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Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf

Heinrich Heine University DUESSELDORF: A Portrait

Even though the French emperor Napoleon I planned to found a university in Duesseldorf in 1811, with the Rhine area being thought of as an intellectual buffer zone between France and Prussia, Duesseldorf had to wait one more century. In 1907 the Duesseldorf Academy for Applied Medicine was founded and opened together with the newlybuilt Municipal Hospital, which was at that time the most modern clinical complex in the German Empire. Since the Academy had no university constitution, it was only allowed to instruct medical trainees, not students. The academy itself and part of the population launched several initiatives to change the status of the institution. In 1923 they finally succeeded when a university constitution including the right to train students was given to the Medical Academy of Duesseldorf. The study of dental medicine was subsequently incorporated, and by 1935 even doctoral degrees could be awarded in Duesseldorf.

After World War II the federal state of North Rhine- Westphalia and the City of Duesseldorf signed a contract which stated that the federal state would take over the Medical Academy, while the hospitals remained municipally owned. The Medical Academy became the University of Duesseldorf in November 1965, and in January 1966 it became a university with a medical faculty and a combined faculty of arts and natural sciences. In December 1988 the university senate decided to change the institution’s name to Heinrich Heine University Duesseldorf, in commemoration of one of the city’s most renowned sons whose critical and inquisitive, poetic mind reached out across national borders and fought against small-mindedness.

Today the university forms the backbone of Duesseldorf`s academic reputation. Faced with nation-wide cuts in university spending, the University of Duesseldorf has continued to thrive, and, despite its recent foundation it has gained the reputation usually associated only with universities rich in age and tradition.

The university’s continuous development has made it home to a distinguished range of subjects, including medical science, natural sciences, economics, law, and the humanities. The degree requirements allow for numerous combinations of subjects, and study programs can be tailored to fit individual needs. Some subjects, such as Literary Translation, Yiddish Culture, Language and Literature, and Media Science, are unique features of our curriculum. Further specialties in the Faculty of Arts include Modern Japan Studies, and German as a Foreign Language which address the needs of the international business community. The Faculty of Economics focuses particularly on International Management. European and International Law enjoy an elevated position at the Faculty of Law, which is also a renowned center of commercial law. Duesseldorf has become a hub of Biotechnology; and, research in Genetics and Molecular Biology are focal points within the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences.

The Faculty of Medicine has gained a reputation for its research in Cardiology; Cell and Gene Therapy form the backbone of clinical research. The Center of Biomedical Research (BMFZ) stands out as a center of excellence. Several institutions devoted to special fields are attached to the university, for example the Institute of Diabetic Research, and the Medical Institute for Environmental Hygiene. The Institute for International Communication is also located on campus.

Ample proof of the confidence that sponsors place in the research conducted at HHUD can be seen in the number of collaborative research centers and research training programs. The University of Duesseldorf ranks 18th among the top 45 universites (113 in total), which together receive 90% of all project funds granted in Germany.

The university’s international profile is the result of the active exchange programs it maintains with partner universities in regions as diverse as California and Peking, Reading and Naples. In any given year, about 3000 foreign students come from more than 110 nations, and over 120 guest academics conduct their research here. The total number of students amounts to approximately 25000. The number of faculty exceeds 1500.

Last but not least, the university has the advantage of occupying a pleasant site. And after long hours of study it is tempting to take a stroll through the Botanical Garden located right on campus....


Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf
Universitätsstraße 1
40225 Düsseldorf
Tel: +49 (0)211/81-00
Fax: +49 (0)211/34 22 29

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