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Humboldt University Berlin

Founded in 1810, the University of Berlin became a model for all modern universities in the 19th century, in line with Wilhelm von Humboldt’s visionary ideas about the unity of teaching and research, the freedom of scholarship, and an all-round education for students. Through the influence of the natural scientist Alexander von Humboldt, the university pioneered the introduction of many new disciplines. Other famous names associated with the university are, for example, those of the Nobel laureates Albert Einstein, Emil Fischer, Max Planck and Fritz Haber, who taught and conducted research here. World-famous writers and thinkers such as Heinrich Heine, Ludwig Feuerbach, Otto von Bismarck, Karl Marx and Kurt Tucholsky were once enrolled at the university, which was named after the two Humboldt brothers in 1949.

Today the university has 11 faculties: Law, Agriculture and Horticulture, Mathematics and Natural Sciences (2), Medicine, Arts (4), Theology, Economics and Business Administration. The more than 150 degree courses offered by the university encompass a wide spectrum of disciplines, some of which are unique in Germany. This wide range of internationally recognised B.A. and M.A. courses - including some which are taught in English - along with the opportunity for corresponding further education, make it an attractive place to study. Approximately 38,000 students are currently enrolled here.

As one of Germany’s leading universities, the Humboldt-Universität has academic partnerships with about 500 universities worldwide, which facilitates international exchange in research and teaching, and provides students with the invaluable experience of studying abroad.

The university’s main building - the former Palace of Prince Heinrich of Prussia - is situated on the famous boulevard, Unter den Linden, right at the heart of East Berlin’s centre. Many faculties and departments are also located there, while the mathematical and scientific faculties are accommodated in the southeast of the city, in a whole new urban campus district. Its location and outer appearance therefore reflect both the traditional and modern faces of Berlin’s oldest university.




Berlin, the German capital, is dynamic, cosmopolitan and creative, embracing every kind of lifestyle. Whether in the academic sphere, culture, entertainment and recreation, the economy or the sciences, Germany’s largest city is a hotbed of opportunities just waiting to be seized in all areas of life. Time and again Berlin proves to be a city that masterly balances old and new, conventional and innovative, rich and poor.

Founded in the 13th century, Berlin has certainly had an eventful - sometimes burgeoning, sometimes devastating - past. Its great cultural heritage is still evident and flourishing today; an abundance of museums, palaces and parks, theatres, operas and clubs provide enjoyable and rewarding experiences for both residents and visitors alike.

Nowhere else is recent European history as present or as tangible as in Berlin, the city that was divided by a wall that separated not only East and West Germany, but also Eastern and Western Europe - and thereby also the Baltic Sea Region - during the Cold War. Today Berlin is the place where East meets West, at the heart of a changing Europe. Berlin’s cityscape is shaped by design and destruction, by division and unity, by past and present. It is a true European metropolis.

357,021 km
Population 82.5 million
Population density 231/km
Capital Berlin
Other cities Hamburg, Munich, Cologne
No. of higher education institutions 340
Language German (official), also spoken: Danish, Frisian, Sorbian, Romani


Humboldt University Berlin
Department for Northern European Studies

Head of project
Prof. Dr. Bernd Henningsen

Contact person
Katrin Hecker, M.A.
Juliane Metzner-Kläring