In only forty years, the University of Bremen – founded in 1971 – has achieved the status of being named a “University of Excellence”. In 2012, together with ten other German universities, it received this acknowledgement of merit for its institutional strategy concept for cutting-edge research. What some have called “the Weser miracle” was the result of high motivation, close cooperation, and clear profiling over several decades. The University continues to pursue its path of excellent research. This remains the case, even though it was unable to gain the required two clusters of excellence in the current round of the Excellence Initiative and is therefore no longer eligible to apply to the funding program “Excellence University” in the period after 2019.
However, in the current round of the Excellence Strategy, the University of Bremen is still in the running with the MARUM proposal “Ocean Floor” where an excellence cluster is already working. The BIGSSS social science graduate school, which received funding in two phases of the Excellence Initiative, has been jointly funded on a permanent basis by the University of Bremen and Jacobs University, due to there being no further funding for graduate schools in the excellence competition. Already in the first phase of the Excellence Initiative, the marine science graduate school GLOMAR was funded and then integrated into the Cluster of Excellence at MARUM and made permanent.
Nevertheless, the University currently has more DFG Collaborative Research Centers than ever before: This is mainly owing to its high profile research areas and profiling strategy that began over twenty years ago. The University of Bremen is now system accredited, and thus able to conduct its own independent quality management in the area of teaching. The current focus is on research-based learning and setting up innovative new masters programs, these are also characteristics of an Excellent University. At the same time, it is establishing new, dependable career paths with a tenure perspective in addition to the professorship career path. The whole University was involved in developing the future perspectives formulated in Strategy 2018–2028.