University Hohenheim

University Hohenheim

University Hohenheim Details

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Founded in 1818, after the devastating famine, the University of Hohenheim is not only engaged in foundational research but traditionally also in developing innovative solutions for urgent social matters.

Today, University Hohenheim has a unique profile, a wide international network, and works with distinguished specialists from all fields. The history, the mission statement, and a defined strategy lead the way for the further development of the University.

The University of Hohenheim is a campus university located in the south of Stuttgart, Germany. Founded in 1818 it is Stuttgart’s oldest university. Its primary areas of specialisation had traditionally been agricultural and natural sciences, Today, however, the majority of its students are enrolled in one of the many study programs offered by the faculty of business, economics and social sciences. The faculty has regularly been ranked among the best in the country, making the University of Hohenheim one of Germany’s top-tier universities in these fields. The university maintains academic alliances with a number of partner universities and is involved in numerous joint research projects.

Schools / Colleges / Departments / Courses / Faculties

  • Institute of Agricultural Policy and Markets
  • Institute of Agricultural Engineering
  • Institute of Applied Mathematics and Statistics
  • Institute of Biological Chemistry and Nutritional Science
  • Institute of Soil Science and Land Evaluation
  • Institute of Botany
  • Institute of Chemistry
  • Institute of Clinical Nutrition
  • Institute of Financial Management
  • Institute of Genetics
  • Institute of Health Care & Public Management
  • Institute of Interorganizational Management & Performance
  • Institute of Communication Science
  • Institute of Crop Science
  • Institute of Landscape and Plant Ecology
  • Institute of Farm Management
  • Institute of Food Chemistry
  • Institute of Food Science and Biotechnology
  • Institute of Marketing & Management
  • Institute of Microbiology
  • Institute of Animal Science
  • Institute of Plant Production and Agroecology in the Tropics and Subtropics
  • Institute of Plant Breeding, Seed Science and Population Genetics
  • Institute of Physics and Meteorology
  • Institute of Physiology
  • Institute of Plant Physiology and Biotechnology
  • Institute of Phytomedicine
  • Institute of Law and Social Sciences
  • Institute of Social Sciences in Agriculture
  • Institute of Animal Production in the Tropics and Subtropics
  • Institute of Agricultural Sciences in the Tropics (Hans-Ruthenberg-Institute)
  • Institute of Economics
  • Institute of Economic and Business Education
  • Institute of Zoology


The first documented reference to Hohenheim was in 1100. The family estate of the Bombasts from Hohenheim fell to the Württemberg Duke Carl Eugen von Württemberg in 1768 as a completed fiefdom after an eventful history.

Between 1771-1793, the Duke had the expansive Palace and park facilities in Hohenheim built under the direction of his court architect Reinhard F. H. Fischer for his later wife, Franziska von Hohenheim and himself. All parts of the Palace, the Duke’s residence from 1776-1793, have been maintained and make up the location of today’s University.

The origins of the university date back to the year 1818. King Wilhelm I. of Württemberg created an agricultural academy in Hohenheim. It was opened on 20. Nov. 1818.
The beginning was very modest: Besides the first director Johann Nepomuk Hubert Schwerz (1759-1844), who was responsible for agriculture, two other teachers were employed, one for Mathematics and Physics, the other for Chemistry, Mineralogy and Botany. Of course, at the beginning there were only 16 pupils who needed instruction.

From the beginning, the manor that had grown out of the state domain of Hohenheim was also affiliated with the institute. In time, a manorial economy with its own organization and accounting practices developed on the surrounding lands and in various areas of the Palace.

In 1957, the Hohenheim manor was divided into three experimental holdings and led by the management of the Institute for Farm Management.

The former net income manor, together with the experimental operations (the experimental properties Eckartsweier, Heidfeldhof, Ihinger Hof, Oberer Lindenhof, Unterer Lindenhof, Hof Enzmad, and Schuchmacherhof) that had been set up in the early 20th century, were thus transformed into agricultural laboratories.

From the very beginning, the schools that were affiliated with the institute were also subordinate to the Director/President: from 1818 the orphanage, later on the agricultural school , and from 1842 the school of horticulture.

Management of the otherwise independent school of horticulturewas transferred in 1949 from the University President to the Director of the newly-established Institute of Pomiculture and Vegetable Gardening. Until the end of the 1960’s, the agricultural school was used to train agricultural apprentices and interns. Since 1973 it no longer enrolls students.

