For the City and Society: 50 Years of University of Bremen

The university is turning 50. It is important for the economic location, the city’s society, and the scientific location of Bremen. This is to be made tangible by means of a diverse and corona-conform program. It is already possible to visit the first locations of the “50 Reasons WHY” exhibition.

The University of Bremen has developed impressively since its establishment in 1971. A brave reform project, that started its first semester with 459 students, has turned into a European research university in only five decades. Today, around 23,000 people from over 120 nations study, research, and work at the University of Bremen. The 50-year anniversary is a special occasion to show all citizens what the university means for Bremen and society.

More than 3,500 Highly Qualified Graduates each Year

“The university plays a key role in the development of Bremen as a technological location and its economic innovation strength – it enriches the community,” says the President, Professor Bernd Scholz-Reiter. “Over 3,500 students graduate from the university each year and thus enter the economy and society as highly-qualified experts. Annually, this also includes 300 young people who successfully complete their studies with a teaching orientation at the university and then work on the education of our children in schools.” Additionally, with its research the University of Bremen helps in finding answers to the most urgent matters of our time. Examples are the fields of climate change, digitalization, and healthcare. “I therefore believe that we can look at what we have achieved with pride and to the future with curiosity,” states the President. “In this year, we want to make that visible and tangible to mark our 50th anniversary.”

Oliver Behnecke, project leader of “50 Years of the University of Bremen,” adds: “We want to show how tightly connected the university is with day-to-day life in Bremen and society, as well as why everyone profits from this partnership.” In times of the pandemic, all initiatives are, of course, being carefully planned and will be amended to fit with the valid regulations.

“50 Reasons WHY Exhibition Throughout Bremen

The “50 Reasons WHY” exhibition started in March. The event is to answer one thing above all – Why has the University of Bremen been so tightly knit with its home for the past five decades and is such an important part of the Bremen DNA? And where can the university be found throughout the state and in the community? The exhibition has the aim of showing what has been achieved by people from and with the university. Based on 50 examples, you can find out where the university is involved and how it has changed Bremen since 1971. From March to August, 50 sites will be accessible across Bremen. In October, an exhibition in the Lower Town Hall will bring the sites together.

The first of these locations is the campus park. Via a roughly four-by-four meter sign, interested persons can scan a QR code and then find out from the President himself why the university was founded in 1971 and why it is important for our society. The second location is the bremer shakespeare company (bsc) in the Neustadt district. For more than ten years, the bsc has been cooperating with the University of Bremen as part of the successful “From the Files to the Stage” project. Further locations will be announced over the course of the coming months.

These Locations, Institutes, and Companies are Involved in “50 Reasons WHY”:

Chamber of Labor Bremen, Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), ArcelorMittal Bremen GmbH / swb AG, b.zb - bremer zentrum für baukultur, Bremen Institute for Production and Logistics GmbH, Community Center Neue Vahr e.V., Denkort Bunker Valentin – Memorial, German Maritime Museum (DSM), German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), EuropaPunktBremen, Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Medicine MEVIS, Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials, Gerhard-Marcks-Haus, Kultur vor Ort, Bremen State Center for Civic Education, Bremen State Institute for Schools (LIS), Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT), Leibniz Institute for Prevention Research and Epidemiology – BIPS GmbH, Leibniz Institute for Material Engineering – IWT, MARUM – Center for  Marine Environmental Sciences of the University of Bremen, Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, City Library Bremen, Technical Centre of Education of the City Centre, Theater Bremen, Übersee Museum, Universum® Bremen, Wilhelm-Focke-Oberschule and Center of Applied Space Technology and Microgravity (ZARM).


From June 7 to 11, 2021, the traditional OPEN CAMPUS event will take place as a digital OPEN CAMPUS WEEK for the first time ever. For five days, our faculties, institutes, and other university institutions want to show off their talents under the motto “OPEN WORLDS – SHARE KNOWLEDGE.” The organization team has developed a diverse and interactive concept, which will allow you to digitally experience and discover the university.


In fall, the University of Bremen plans to invigorate Bremen’s city with a wide range of research and teaching topics. CAMPUS CITY is scheduled from October 14, 2021 – 50 years to the day after the university was founded. On this historic date, a celebratory reception is also planned to take place with invited guests at City Hall. In times of pandemic, we will have to decide closer to the time how CAMPUS CITY and the reception can be realized.

Project Funds for Students and Staff

Alongside the central events during this year, there are numerous other projects being organized by students and staff. They will be financed by a special project fund. For example, videos with current and former students and staff from differing decades of the university are being created by ZeMKI, Centre for Media, Communication and Information Research. The student university group “AStA für Alle (AfA)” is developing an exhibition on the topic of 50 years of university politics. The philosophy professor Norman Sieroka is planning the interview podcast “Philosophie trifft!” with researchers from various university faculties in the summer semester. And in the frame of a seminar, Dr. Martin Gruber from the Department of Anthropology and Cultural Research and his students will portray people and places at the University of Bremen that are usually not as visible during day-to-day operations. This will be done in the form of a film series called “Un/Sichtbar.” The films will offer an insight into unusual and surprising viewpoints of the university.

50 Years of the University of Bremen – We Would Like to Thank Our Partners

  • University of Bremen Alumni Network
  • AOK – Die Gesundheitskasse
  • Bremen NEXT
  • Bremen Vier
  • Die Sparkasse Bremen
  • "unifreunde" Association of the Friends of the University of Bremen and Jacobs University
  • Bremer Wertpapierbörse
  • Weser-Kurier
  • WFB Wirtschaftsförderung Bremen GmbH


Further Information:

  • Service for the media: Via this link, you can find additional press texts and photos concerning the University of Bremen and the topics surrounding “50 Years of the University of Bremen”:
  • You can find out everything about “50 Years of the University of Bremen” and watch a video with the President about the University of Bremen here:
  • The “50 Reasons WHY” location on campus: Who is the child on this historical photo? Read more in the university’s online magazine up2date.:
  • Hashtags: #UniBremen50  /  #OffenSeit1971  / #50JahreWarum


Kristina Logemann
Head of the Administrative Unit for University Communication and Marketing
University of Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-60155
Email: kristina.logemannprotect me ?!uni-bremenprotect me ?!.de

Meike Mossig
Deputy Head of the Administrative Unit for University Communication and Marketing
University of Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-60168
Email:  mmossigprotect me ?!uni-bremenprotect me ?!.de

[Translate to English:]
Where can the university be found across Bremen – and why? That is what the “50 Reasons WHY” exhibition will tell us. The first locations are open now. There are also numerous other projects to mark 50 years of the University of Bremen.
The University of Bremen was founded 50 years ago. On a tour of the campus, President Bernd Scholz-Reiter tells us about the areas of focus – from the deep sea to space.