Interdisciplinary research, modern courses and world-wide cooperation - Bielefeld University combines classic higher education traditions with innovative structures in research and teaching. Recognised research capabilities and distinctive courses, technology transfer and opportunities for further education have made it one of the best universities in Germany and have helped to spread the University's fame far beyond Germany's borders.
Bielefeld University has about 18,000 students taking more than 80 different courses provided for by 13 faculties. More than 2,000 scientific and non-scientific staff members are employed here. The University's main building on the edge of the Teutoburg Forest is unique in its architectural concept - here you can find everything under one roof.
The distinguishing characteristic of the University is the interdisciplinary identity. This is true both in research as in teaching. A shining example of this is the Center for Interdisciplinary Research (ZIF) which brings together international experts from various disciplines in order to complete common projects.
In 2007 Bielefeld University was successful in two separate projects within the framework of the Excellence Initiative supported by the Federal Government and the State Government. Initially the cluster "Cognitive Interaction Technology" (Human-Machine Communication) will receive 6.5 million euros per year for the next five years from the initiative to promote top-level research. Simultaneously, and for the same five-year period, "Bielefeld Graduate School in History and Sociology" was awarded with more than one million euros per year in funding.
In 2009, the University was yet again one of the winners of the Exzellente Lehre [Excellent teaching] competition organized by the Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft and the Standing Conference of Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs. The University has been granted 1 Million Euro to implement its concept Wege zu einer neuen Studien- und Lehrkultur [Towards a New Culture of Studying and Teaching].