Heidelberg, Germany

Heidelberg is a university town in the German state of Baden-Württemberg, situated on the river Neckar in south-west Germany. In the 2016 census, its population was 159,914, of which roughly a quarter consisted of students. Located about 78 km (48 mi) south of Frankfurt, Heidelberg is the fifth-largest city in Baden-Württemberg. Heidelberg is part of the densely populated Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region.

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Heidelberg University, founded in 1386, is Germany’s oldest and one of Europe’s most reputable universities. Heidelberg is a scientific hub in Germany and home to several internationally renowned research facilities adjacent to its university, including the European Molecular Biology Laboratory and four Max Planck Institutes. The city has also been a hub for the arts, especially literature, throughout the centuries, and it was designated a “City of Literature” by the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

Heidelberg University

Heidelberg was a seat of government of the former Electorate of the Palatinate and is a popular tourist destination due to its romantic cityscape, including Heidelberg Castle, the Philosophers’ Walk, and the Baroque old town. The population of the city of Heidelberg exceeded 100,000 for the first time in 1946. It is a city with an international population, including one of the largest American communities outside North America, but this is not analysed in the Heidelberg population statistics. At the end of December 2011, the city had 149,633 inhabitants with an official primary residence in Heidelberg (not including the soldiers and employees of the U.S. Army and their dependents, a total of about 20,000 people), a historic high.

The following table shows the number of inhabitants within the boundaries of the city at the time. To 1833 they are mostly estimates, then census results or official updates of the statistical offices of the time or the city administration. The data refer from 1843 to the “local population”, from 1925 to the resident population and since 1987 the “population at the site of their main dwelling.” Prior to 1843 the population was determined by non-uniform collection procedures.

Heidelberg is known for its institutions of higher education. The most famous of those is Heidelberg University Founded in 1386, it is one of Europe’s oldest institutions. In fact, Heidelberg is the oldest university town of today’s Germany. Among the prominent thinkers associated with the institution are Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Karl Jaspers, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Jürgen Habermas, Karl-Otto Apel and Hannah Arendt. The campus is situated in two urban areas and several buildings. In numerous historical buildings in the old town there are the Faculties of the Humanities, the Social Science and the Faculty of Law. The school of applied sciences is located in the Science Tower in Wieblingen. The Faculties of Medicine and Natural Science are settled on the Neuenheimer Feld Campus.

The campus of Heidelberg University has a total undergraduate enrollment of 30,898 as of 2014. The enrollment rate of this university is 16.3 percent. Less than 20 percent of the total student body is international. This university has many areas of study for national students such as; theology, law, philosophy, modern languages, economics, and social sciences. The university does not charge students for tuition. The school’s academic calendar is semester based, and the majority of the language for instruction is in German. For international students the academic calendar is based on a block schedule. The international students attend in block periods of 5 weeks. The University or “Uni” is spread across three campuses each containing different fields of study.Old university hall

Since 1904 there has been a College of Educational Science, the Pädagogische Hochschule Heidelberg; since 1979 there has been a college of Jewish Studies, the Hochschule für Jüdische Studien Heidelberg. It comprises nine branches specializing in both religion and Jewish culture. The Schiller International University, a private American university is also represented with a campus in Heidelberg offering several undergraduate and graduate programs in the fields of International Business and International Relations and Diplomacy.

Buildings of European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg, including the new Advanced Training Centre. In addition to the research centers and institutes of the university, there are numerous research institutions situated in the city of Heidelberg. Among them are the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO), the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics, Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law.

SRH Hochschule Heidelberg is one of the oldest and largest private universities in Germany. Heidelberg is home to 23 elementary schools. There are several institutions of secondary education, both public and private, representing all levels of the German school system. There are 14 Gymnasiums, with six of them private. With 52% of secondary students attending a Gymnasium, Heidelberg sits above the German average, perhaps because a large number of academics live in Heidelberg and its environs.

The gymnasiums include the Kurfürst-Friedrich-Gymnasium, Bunsen-Gymnasium, Helmholtz-Gymnasium, Hölderlin-Gymnasium and Elisabeth-von-Thadden-Schule. Then there are seven Realschule, ten Hauptschule and nine vocational schools. In addition, there are several folk high schools with different specialisations. Heidelberg International School serves the local expatriate community.

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European Higher Education Organization is a public organization carrying out academic, educational and information activities on higher education in Europe.

The EHEO general plan stresses that:

  • Higher education systems require adequate funding and, as an investment in economic growth, public spending in higher education should be protected.
  • The challenges faced by higher education require more flexible governance and funding systems, which balance greater autonomy for education institutions with accountability to stakeholders.

Thus, EHEO plans:

  • improve academic and scientific interaction of universities;
  • protect the interests of universities;
  • interact more closely with public authorities of European countries;
  • popularize European higher education in the world;
  • develop academic mobility;
  • seek funding for European universities.