A Brief History of the MARTIN LUTHER UNIVERSITY
The Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg is the largest and oldest institution of Higher Education in the federal state of Saxony-Anhalt and is one of the oldest universities in the German-speaking area. The University was founded by the Saxon Elector, Frederick the Wise, in Wittenberg in 1502. Owing to the work of Martin Luther and the influence of Philipp Melanchthon, the University developed into the centre of the Reformation and of the reform of the humanities.
In 1694 the Brandenburg Elector, Frederick III, opened the university in Halle. The appointment of famous scholars such as the jurist, Christian Thomasius, and the theologian, August Hermann Francke, soon made the University the centre of the early Enlightenment and Pietism. In Halle, as was the case in Wittenberg before, the foundation of the University took place against the background of a far-reaching university reform that was spreading all over Germany.
In 1717 the first German university clinic was opened by J. Juncker in the Francke Foundations ( Franckesche Stiftungen). In the mid-18th century, Dorothea Erxleben was awarded a doctorate by the University. She was the first woman to be honoured in this way by a German university.
As a result of territorial restructuring following the Congress of Vienna, the Universities of Wittenberg and Halle were united in 1817, and academic teaching in Wittenberg came to an end. The University under the name of ´Vereinigte Friedrichsuniversität` underwent further fundamental reforms in the spirit of Wilhelm von Humboldt.
In the 19th and early 20th centuries, the University developed into a highly esteemed place of research and academic teaching and was on a par with other old and famous universities such as Tübingen, Heidelberg, Jena, Leipzig and Göttingen. On 10 November 1933, the University was named `The Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg`.
A Fresh Start in 1989/1990
Despite politically-biased teaching, ideological restrictions and material shortages in East German times, the Martin Luther University has remained, to a large extent, a place of autonomous research and is also renowned for its high standard of academic teaching. This could be resumed after the re-unification of Germany.
Since the early 1990s, more than 300 professors have been appointed. Recently, the number of external appointments has risen sharply, and the renewal and expansion of the University is evidently making good progress. Thus, on average, university professors in Halle tend to be younger than usual. In the last two years, almost a third of all chairs have been assigned to women.
In the winter semester of 1998/99, about 13,250 students studied at the seven faculties of the Martin Luther University.
In addition to these faculties, the University has several interdisciplinary scientific institutions.
06099 Halle (Saale)
Tel: +49 (0)345 / 55-20
Fax: +49 (0)345 / 55-2 70 77
Further information: http://www.uni-halle.de