During the course of the 19th century, a primary school and a Latin school developed out of an elementary school that had been temporarily incorporated into the agricultural school. At the beginning of last century, the primary school was then incorporated into the Plieningen elementary school; in the middle of this century the Latin school became a secondary school, the present-day Paracelsus secondary school (since 1966).

Due to the brevity of this article, the development of higher education can only be described in a few decisive turning points for the University’s organisational structure:

In 1847 the Agricultural Institute was promoted to an Agricultural Academy by decree of King Wilhelm I. of Württemberg. In 1847 the Hohenheim teaching body consisted of seven professors: two for Agriculture, one of whom was also the Director, two for Forestry, one each for Technology, Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Physics.

Besides the seven professors, nine new assistant teachers also taught the subjects Veterinary Science, Pomiculture and Vegetable Gardening, Bee-keeping, Accounting, Law and agricultural Civil Engineering. Indeed, student numbers were comparably low in 1848 with ca. 100 students training to be agriculturists.

Forestry education was particularly important at Hohenheim. Founded in 1820 as a basic forestry school and upgraded in 1825 for purposes of academic forestry training, the foresters soon displayed tendencies leaning towards autonomy which may have ultimately been the reason for transfer of forestry education from Hohenheim to the regional university of Tübingen in 1881.

Of the subjects introduced in the second half of the 19th century, here only the most important, Agricultural Chemistry (1854) and Economics (1875) are mentioned. Between 1880-1900, numerous experimental stations and testing stations were founded that were later made into university and state institutes.

Since the start of the 20th century, the departments in Hohenheim have been joined into institutes. The University’s institute structure was developed gradually until around 1920. In 1918/19, the Agricultural University of Hohenheim (new title since 1904) received the right to award doctorates and habilitations, and in 1922 the presidential constitution was instituted: a wish that the so-called lecturer’s convent had had for over half a century.

The new constitution that came into effect on 1 October 1922 replaced the “new organic provisions” of 1883, which the college had awarded itself after secession of the forestry department. The President, elected on an annual basis from a series of full professors now replaced the Director and the Senate replaced the teachers’ body.

The Senate was now the college’s decision-making body, yet the President possessed strong powers that meant he visibly dominated this body. The number of students had grown nicely to just over 1000 in 1922 but was still manageable.

The period from 1900 – 1933 was characterized by constant expansion of research and teaching: several Chairs and Institutes were newly established.

The year 1934 wrought a new amendment to the constitution. More rights were allocated to the President: during the course of the consolidation of the institutional powers of the university system the President became the so-called “Leader of the Agricultural College”, who answered to the Minister for Education on behalf of the entire administration. He was chosen by the Lieutenant Governor from a number of full professors for a period of two years. All the responsibilities accrued by the Senate were transferred to the President. The Senate only performed an advisory role.

In 1942 Hohenheim was incorporated into the city of Stuttgart which, however, barely influenced the academic life of the University. In 1945 the University had to be closed down.

In 1967, the University received the name “Universität Hohenheim (Landwirtschaftliche Hochschule)” (University of Hohenheim (Agricultural University)). At first, this changed little in the structures and teaching, as had been the case with the new names in 1847 and 1904. The addition in parentheses has since been deleted by the University Act.

In 1968, the third faculty was established: The Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences developed out of the applied business and economic sciences in the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences.

The fundamental re-design of the University structures and the charter was brought about by the State Higher Education Act of Baden-Württemberg in 1968 and the University Act from 1978. With the University Act, the constitution from 1922 was abrogated. In place of the President (Rektor) annually elected from among the full professors, a President (Präsident) elected by the Large Senate for 8 years was instituted.

The University committees were then: Great Senate (election and supervisory organ, decisions about changes to the charter), Administrative Council (financial and human resource matters), and the Senate (general competence). According to the University Act from 2000, in November 2011 the Senate established thepresidential constitution.

Today, almost 10,000 students are enrolled at the University of Hohenheim.

Corresponding to the jump in the number of students after World War II, the number of professors and employees at the University also grew quickly: In 1990, there were almost eight times as many professors as in 1946. The scientific personnel numbers 950 people today, 120 of whom are professors. The total number of people employed by the University is 2,100.

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