A renowned hub for artistic creativity and home to some of the richest and most eventful history in Europe, Berlin is many things. The city that brings us a thriving underground techno scene and a culturally diverse populace is also known for some of its world-renowned universities, making its own mark in the arena of higher education. Here are the top seven you need to know.
Berlin’s Humboldt University is one of the oldest in the city. Brothers Wilhelm and Alexander von Humboldt established it in 1810. Throughout its history, it has been host to some of the greatest intellectuals and innovators the world has ever seen. Its docket of famous students includes Karl Marx, Albert Einstein, Georg Hegel, Max Planck, Angela Davis, Arthur Schopenhauer, W.E.B. Dubois, and many more. Today, the university is considered to be one of the best on the globe for those studying within the realms of the liberal arts and the humanities. Humboldt University has also made major contributions within the realms of scientific research and medicine.
The Free University of Berlin was once a part of Humboldt University until it was sequestered behind the Iron Curtain during the Cold War. The West responded by establishing the Free University in reference to students’ demands for a university that was liberated from influences and sanctions by the state. The name also has a more literal meaning, as the university doesn’t charge tuition. The Free University of Berlin is renowned for its work in both the social and the natural sciences. It is highly regarded for its standards of academic excellence, and is ranked among the best universities in Europe.
Berlin’s Technical University is one of the most prestigious of its kind in all of Germany. It is also considered one of the top 50 technical universities in the world, largely thanks to its progressive administration. From geosciences to mechanical engineering, the school offers instruction over a large swath of different STEM disciplines, in addition to some humanities curricula. Its main campus is located at the western edge of the city proper in Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf, but other university buildings are dispersed throughout the city. The Technical University of Berlin is popular with international students, who make up over a fifth of the student body.
Berlin’s University of the Arts is known for the diverse array of different course offerings available with a wide array of artistic disciplines, catering to people who wish to study music, fine arts, architecture, design, the performing arts, and more. This is an excellent place to do it, too, considering the city’s long history as an important artists’ hotspot worldwide, which also attracts some prestigious artist-teachers, such as Ai Weiwei recently. Further, it is one of the few schools of its kind that has achieved full university status in Germany, meaning that students are able to earn PhDs and other postdoctoral distinctions here.
One of the city’s private educational institutions, Steinbeis-Hochschule Berlin specializes in instruction in the fields of economics and engineering. Having been established in 1998, it is relatively new, and owned entirely by the Steinbeis Foundation, which is dedicated to integrating academic findings within the world of business. Therefore, the philosophy behind the institution itself is to teach students about both theory and practice through the courses offered at the school. Corporations often sponsor students’ educational activities here, and work at these places is usually a compulsory part of earning a degree. Steinbeis-Hochschule Berlin is one of the best business schools in the city. Gürtelstraße 29a/30, Berlin, Germany, +49 030 2933090
Founded in 1874, HTW Berlin University of Applied Sciences is one of the largest universities of its kind in the country. The main disciplines of study offered at the school include graphic arts, fashion design, engineering, computer science, and business. In all, there are more than 70 different programs, and over 13,000 students are currently enrolled at the university. One thing in particular that makes the school special is its diversity of prominent student-run initiatives, which include the DPWK prize for business communication and the fashion label, 30paarhaende. Treskowallee 8, Berlin, Germany, +49 030 50190
Berlin’s Alice Salomon University is a vocational school specializing in occupational and physical therapy. It is highly regarded for its programs in early childhood education, public health, and social work. Students can earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees here, and the institution is also touted for its applied research contributions to the field of healthcare. It is the oldest university of social work in Germany, and the school is named after its founder, Alice Salomon, a figure known for her work in women’s rights advocacy and social justice issues. Alice-Salomon-Platz 5, Berlin, Germany, +49 030 992450