Excellence Initiative

University of Reform

Humboldt-Universität was founded by Wilhelm von Humboldt in 1810 as a reform university. His concept of a "universitas litterarum," practicing the unity of teaching and research to provide students with a well-rounded humanist education plan, earned the University the title "mother of all modern research universities".
In addition to making scientific history, Humboldt-Universität has also been a microcosm of German history, beginning in the 19th century and continuing through the atrocities of the Third Reich and the university’s role as the most prestigious university in East Germany, on up to the reunified Germany of today.
After reunification, our university went through an extraordinary process of reorganization in which more than two thirds of its professors were replaced and new academic structures were developed. The university succeeded in attracting outstanding scientists and scholars from East and West, from Germany and abroad.
The university’s new constitution enabled us to establish a professional university presidency and a kuratorium, or board of trustees, acting as an external supervisory organ. Our Mission Statement was developed to guide the presidency’s policies, including the 12-point-program.
The university introduced a real quality assurance system covering teaching and study programs as well as research, administrative services and management. The program received the German Employers’ Association Prize for Education in 2003.
With our Draft Proposals under the Excellence Initiative we will continue Humboldt-Universität´s reforms striving for excellence.