Witten/Herdecke University is a private, state-recognized non-profit university in Witten, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It was the first German private institution of higher education to receive accreditation as a “Universität”, a status recognizing the university’s academic quality equivalent to state-run universities and granting the right to award next to bachelor’s and master’s degrees doctorates and the German Habilitation.
Its foundation and history has been marked by often controversial debates and significant difficulties to establish the new university in the German educational system. In 1995 Times Higher Education noted that the university was considered by some “an idealistic model for the future of German higher education and others … a carbuncle on the country’s fiercely state-dominated university landscape”.Today Witten/Herdecke University has succeeded to be recognized as one of Germany’s few private universities considered ‘Humboldtian’ and as a role model in terms of course structures, integration of practical and theoretical training and innovative approaches to payment of tuition fees.
- Witten/Herdecke University (UW/H) was founded and state recognized in 1983 and ever since has been a pioneer among Germany’s higher education institutions
- UW/H has introduced significant innovations in research and teaching over a period of 30 years
- Research at UW/H is interdisciplinary, highly diverse as to methodology, and focuses on well-defined areas
- UW/H students study in small groups with an excellent student-teacher ratio