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Erfurt University

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Erfurt University

University of Erfurt
Universität Erfurt
Established 1389/1994 (closed 1815—1993)
Type Public
President Kai Brodersen
Admin. staff 538
Students 5,596
Location Erfurt, Germany Germany
Campus Urban
Affiliations EUniCult
Data as of May 2013

The University of Erfurt (German: Universität Erfurt) is a public university located in Erfurt, Germany. Originally founded in 1389, the university was closed in 1816 for the next 177 years. In 1994, three years after the reunification of Germany, the university was re-established.



The University of Erfurt was founded in 1389 as the third university in the territory which is now Germany; for some time, it was the largest university in the country. When the town of Erfurt became part of Prussia in 1816, the government closed the university after its more than 400 years of operation.


In December 1993, the Landtag of Thuringia voted to re-establish the university. The university was officially re-founded on January 1, 1994. Lectures began in the winter term of 1999/2000. Shortly afterwards, the rector who had overseen the founding, Peter Glotz, a politician in the SPD party, left the university. The position was taken over by Wolfgang Bergsdorf, a friend of Thuringia's Minister-president Bernhard Vogel. In 2001, the Erfurt Teachers' Training College (Pädagogische Hochschule Erfurt), founded in 1953, became part of the university. On January 1, 2003, a fourth faculty was added to the university in the form of the Roman Catholic Theological Faculty, previously the Erfurt Philosophical and Theological Centre, Philosophisch-Theologisches Studium Erfurt. In the same year, a chronic lack of financing meant that there were many redundancies and that vacancies were left unfilled: this led to student protests all over Thuringia. The university administration and committees were reformed and the situation was stabilized.

The University of Erfurt is a liberal arts university with reform and socio-cultural profile. The close networking of the Philosophical, Educational Research, Governmental Studies and Catholic Theological Faculty, as well as the Max Weber Center, continue to be innovative in their approach to teaching (a special mentor program) and research.

As one of the oldest and at the same time youngest public universities in Germany, the University of Erfurt still has no tuition fees and is the first institution of higher education to receive the Thuringia's state capital, with its low cost of living and its extensive cultural and leisure offer.

Faculties and institutions

There are five faculties available in Erfurt University:

  • Faculty of Education
  • Catholic Theology
  • Faculty of Arts/Philosophy
  • Faculty of Law, Economics and Social Science
  • Max Weber Center for Advanced Cultural and Social Studies
  • Research Centre for Social and Cultural Studies in Gotha

Institutions of particular note are the Max Weber Center (see below) and the Willy Brandt School of Public Policy, the former Erfurt School of Public Policy (ESPP), named after the former Chancellor of Germany, Willy Brandt, in November 2009, which is partly financed by tuition fees. The Erfurt-Gotha Research Library houses the famous Amploniana collection of scripts from the Middle Ages.

University maxim

The University of Erfurt is sometimes thought of as a reformist university. Martin Luther once attended it in 1502, receiving his bachelor's degree. Its main focuses are multidisciplinarity, internationality and a strong mentoring system, although in fact the student body is largely regional. All new courses lead to the new Bachelor of Arts or Master's degree rather than the traditional German Diplom, which makes Erfurt one of the first German universities to completely implement the Bologna process.

An especially important faculty is that of Staatswissenschaften (Government Studies), the only one in Germany to offer integrated courses in economics, social sciences and law.

Program, courses and research

B.A., Masters and PhD[1]

Bachelor programs Magister degree
  • Catholic Theology

Master programs

  • Children’s and Youth Media Studies
  • Communication Studies
  • Economics, law, and social Sciences
  • Education for Primary Schools
  • Education for Secondary Schools
  • Education for Special Schools
  • Education for Vocational Schools
  • History: History of the World Regions
  • History and Sociology / Anthropology of the Middle East
  • Literary Studies
  • Philosophy
  • Psychology
  • Religious Studies (taught in English)
  • Special Needs and Integrational Education
  • Theology and Econimics

Continuing education master programs

  • Public Policy (taught in English)
  • Special Education (Education for Special Needs)

Doctoral program
All the university faculties as well as the Max Weber Center for Advanced Cultural and Social Studies offer degree programs leading to a doctorate (PhD).

Max Weber Center

The Max Weber Center for Advanced Cultural and Social Studies is a research institute at the University of Erfurt. It "combines the functions of an Institute for Advanced Study and a Graduate School."[2] Highly respected scientists from several different disciplines (sociology, history, philosophy, theology, religious studies, law, and economics) are appointed as temporary fellows. During their stay at the Max Weber Center they not only carry on their own research, but are additionally supposed to supervise and guide doctoral and post-doctoral students. The Max Weber Center's "focal areas are religion, science and law as powers of interpretation and governance, interactions among cultures, social orderings and mentalities in radical change, normative, in particular ethical issues."[3]

