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The University of Bremen wins prestigious Excellence University title

15.06.2012 - (idw) Universität Bremen

Once dismissed as a hotbed of leftist politics with a radical approach to education and a tenuous financial base, the University of Bremen in northwestern Germany has now been recognized as one of the country's eleven finest universities. On June 15, it was named as a grand prize winner for research funding from the German federal government's Excellence Initiative.

Its manna from heaven for the University of Bremen, which was founded in 1971 with the modest goal of making higher education available to Bremen youth whose families couldn't afford to send them away to college. Spurning the ivory tower of the academic establishment, the young university became infamous, and then famous, for its focus on social responsibility, lack of traditional hierarchies, and experiments with research-based and professionally oriented education programs. The cash-strapped state of Bremen provided for a meager budget, but the university administration and faculty competed adroitly for third-party research grants and cultivated talented young scientists to build world-class interdisciplinary research institutes in the marine sciences, social sciences, production engineering, computer and cognition sciences.

The German Excellence Initiative was launched in 2005 as a means of enhancing academic research capabilities in a nation where higher education is publicly funded and lacks the private endowments and tuition income enjoyed by top-notch universities in the U.S. and U.K. In the first round of competition, Bremen won support for its Center for Marine Environmental Sciences and its International Graduate School of Social Sciences. With the new Excellence University title and an extra 100 million euros in research funding the mid-sized university with the bad-boy-made-good reputation now has big plans for all of its faculties.

For further information, contact:

Universität Bremen
Rektor Prof. Dr. Wilfried Müller
Tel. (+49) 421 218-60011
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