University of Duisburg-Essen

University of Duisburg-Essen

University of Duisburg-Essen Details

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The University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE), one of the largest German universities, is committed to meeting its social responsibilities. To carry out the educational mandate with which it has been charged and to help drive the economic transformation of our region, we subscribe to national and international standards in the fields of research, education and management.

We see our university as a homogenous whole inclusive of all subjects and all members and therefore strive for an interdisciplinary network and for the extensive participation of all academics, employees and students in the challenge of shaping the future of the UDE.

In the field of research, we prioritize four interdisciplinary areas:
• nanosciences
• biomedical sciences
• urban systems and metropolitan areas
• change of contemporary societies

We adhere to the traditional university unity of research and education.

We create the best-possible study and work conditions in all subjects and at all levels of study in order to offer an academic education based on science and research, striking out in new directions to do so. In designing our undergraduate and postgraduate degree programs, we are guided by various individual and societal requirements within the context of life-long learning.

The further development of teacher training in the research and education sectors is a significant aspect of our university profile. During the process of changing over to bachelor/master courses of study, we are rigorously pursuing a policy of quality standard conformance and aiming to create the best-possible conditions for study.

We consider the heterogeneity of our students and employees as a unique opportunity and promote diversity via select management measures. Here we understand ‘diversity’ as a contribution to educational equality and academic excellence. Gender equality is an integral part of these endeavours.

Within the framework of the university management system, we aim to maintain an appropriate balance between a central profile and a decentralized system of selfgovernance and self-responsibility. The instruments of target and performance agreements, budget management, cost control and staff development all got to serve our stringent quality assurance policies.

As a member of the University Alliance Ruhr (UA Ruhr), we work together with the Ruhr University of Bochum and the Technical University of Dortmund to coordinate our efforts to encourage the Ruhr as a science region, creating a unique profile, setting priorities and establishing scientific and organizational networks.

Schools / Colleges / Departments / Courses / Faculties

  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Faculty of Social Sciences
  • Faculty of Educational Sciences
  • Faculty of Economics and Business Administration
  • Mercator School of Management
  • Faculty of Mathematics
  • Faculty of Physics
  • Faculty of Chemistry
  • Faculty of Biology
  • Faculty of Engineering
  • Faculty of Medicine


Origins; The University of Duisburg (1555) Its origins date back to the 1555 decision of Duke Wilhelm V von Jülich-Kleve-Berg to create a university for the unified duchies at the Lower Rhine. To this end, it was necessary to obtain a permission of the emperor and the pope. Although the permission of the pope was granted in 1564 and of the emperor in 1566, the university was founded about ninety years later in 1654, after the acquisition of the duchy of Kleve by Frederick William, Elector of Brandenburg. It opened on 14 October 1655 by Johannes Claudberg as their first rector. The university had four faculties: Theology, Medicine, Law and Arts. During its period of activity it was one of the central and leading universities of the western provinces of Prussia.

Only a few decades later the university was in competition with the much better equipped Dutch universities. Since only about one third of the population in the western provinces of Prussia were member of the reformed church, most Lutheran and Catholic citizens in the second half of the 18th century, sent their sons to other universities.

The university declined rapidly and was on 18 October 1818 due to a Cabinet Order of Friedrich Wilhelm III. officially closed. At the same time, the University of Bonn was founded. Large parts of the Duisburg University Library were relocated to Bonn and then formed the basis of the newly formed Bonn Library. Also the sceptre of the University of Duisburg was given to the University of Bonn, and is available until today.

In 1891 the Rheinisch-Westfälische Hüttenschule was settled from Bochum to Duisburg, which was later developed to the Königlich-Preußischen Maschinenbau- und Hüttenschule, and was renamed in 1938 to Public School of Engineering.

After a decision of the federal state government in 1960 the teacher training college of Kettwig was settled to Duisburg and was namedPedagogical University Ruhr. In 1968, the university was founded again in Duisburg, related to the old one, bearing the name:Comprehensive University of Duisburg. Initially only small, the university was developed rapidly in the 1970s up to about 15,000 students. In 1972 the Pedagogical University Ruhr and the Public School of Engineering, which was renamed in 1971 to University of applied sciences Duisburg. Other schools were also relocated to Duisburg. The University of Duisburg was then called Comprehensive University of Duisburg. In 1994 the university was renamed Gerhard Mercator University.

In 2003, Gerhard Mercator University merged with the University of Essen to form the University of Duisburg-Essen, which is today one of the largest universities in Germany with about 30,000 students.

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