Following Wolfgang Schluchter, who had been the Center's dean since its founding in 1998, the renowned sociologist Hans Joas became Max-Weber-Professor and hence the new dean of the Center in 2002. In early 2011 Joas was appointed Permanent Fellow at the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies (FRIAS), but remained an associated member of the Max Weber Center and spokesman of the Center's research group "Religiöse Individualisierung in historischer Perspektive" ("Religious individualization in historical perspective").[4][5] In May 2011 ancient historian and religious scholar Wolfgang Spickermann was appointed as Interim Dean of the Max Weber Center, since October 2013 the sociologist and political scientist Hartmut Rosa became the Center's new director (Direktor).[6]

In 2008 the German Council of Science and Humanities marked the Max Weber Center out as one of only nine "excellent" sociological research institutes of over 250 in Germany.[7] From 2010 on there has been a debate about the Center's future, especially concerning the degree of its autonomy, which has received comprehensive news coverage in local and even in national newspapers.[8][9][10] In 2012 one of the Center's most prominent fellows, the religious scholar Jörg Rüpke, has been appointed member of the German Council of Science and Humanities.[11]

Some notable fellows of the Max Weber Center are/have been

  • the sociologists Hans Joas and Wolfgang Schluchter,
  • the historians Michael Borgolte and Wolfgang Reinhard,
  • the religious scholars Hans G. Kippenberg and Jörg Rüpke,
  • the theologians Hermann Deuser and Friedrich Wilhelm Graf,
  • the economists Hans G. Nutzinger and Gert G. Wagner,
  • the legal scholars Winfried Brugger and Horst Dreier,
  • and the philosophers Johann Arnason and Theo Kobusch.

Some notable visiting scholars have been the sociologist Shmuel N. Eisenstadt (1998, 1999, 2000, and 2001), the sociologist Toby Huff (2000), the indologist Sheldon Pollock (2001), the historian Paolo Prodi (2007-2008), the historian Dan T. Carter (2009), and the sociologist Paul Lichterman (2009).[12]

Diplom courses

  • Roman Catholic Theology
  • Islamic Studies
  • Public Policy

Promotion/PhD courses

Erfurt University has opened PhD application for various disciplines as well as has invited many researcher from all over the world. Such fields that are possible to be conducted as a PhD topic like economics, law, communication and Islamic studies.

Sommerkurse/Summer course

  • International Summer Course for German Language, Literature and Culture
  • Summer School "Muslims in the West"
  • Summer Program in Communications Erfurt (SPICE)
  • International Spring School

Research groups

Currently following colleges and research teams are part of the Erfurt doctoral and postdoctoral program (EPPP):

  • The research group "Communication and Digital Media (COMDIGMED) is an interdisciplinary and international scale embedded and association of researchers. This project will combine to support the research activities of its members on the field of communication science, educational science, psychology and social science and networking of research and teaching help. COMDIGMED is co-creator of university education focus.
  • In the Center for Empirical Research in Economics and Behavior "(Cereb) scientists working together of economic and behavioral sciences. Focus on the theoretical modeling of human decision behavior, the design of social institutions and educational and career choices as long-term Selbststeuerungsprozesse. The university is involved in the specialization.
  • The Graduate School "Religion in modernization processes" religion-related research projects from the religious, social, literary, media and history of science, theology and philosophy. engage young scientists, the problems in this area, are at the Graduate School offer attractive conditions for their work to develop new understandings of religion in modernization processes.
  • The research program of Max Weber Center is directed to the problems of religion, science and law as interpretation and control powers, interactions between cultures, social systems and mentalities in radical change, and action-bases of cultural and social sciences and their relation to normative, especially ethical issues.
  • The DFG-Graduiertenkolleg "Human Dignity and Human Rights" employs young researchers at the Max Weber Center and the University of Jena with creation, development and application of a central value of Modernity: the human dignity, including consideration of less history of violence.
  • The projects of the Research "Proficiency" deal with the theory-based coverage and promotion of linguistic competence. These are all language modalities (reading, listening, writing, speaking), both at the primary are taken as well in second language acquisition in the eye. The research group is actively involved in the design of the gravity profile the Education of the University of Erfurt.
  • The Research Training Group of the Forum "Texte.Zeichen.Medien." her profile is not covered by the thematic orientation, but by the transphilologische and interdisciplinary nature of their access to their objects - texts, symbols and media.
  • The DFG Research Training Group "Media historiographies" deals with the mutual relationship between history and media. The question of a "history of the media 'with the question of" media history "intertwined: how different media to determine the encoding of historical situations and processes? And how media and media techniques to bring out their own particular history?
  • The Platform regions of the world & Interactions

Academic priorities

  • University focus religion
  • University focus education


In the summer semester of 2003, a project group was formed at the university to take part in the National Model United Nations (NMUN) in New York City in April 2004. The pilot project has become a regular, student-organized seminar at the university. The various groups received several awards for their participation at the conference in 2006, 2007, and 2008.

Well-known alumni

See also


External links

  • Official website

Coordinates: 50°59′26″N 11°00′39″E / 50.99056°N 11.01083°E / 50.99056; 11.01083

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