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The University of Bayreuth enjoys an outstanding reputation among scholars abroad

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University of Bayreuth, Press Release No 106/2017, 1 September 2017

The University of Bayreuth is strengthening its worldwide reputation: it was once again rated ninth among German universities and research institutions for its popularity as a destination for top-notch international researchers.

Every few years, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation publishes a list of the universities and research institutions in Germany that attract the most scholars from other countries. The latest ranking analysed the period between 2012 and 2016. During this time, a total of 68 scholars visited the University of Bayreuth with a fellowship or research award.

The University is currently hosting nine such scholars: two from China, two from Iran, along with scholars from Japan, India, France, Italy, and Kenya. According to the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, such visits always involve “deciding on a host in Germany and submitting a statement about the subject areas that make German research so good that they attract the best and brightest internationally and about which scholars in Germany maintain especially intensive contacts abroad.” The reason is that the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation does not assign the participants to certain locations, but rather leaves it to the fellows and award-winners to choose their destinations themselves. A university‘s international standing and reputation within the international scientific community are thus significant factors in this decision. “The Humboldt Ranking is a hall-mark of internationality – and it is not determined by the size of a university,” said President of the Humboldt Foundation, Prof. Dr. Helmut Schwarz. “It is not only our flagship universities in the major cities or the winners of the latest Excellence Initiative that are popular and internationally visible. Universities such as Bonn, Göttingen, and Bayreuth are known internationally and maintain international networks and are thus sought-after destinations. The variety of different locations is one of Germany’s great strengths when competing internationally,” said Schwarz.  

“Being placed among the top ten yet again is impressive acclaim,” said University President Prof. Dr. Stefan Leible with regard to the results. “It means we have once again - and continuously - garnered attention internationally by way of our research – in other words: the outstanding contributions of our scholars.” However, it is not just about visibility, but also tangible cooperation. “This ranking is also proof that Bayreuth’s researchers are well-connected internationally, and it shows that we are an important part of Germany as an internationally respected location for science.” The University of Bayreuth and the town also benefit from the guests in other ways: “They enrich our campus and represent a major contribution to Bayreuth’s cosmopolitan flair,” Leible said.

An especially welcoming culture at the University of Bayreuth

The University of Bayreuth has an especially welcoming culture: The Welcome Centre was established early on and received an award from the Humboldt Foundation for its concept. It supports international scholars with a comprehensive range of services. In addition, the Welcome Centre supports scholars at risk who are able to pursue their research in Bayreuth although it is not possible for them to do so in their home countries for various reasons (war or persecution). The Humboldt Fellows help sustain the University of Bayreuth’s reputation in their home countries. Their network and services are managed by the Bayreuth International Alumni Centre, for example via alumni events that the University of Bayreuth organizes around the world. This concept also earned an award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation

The AvH Foundation is one of the largest funding organizations that brings scholars to Germany from other countries. To avoid favouring larger universities (which naturally offer more opportunities and room for guests), the number of award-winners and fellows is considered in relation to the number of professors at the university (number of international visiting scholars per 100 professors). This is done in order to provide the necessary comparability. The top positions are currently held by the universities in the major cities Munich and Berlin, followed by Bonn, Göttingen, Heidelberg, and Bayreuth. With around 240 professors and 13,300 students, the University of Bayreuth is the smallest university to have made it into the top ten.

Link to the 2017 Humboldt Ranking:



If you would like to learn more about visiting scholars at the University of Bayreuth, please contact the Welcome Centre directly: Phone: +49 (0)921 / 55-5318 // E-mail: welcome@uni-bayreuth.de

Editorial Office:

Anja-Maria Meister
Press & PR Manager
University Communications
Phone: +49 (0)921 / 55-5300
Fax: +49 (0)921 / 55-5325
E-mail: anja.meister@uni-bayreuth.de
Central University Administration (ZUV)
Room 3.05, Universitätsstraße 30, 95447 Bayreuth

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