=UniMUT – Der Kampf geht weiter!|accessdate=2008-05-16 |format=html|work=Ruprecht online] Heidelberg is also home of Germany’s oldest student law review “StudZR”. The journal is published quarterly, at the beginning and end of each semester break, and is circulated throughout all of Germany. [cite web |url= |title=StudZR - About us|accessdate=2008-05-16 |format=html|work=StudZR Homepage]

Heidelberg hosts 34 student corporations, which have a long tradition as most of them were founded in the 19th century. Corporations are to some extent comparable to the fraternities in the US. As traditional symbols (couleur) corporation members wear colored caps and ribbons at ceremonial occasions (Kommers) and some still practice the traditional academic fencing, a kind of duel, in order to "shape their members for the challenges of life". In the 19th and early 20th century, corporations played an important role in Germany's student life. Today, however, corporations include only a relatively small number of students. Their self-declared mission is to keep academic traditions alive and to create friendships for life. The corporations' often representative 19th century mansions are present throughout the Old Town.cite web |url=|title=A history of the city of Heidelberg|accessdate=2008-05-16 |format=html|work=University of Heidelberg Homepage]

Heidelberg is not least famous for its student night life. [cite web |url= |title=Heidelberg night life|accessdate=2008-05-16 |format=html|work=Rhein-Neckar guide] Besides the various parties regularly organized by the student councils of the faculties, the semester opening and closing parties of the university, the dormitory parties, and the soirées of Heidelberg's 34 student fraternities, the city, and the metropolitan area even more, offers night life for any taste and budget. [cite web |url= |title=The Rhein-Neckar party guide|accessdate=2008-05-16 |format=html|] Adjacent to University Square is Heidelberg's major night life district, where one pub is placed next to each other. From Thursday on, it is all night very crowded and full of atmosphere. Moreover, Heidelberg has four major clubs playing black music, house, rock, and all time classics. The largest of them, having three floors, is located at the New Campus. The city of Mannheim, which is about triple as large as Heidelberg, is 15 minutes by train away, and offers an even more diverse night life, having a broad variety of clubs and bars well-frequented by Heidelberg's and Mannheim's student community. [cite web |url=|title=Heidelberg - Nachtleben|accessdate=2008-05-16 |format=html|work=Rhein-Neckar-Wiki]

Noted people

Alumni and faculty of the university include many founders and pioneers of academic disciplines, and a large number of internationally acclaimed philosophers, poets, jurisprudents, theologians, natural and social scientists. 29 Nobel Laureates and at least 18 Leibniz Laureates have been associated with the University of Heidelberg. Eight Nobel Laureates received the award during their tenure at Heidelberg.cite web |url=|title=Nobel Prizes and Universities|accessdate=2008-05-16 |format=html |work=Nobel Foundation Homepage]

Five Chancellors of Germany attended the university, as did also Heads of State or Government of Belgium, Bulgaria, Greece, Nicaragua, Thailand, and a Secretary General of NATO. At least 16 Justices of the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany studied or taught at Heidelberg. Former university affiliates in the field of religion include a Pope, Cardinals, Bishops, and two key leaders of Protestant Reformation. In business, Heidelberg alumni and faculty notably (co-)founded or presided over ABB Group; Astor corporate enterprises; BASF; Daimler AG; Deutsche Bank; EADS; Krupp AG; Siemens AG; and Thyssen AG.

Current tenured professors include a Medicine Nobel Laureate, 7 Leibniz Laureates, a former Justice of the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany, and the acting President of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea

In fiction and popular culture

In 1880, Mark Twain wrote as detailed as humorously about his impressions of Heidelberg's student life in "A Tramp Abroad". He painted a picture of the university as a school for aristocrats, whose students pursued a dandy-like lifestyle, and described the great influence the student corporations exerted on the whole Heidelberg student life. [cite web |url=|title=A Tramp Abroad, By Mark Twain, Complete|accessdate=2008-05-16 |format=htm|work=Project Gutenberg]

The 1927 silent film "The Student Prince in Old Heidelberg", based on Wilhelm Meyer-Förster's play "Alt Heidelberg" (1903), starring Ramon Novarro and Norma Shearer, continued this image of Heidelberg, showing the story of a German prince who comes to Heidelberg to study there, but falls in love with his innkeeper's daughter. Having been very popular in the in the first half of the 20th century, it presents the typical student life of the 19th and early 20th century, and it is today considered a masterpiece of the late silent film era. [cite web |url=|title=The Student Prince in Old Heidelberg (1927)|accessdate=2008-05-16 |format=html|work=Internet Movie Database] MGM's 1954 color remake The Student Prince, featuring Mario Lanza, is based on Sigmund Romberg's operetta version of the story. [cite web |url=|title=The Student Prince|accessdate=2008-05-16 |format=htm|work=Musical & Theatre Guide]

