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Strong in research, teaching and transfer

Founded in 1457, the University of Freiburg combines tradition with a culture of constant renewal. It is one of the leading universities in Germany, not only with regard to research, but also to teaching and transfer. The activities in the three performance dimensions inspire each other and generate new ideas. The University of Freiburg’s performance profile reflects its success in these areas and outlines the fields of action that will continue to be the University's focus in the future:

According to the classification of the German Research Foundation (DFG), the University of Freiburg is one of the German universities with the broadest range of subjects. The spectrum ranges from the humanities, social sciences, life sciences and natural sciences to engineering sciences and also includes numerous so-called small disciplines.

Due to its strength in research, the University of Freiburg ranks among the top national universities: In respect of approvals, the University of Freiburg came in first place among all German universities in the DFG Funding Atlas 2018, and  in seventh place in absolute terms.

The individual excellence of its researchers is an important success factor for research at the University. Nationwide, it ranks fourth for current ERC Grants (2014-2018) and first for Reinhart Koselleck Projects.

Exceptionally strong collaborative research is another feature of the research profile: Nationwide, the University of Freiburg ranks first in terms of the number of ongoing DFG-funded Research Training Groups (GRK) and International Research Training Groups (GRK) and seventh in terms of the number of ongoing Collaborative Research Centers (SFBs) and SFB/Transregios (TRR).

The University of Freiburg offers excellent conditions for Early Career Researchers. It occupies top positions in all the most important funding programs in this field: second place in Germany for funding from the DFG's Heisenberg Program (total professorships and fellowships), first place in Germany for Emmy Noether Groups, seventh place in Germany for the European Union's Marie Skłodowska Curie Program and first place in Germany for Heinz Maier Leibnitz Prizes (all figures 2014-2018). The University of Freiburg has also acquired twelve new tenure-track professorships in the Federal and State Programs for the Promotion of Early Career Researchers.

The University of Freiburg's activities in technology transfer have proven to be very successful in recent years. The Reuters World´s Most Innovative Universities Ranking 2018 lists the University of Freiburg as one of the most innovative universities in Germany. It comes in seventh place nationally and 81st place worldwide.

The University of Freiburg plays a pioneering role in innovative teaching in Germany. It has been successful in all excellence competitions in teaching (Windows for Higher Education, Quality Pact Teaching, Quality Campaign Teacher Training) and has developed and implemented effective instruments for the promotion of high-quality teaching, such as the Instructional Development Award, and new teaching concepts such as University College Freiburg with its Bachelor's program in Liberal Arts and Sciences. In addition, the University is a center for teacher training and, together with Freiburg University of Education, contributes to the high quality of teaching and learning at Freiburg Advanced Center of Higher Education (FACE).

The diversity of people at the University of Freiburg is one of its great strengths. The University considers the promotion of diversity with regard to gender, age, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity and nationality as an essential basis for successful development.

The University is continuing its tradition as an academic center in the heart of Europe with Eucor – The European Campus, the pioneering trinational university alliance. The University of Freiburg regards regional links, which in border areas such as the Upper Rhine region always also mean internationalization, as well as national and international networking as a central area of activity.

Freiburg is one of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft’s strongest locations in Germany. The University's intensive cooperation with the five Freiburg Fraunhofer Institutes has been strategically advanced in recent years. Founded in 2015, the Sustainability Center Freiburg, which brings together the expertise of the University of Freiburg and the Fraunhofer Institutes under one umbrella, is one of the first centers of its kind.

The University of Freiburg sees itself as a research university of worldwide importance with a strong international commitment to research, teaching and transfer. Its key global partners are at the center of the internationalization strategy: Penn State University, United States; Nagoya University, Japan; Nanjing University, China and the University of Adelaide, Australia. The universities’ comparable research and teaching profiles in terms of orientation and performance form the basis for productive exchange and successful collaborative projects. The German offices of Penn State University and Nagoya University use premises in the FRIAS Building.

In 2018, the University of Freiburg opened the Maria Sibylla Merian Institute for Advanced Studies in Africa (MIASA). It is dedicated to sustainable governance with a research focus on sustainability transformation, sustainable conflict management and sustainable democracy. The center makes a significant contribution to reducing global knowledge asymmetries and intensifies dialog in the humanities and social sciences between the African continent and the northern hemisphere.