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What is special about Freie Universität Berlin?

Freie Universität Berlin, founded in 1948, is the youngest of Berlin's universities and one of the biggest in Germany. Its founding was triggered by the ideological differences between the allied forces and the persecution of dissident students at what was then the Berliner Universität located in the Soviet sector of the divided city. Ever since then, the Freie Universität carries the words Truth, Justice, and Liberty in its seal.

Freie Universität Berlin has around 150 partnerships with scientific facilities all around the world, with additional 400 university partnerships within the framework of the mobility network Erasmus and 45 other institutional partnerships. It runs liaison offices in Brussels, Cairo, New Delhi, Moscow, Beijing, and Sao Paulo. Freie Universität Berlin has direct exchange agreements with more than 80 universities. Around 20% of all students are from abroad.

Freie Universität Berlin is one of eleven German universities that participated in the 2012 Excellency Initiative of the Federal and State Governments successfully and has been awarded funding for its future concepts in all three funding lines. The Times Higher Education Ranking 2013 listed Freie Universität among the four best universities in Germany. The humanities programs of the university were among the 25 best in the world.

The university's future concept includes three strategic centers. The Center for Research Strategy is focused on promoting the career of young researchers and expanding already existing research networks. The Center for Graduate Studies develops concepts for the promotion of structured PhD programs and young researchers at Freie Universität through fellowships and various qualification programs. The Center for International Cooperation supports international research projects of the university’s faculty members with leading academic institutions worldwide.

As a comprehensive university, Freie Universität Berlin offers more than 150 study programs at twelve departments and three central institutes. The nationwide unique width and depth of research in the humanities takes place under the umbrella of the Dahlem Humanities Center. A special characteristic of the university is its number of “smaller” disciplines such as Arabic Studies and Jewish Studies.

After the German reunification in 1990, Freie Universität Berlin sharpened its profile and intensified its research endeavors significantly, establishing several interdisciplinary research foci. Among the most important adjacent research institutions are the four Max Planck Institutes, the Zuse Institute Berlin for Applied Mathematics and Computer Science, and the Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing.

Freie Universität offers a comprehensive range of counseling and support services for its students. Besides Academic Advising and Psychological Counseling, students can also turn to the departmental advisors and mentoring offices for help. The Office for Students with Special Needs, the Dual Career & Family Service, the University Sports Center, and the advisory bodies of the Berlin Student Union are just a few of the many go-to points for information and support.

The student associations can also be a source of help during your time at university. Almost every subject and institute, respectively, has a student association. There, students from higher semesters come together to lobby for the needs and interests of students in higher education policy. Furthermore, there are also other student groups that represent political interests, offer counseling, or run cafés on campus.

In addition to the diversity of higher education institutions, Berlin also offers a broad spectrum of cultural centers and activities, formidable museums, historically significant places and other sights and attractions.