Roughly 23,000 people are currently active as students, teachers, researchers, or employees of the University of Bremen. It has become one of Germany`s eleven top universities of excellence. It is the science center of Northern Germany, renowned for its strengths in the sciences and engineering disciplines, as well as the humanities and the social sciences.
The work carried out by its researchers, many of whom of international repute, provide important stimuli for the development of innovative ideas and the resolution of problems facing society in general. Visiting guests from all over the world enrich campus life at the University of Bremen, which is well-known in the student community as a cosmopolitan venue for studying and research. Always open for new ideas and on the lookout for ways to adapt and improve, the university administration and academic staff have been interacting with the public and working with community groups for the past forty years.
The exceptional quality of research in Bremen is due, among other things, to the university’s close collaboration with numerous independent research institutes, both on campus and around the region. Their competence and vitality have attracted more than four hundred research and business
ventures to the technology park around campus, creating a nationally recognized hub of high technology.
For many years now, the University of Bremen has been among the top league of German universities in the area of research. Since June 2012, the University of Bremen is entitled ‘University of Excellence’. The Excellence Initiative was passed for the first time in 2005 by the German federal and state governments. And the latest Förderatlas [funding atlas] published by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) puts Bremen right at the top among German universities in several categories.
Research conducted at the University of Bremen is interdisciplinary. In other words: Bremen research transcends the borders of traditional disciplines and is embedded within six research concentrations, also known as high-profile areas:
The University of Bremen numbers among the most successful universities in Germany with regard to acquiring external funding for research projects. In 2010 the University’s scholars and scientists acquired some 91 million euros of research funding ― almost one third of the University’s entire budget.
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Ever since it was founded, the University of Bremen has purposefully pursued a policy of creating close links between its teaching and research activities. A good example is its approach to studying in projects (“Bremen Model“), which fosters elements of independent research-based learning oriented to societal issues. Today, this is underscored in a number of study elements, the strong orientation to interdisciplinary studies, and the University’s guiding principles. Various surveys, measures, and discussion processes illustrate and confirm that both teaching staff as well as students share a high level of willingness to participate in research-based learning: implementation is facilitated by this culture of internal consensus. Especially characteristic for its teaching profile is the University’s focus on research-based learning at an early stage of studies, the anchoring of a comprehensive program of General Studies in the curriculum, and the supportive integration of e-learning components.
More under Studies and Teaching in Profile.
Wherever you look, the student body, research work, or life on campus – at the University of Bremen there is truly an abundance of international and intercultural diversity. The University is particularly proud of the support it offers to its international members – whether temporary visitors, students or permanent staff. Round about twenty thousand students from 120 different countries have chosen to study here. And large numbers of young and renowned scholars and scientists have already come to Bremen to teach and carry out research. Following the University’s success in the Excellence Initiative, this welcome development will certainly now receive an additional boost.
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The young University of Bremen is always open to new developments. For example, within the context of support for young researchers, in 2001 it was the very first university in Germany to introduce a so-called tenure track for "junior professors" (assistant professors), which became known as the “Bremen Perspective”. Junior professors are sure in the knowledge that after six years they will be shortlisted with other external candidates for a full professorship.
Research and finding solutions to pressing social issues has a long tradition at the University of Bremen. This encompasses both fundamental as well as applied research. The University meets its commitment to education and research in the interest of society by entering into close cooperation with public institutions and enterprise, as well as by offering a broad spectrum of services to the community. These open offers range from asthma training for children, through genetic advice, up to public access to its socio-political archives.
Open access still accounts for only a relatively small but stable share of the University of Bremen’s publications – tendency rising. The quality of professional open access publishers has no need to hide itself from the established channels of scientific publishing, and the University of Bremen’s management is convinced that open access will in future play an increasingly major role in communication between members of the scientific community. Since 2010, therefore, it assumes some of the costs of open access publications for its members within the context of a funding program offered by the Deutsche Forschungsgesellschaft [German Research Foundation].
In light of past experience and current developments, the time is right to strengthen the profile of open access support and adopt a more active stance. The aim, therefore, is to anchor open access more permanently within the University of Bremen – not only by means of funding, but also within the culture of the disciplines.
Whether open access can be established within a discipline depends to a large extent on the culture of the discipline in question – it is hardly a coincidence, then, that open access is a widespread practice in the University’s high-profile areas of environmental physics, marine research, the geosciences and the health sciences. The University intends to concentrate support for open access especially on these high-profile areas so that information and funding achieve maximum impact. The monitoring and evaluation of publications stemming from members of the University will therefore in future also be assessed on the significance and development of open access.
The University of Bremen wants to offer young talent and outstanding young researchers a platform for their academic careers. In this respect it provides support for intellectual openness, critical reflection, and interdisciplinary communication. Future generations of scientists and scholars will perceive open access as a matter-of-fact aspect of academic exchange. Therefore, young researchers in particular are to be treated as a special target group for information about open access. This is not to mean, though, that evaluation of academic performance should rest on whether or not it is published in open access.
The University’s regular financial support for open access publications will remain a pillar of policy. In this respect the University management underscores the strategic importance of open access for future communications within and outside the University.