Located in central Cologne, not far from the River Rhine, the University of Cologne (UoC) was founded in 1388, making it one of Germany’s, and Europe’s, oldest universities, where it was a leader in theological study.
Although UoC closed in 1798 under French rule, it re-opened again in 1919 as an institution that was independent of its past. The modern-day university seeks to combine the historical institution it once was with the present-day, reflecting a pride in its heritage and traditions while conveying a modern outlook – a factor that UoC says provides students with a unique learning environment.
Today, the university is one of the largest research universities in Germany, home to over 45,000 students and comprising six faculties. Almost a third of its students go on to enter the teaching profession, making it one of the foremost institutions for teacher training.
It recently launched a project encouraging ambitious secondary school students to attend and participate in lectures at the university, with the concept being so successful as to be adopted by several other institutions.
UoC established a Professional Centre in 2008 to offer students career advice, as well as opportunities to train in certain areas of expertise. The institution also prides itself on its investment in gender equality and diversity, with various methods in place to promote equality across the board.
Alumni of the university include a German Federal President, a Federal Chancellor, several European Court judges and four Nobel Prize recipients, the physicist Peter Grünberg among them.
With partnerships in place with universities that include the Paris-Sorbonne, University College London, Maastricht University and the Warsaw School of Economics, UoC students are able to pursue joint degree programmes with other renowned institutions across Europe.