Freie University of Berlin
Scholarship, in its basic premises and conception, is international. This holds especially true for the Freie University. Since its foundation, the Freie University has viewed its regional and international relationships as essential. As a result of West Berlin's earlier geographical and political isolation and because of the history of its founding, external contacts were of particular importance. Since the reunification of Germany in October 1990, the city of Berlin, with its function as a bridge between East and West, has increasingly become a focus of international interest.
Each year the Freie University hosts more than 70 scholarly conferences, symposia, and congresses with international participation. Partnerships with universities on all continents promote the exchange of students, scholars, and research results. Each year, about 1,500 guest lecturers from all parts of the world work at the Freie University for shorter or longer periods. In addition, the Freie University has 95 partnership arrangements with international institutions within the Berlin-Brandenburg region; the Freie University cooperates closely with other principal institutions of higher education and research.
The Freie University offers more than 70 subjects with about 90 degree programs and various possibilities for taking a doctorate as well as a number of additional postgraduate and continuing education courses. The programs encompass areas of academic training in the humanities, in the natural and social sciences as well as in medicine. A special feature of the Freie University is its group of three central institutes for regional studies: the Institutes for Latin American Studies and for Eastern European Studies, and the John-F.-Kennedy-Institute for North American Studies. At these centers, scholars from various fields work together in an interdisciplinary teaching and research environment.
Currently, the Freie University has about 42,500 students, among them over 5,500 international students from almost 140 countries. In addition, there are over 300 international students each year who come to study at the University within other exchange programs.
In Germany, students usually spend much of their time reading in the libraries. The library system of the Freie University consists of a central university library and a series of departmental libraries that also offer the subject-related literature from 1999 onwards. The departmental libraries are housed in the institutes or departments where the literature of each subject-area is accessible in reading rooms. The central library has holdings of over two million volumes. Here, literature from all fields, general and subject-area bibliographies and interdisciplinary literature has been collected, as well as reference works of all sorts. With its research facilities, this is the main literature information center of the Freie University.