In 2000, the university was the main scene of the successful German horror film "Anatomy". The medical student Paula Henning (played by Franka Potente) wins a place in a summer course at the prestigious Heidelberg Medical School. When the body of a young man she met on the train turns up on her dissection table, she begins to investigate the mysterious circumstances surrounding his death, uncovering a gruesome conspiracy perpetrated by an antihippocratic secret society operating within the university. [cite web |url=|title=Anatomy - Overview|accessdate=2008-05-16 |format=html|work=Allmovie Database]

Non-fictional literature

* Steven P. Remy: The Heidelberg Myth: The Nazification and Denazification of a German University. Cambridge, Harvard University Press 2002. ISBN 0-674-00933-9
* Andreas Cser: Kleine Geschichte der Stadt Heidelberg und ihrer Universität. Verlag G. Braun, Karlsruhe 2007, ISBN 978-3-7650-8337-2
* Dagmar Drüll: Heidelberger Gelehrtenlexikon, Bd. 1: 1803-1932, Bd. 2: 1652-1802, Bd. 3: 1386-1651. Heidelberg 1986, 1991, 2002. (Bd. 4: 1933-1986 in Vorbereitung)
* Sabine Happ, Werner Moritz: Die Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, Ansichten - Einblicke - Rückblicke. Erfurt 2003.
* Wolfgang U. Eckart, Volker Sellin, [Eike Wolgast (Hrsg.): Die Universität Heidelberg im Nationalsozialismus. Springer Verlag, Berlin 2006. ISBN 3540214429
* H. Krabusch: Das Archiv der Universität Heidelberg. Geschichte und Bedeutung, in: Aus der Geschichte der Universität Heidelberg und ihrer Fakultäten. Sonderbd. der Ruperto Carola, hrsg. von G. Hinz (1961), S. 82-111;
* Die Rektorbücher der Universität Heidelberg, Bd. I-II, bearb. von Heiner Lutzmann u. a. hrsg. v. Jürgen Miethke. (Bd. 1: 1386-1410, Heft 1-3, Heidelberg 1986/1990/1999. Bd. 2: 1421-1451, Heft 1, Heidelberg 2001)
* Peter Moraw: Heidelberg: Universität, Hof und Stadt im ausgehenden Mittelalter, in: Studien zum städtischen Bidlungswesen des späten Mittelalters und der frühen Neuzeit, hrsg. von Bernd Moeller, Hans Patze, Karl Stackmann, Redaktion Ludger Grenzmann (Abhandlungen der Akademie der Wissenschaften in Göttingen, Philol.-hist. Klasse, III.137), Göttingen 1983, S. 524-552.
* Werner Moritz: Die Aberkennung des Doktortitels an der Universität Heidelberg während der NS- Zeit, In: Armin Kohnle/ Frank Engehausen: Zwischen Wissenschaft und Politik. Studien zur deutschen Universitätsgeschichte. Festschrift für Eike Wolgast zum 65. Geburtstag, Stuttgart 2001, S. 540-562
* Gerhard Ritter: Die Heidelberger Universität im Mittelalter (1386-1508), Ein Stück deutscher Geschichte, Heidelberg 1936, Neudruck 1986.
* Gotthard Schettler (Hrsg.): Das Klinikum der Universität Heidelberg und seine Institute. Berlin-Heidelberg, Springer 1986. ISBN 3540160337
* Wilhelm Doerr u.a. (Hrsg.): ‚Semper apertus', Sechshundert Jahre Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg 1386-1986, Festschrift in sechs Bänden. Berlin-Heidelberg, Springer 1985
* Eduard Winkelmann (Hrsg.): Urkundenbuch der Universität Heidelberg, Bd. I-II, Heidelberg 1886.
* Eike Wolgast: Die Universität Heidelberg, 1386-1986, Berlin-Heidelberg, Springer 1986.


ee also

* Baden-Württemberg
* Education in Germany
* Heidelberg
* List of oldest universities in continuous operation
* List of universities in Germany
* Mannheim University of Applied Sciences for jointly run degree programs
* Mediaeval university
* Rhine Neckar Metropolitan Area

External links

University of Heidelberg
* [ University of Heidelberg]
* [ Heidelberg Alumni International]
* [ Photo Gallery #1]
* [ Photo Gallery #2]
* [ Photo Gallery #3]

City of Heidelberg
* []
* [ Old]

* [ Drink! The Student Prince@youtube]
* [ Matriculation Register (1386 - 1920)]

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