Berlin University Alliance: Incubators of talent and innovation


Four strong academic and research partners in Berlin have joined forces to find answers to complex, pressing questions together, across the boundaries of individual disciplines and institutions, i.e. the Berlin University Alliance. The Berlin University Alliance is a consortium of three universities and one hospital in Berlin: the Free University of Berlin, the Humboldt University of Berlin, the Technical University of Berlin, and the Charité — Universitätsmedizin Berlin.

In 2019, the Alliance received funding in the German Universities Excellence Initiative for its future concept ‘Crossing Boundaries toward an Integrated Research Environment’.

These institutions draw well-known scholars, researchers, and scientists from all over the world while also serving as a breeding ground for outstanding next-generation talent in science, research, and academia. More than 1,00,000 students study here. Through numerous partnerships, some of them having grown up over decades, each of the four institutions has forged global networks with other top academic and research institutions, and all of them regularly hold excellent positions in international rankings.

Global Pool

Founded in 1948 by students and professors, scholars and scientists, with support from the American Allied forces and Berlin politicians, Freie Universität is among Germany’s strongest higher education institutions in terms of research. Some 41,000 students from more than 130 nations study on the university’s park-like campus in the Dahlem district and at facilities in adjacent city districts. There are currently more than 170 degree programmes with 550 professors teaching here. Freie Universität Berlin won the German government’s first Excellence competition in 2007. This status was re-confirmed in June 2012, when the university won special funding for its future development strategy, “Veritas- Justitia – Libertas, International Network University.”

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin is the oldest higher education institution in Berlin. Ever since, it was founded at the start of the 19th century, the university has engaged in teaching and research activities in all of the fundamental academic disciplines in the humanities, social and cultural sciences, law, life sciences, mathematics and natural sciences, medicine, agricultural sciences and sustainability research, and ancient civilisations. Today, nearly 41,000 young people from over 100 countries are enrolled in 180 bachelor’s and master’s degree programs at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, supervised by some 480 professors. Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin received distinction in the Excellence Initiative jointly sponsored by the German federal and state governments in 2012 for its institutional strategy, “Educating Enquiring Minds, Individuality – Openness – Guidance.”

The roots of Technische Universität Berlin and its predecessor institutions stretch back to the time of Frederick II, King of Prussia, during the 18th century. Almost 33,000 youngsters from 147 countries are enrolled in over 120 bachelors and masters degree programmes here, where they pursue their education through close interaction between engineering and natural sciences, planning, social sciences, economics, and humanities with an eye to industry and the wider society.

With its approximately 370 professors and some 20 spin-offs each year, Technische Universität Berlin is also an important economic driver and incubator of innovations in the German capital city region. Together with Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and Freie Universität, it is the host university of the Math plus excellence cluster.

(Inputs from Linda Oecknick, EU Consulting)

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