Today, the University of Bielefeld comprises 13 faculties covering subjects ranging from humanities to natural sciences and from social sciences to technology. With around 18,500 students on more than 80 different courses and about 3,500 staff including some 1,800 scientists, it ranks as one of Germany’s mid-sized universities and is currently enjoying dynamic and successful development. This is illustrated by the achievements in the excellence initiative in 2007 and 2012, the excellent concepts for developing the quality of teaching and study, and the building of an ultramodern university campus.
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Gerhard Sagerer
Rector of the University of Bielefeld
Thinking outside the box
Starting from the conviction that complex scientific and social issues can no longer be adequately addressed by purely disciplinary approaches, right from its foundation the development of the University of Bielefeld has been based on an interdisciplinary model. The interdisciplinary model is considered as a range of multi-perspective approaches of varying kinds and intensities.
The University of Bielefeld is one of the leading universities in Germany for research across a focused range of interdisciplinary fields in the humanities and social sciences, natural sciences and technology. This is demonstrated by achievements including top places in the DFG's funding ranking and successes in the state and regional excellence initiative to promote leading-edge research in Germany. An excellence cluster based around the topic of 'human-machine communication' (CITEC) and a Graduate School in History and Sociology (BGHS) have been promoted at the University of Bielefeld since 2007. Both of these were again successful in 2012 in the third round of the excellence initiative and have been extended for another five years.
The University of Bielefeld’s heavily research-oriented areas of work come under the five main headings of Theories and Methodologies in History and Sociology; Human Development, Conflict and Violence; Interactive Intelligent Systems; Molecular and Nano Sciences; and Theoretical Sciences. Within that framework, cutting-edge research of an international standard is undertaken and the rising generation is encouraged to progress in the context of cooperative research projects and extensive individual development.
In addition, since its foundation the University of Bielefeld has benefited from the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research (ZiF), an institute for advanced study which is classed as one of the most renowned and successful institutes of its kind in Germany and internationally.
Knowledge and technology transfer
The University of Bielefeld offers excellent conditions for successful knowledge and technology transfer: innovative research and science at the highest national and international level, and graduates with an outstanding educational background. Top-flight cooperative links with industry are established in the different main areas of work.