Studying at Göttingen

Developing sustainable concepts for the use and management of Chinese forests, discovering an inhabited planet at some 22 light years distance away from Earth, or analysing the demand for skilled labour in medium-sized businesses: These three topics alone illustrate the sheer variety of academic fields that flourish at the Georg-August-University in Göttingen.

True to its motto “Exzellenz verpflichtet” (excellence obliges), Lower Saxony’s oldest university regards itself as an internationally renowned research institute, focusing on research-based instruction. The outstanding quality of its scientific research is one of the university’s major assets, whilst the large array of subjects offered in the humanities, as well as the excellently equipped science departments represent additional attractions for students. A remarkably high degree of interdisciplinary activity in the natural- and life sciences completes the academic profile.

Main Research Areas

Central areas of research comprise the life sciences, natural sciences, and social sciences. Research efforts in the life sciences are driven by advances in neuroscience, molecular biology, bio-diversity and ecology. Focal areas of interest in the natural sciences are solid-state physics and materials physics, geo-biology and pure mathematics. Finally, the social sciences are strongly orientated towards German studies, Oriental studies, the classics, and theology.

This list in itself suffices to cast some light on the diverse nature of scholarship at the University of Göttingen. In virtue of its forward-looking concept “Göttingen. Tradition – Innovation – Autonomy”, the university was able to prevail in the Excellence Initiative of Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research in 2007. As a result, it is now one of the nine institutions awarded the title of “Elite University”, and credited with the potential of international presence.

Göttingen University looks back on a lengthy tradition. Founded in 1773, its various departments have brought forth a total of 44 Nobel laureates over the centuries. The Georg-August-University has recently developed and implemented a number of ground-breaking and promising changes with regards to future developments. Apart from the aforementioned funding for top-level university research, these novelties include the internationalization of courses, and and the early transition to bachelor and masters degrees. A comprehensive increase in responsibility and autonomy is constitutes the stated aim of the institution and is pursued via many different approaches.

Careers at Göttingen

Promising junior researchers are recruited via the university’s Brain Gain programme. Once having chosen the University of Göttingen, they enjoy the prospect of a secured academic career. Brain Sustain, on the other hand, focuses on retaining established top-class researchers. Research efforts in the humanities and social sciences are supported by the Lichtenberg-Kolleg; and finally, Göttingen International seeks to recruit promising talent from abroad and foster international relationships.
Studying at the University of Göttingen is further distinguished by innovative and highly internationalized courses, and specific measures regarding quality assurance. There are currently 24.000 students enrolled at Göttingen, students from abroad constituting almost 11%. This figure bears testimony to the university’s unwavering popularity throughout the years. A multitude of English-language courses, bi-national degrees and compulsory terms abroad, all combine to furnish the studying experience with a truly exemplary degree of internationality. A host of international exchange programmes completes the picture and provides all students with the possibility of spending one or several semesters abroad.

Medicine at the University of Göttingen

The promotion and support of junior researchers deserves special mention. Doctoral candidates attend one of the three graduate schools, each with a structured programme. The schools comprise graduate colleges, doctoral programmes and the International Max Planck Research Schools. Their joint aim is to improve the research and learning conditions for young graduate students and support the promotion of outstanding junior researchers. The university’s broad array of subjects includes the natural sciences, mathematics, computer sciences, human medicine, law, economics, the human and social sciences, as well as theology. This thematic scope clearly illustrates both the fervor and the success with which the university pursues the aims of its motto “Exzellenz verpflichtet”.