In Germany, there are only five universities that were founded before, while only Heidelberg and Leipzig operated continuously since then: Heidelberg (1386), Cologne (1388), Erfurt (1392/1994), Würzburg (1402/1582) and Leipzig (1409). That makes Rostock University the third oldest German university in continuous operation.
Throughout the 15th century, the University of Rostock had about 400 to 500 students each year, a large number at that time. Rostock was among the largest universities in Germany at the time and many of its students also came from the Low Countries, Scandinavia or other states bordering the Baltic Sea.
In the course of political struggles and pressure from the church, the university moved to Greifswald in 1437 and remained there until 1443. From 1487 to 1488 teaching took place in Lübeck.
A few years later the city of Rostock, its university also became Protestant in 1542. Humanism and Lutheranism were defining characteristics of the university. After the Thirty Years' War (1618–1648), the University of Rostock played only a regional role. When the "ownership" of the university moved from the city to the state (Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin) in 1827, however, things changed for the better. The end of the 19th century saw generous building activity in Rostock's alma mater and the university soon regained its old reputation amongst German universities.
On the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the university, Albert Einstein and Max Planck received honorary doctorates on 12 November 1919. This made the University of Rostock the world's first institute of higher learning to award this honour to Einstein. Interestingly enough, the doctorate was not revoked during the Nazi rule in Germany (1933–1945), despite such orders by the Nazis. The reason for this remains unknown. David Katz, Hans Moral (de) (committed suicide) and others lost their posts in 1933.
The end of the Second World War in 1945 brought many changes. The university, now finding itself in the Soviet Zone of Germany (the later German Democratic Republic), was re-opened on 24 February 1946. The Faculty of Law was closed in 1951, a Faculty of Agriculture was introduced in 1950 and in 1951 saw the opening of a Department of Shipbuilding (renamed Faculty of Technology in 1963). The University of Rostock was the first traditional university in Germany to open a technical faculty. In 1952, the Faculty of Aviation was opened, but eventually relocated to Dresden.
The regional economy has improved as over 800 companies launched from the university since 1991. External funding for research increased between 2005 and 2010 by 83% and currently is above 47 million Euros per year. Over 500 million Euros has been invested in the university infrastructure since 1991, which will reach 750 million Euros by 2015. The number of young people from the West Germany and international students who choose University of Rostock as a study location, are increasing every year. International Students from 99 different countries have been studied at University of Rostock. In 2007, the University of Rostock gathered its research capacities into three profile lines: Life, Light & Matter (LLM), Maritime Systems, and Aging of Individuals and Society. In 2010 a fourth was added, called Knowledge-Culture-Transformation. Life, Light & Matter develops new concepts for future technologies based on atomic and molecular processes in connection with laser optics and life sciences. Maritime Systems unites oceanographers, engineers, humanities scholars, agricultural and social scientists, economists and lawyers. Aging of Individuals and Society has as its target a self-determined lifestyle in old age. Knowledge-Culture-Transformation deals with media and the representation of knowledge, transformation of knowledge, knowledge and interculturalism as well as knowledge and power.
Organisation and structure
Like many continental European universities, the University of Rostock is divided into academic faculties (German: Fakultät). Those can be sub-divided into academic departments (German: Institut) and chairs (German: Lehrstuhl).
It is divided into the following nine faculties:
Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
Plants and Soil
Ecology and (Coastal)-Landscape
Biomass, Aqua and Lifestock Sciences
Faculty of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering
Institute of Informatics
Institute of Electrical Engineering
Department of Computational Engineering
Faculty of Law
Department of Law
International Commercial Law
International Business Administration
Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Marine Technology
Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences
Institute of Biology
Institute of Chemistry
Institute of Mathematics
Institute of Physics
Faculty of Medicine
Albrecht Kossel Institute for Neuroregeneration
Informatics in Medicine and Gerontology
Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology
History of Medicine
Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine
Medical Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Medical Psychology and Sociology
Pharmacology and Toxicology
Proteome Center Rostock
Institute of Experimental Gene Therapy and Tumor Research
Faculty of Humanities
Department of Educational Science
Institute of General and Social Pedagogy
Institute of Educational Psychology Rosa and David Katz
Institute for Teacher Education
Department of English Language
Department of German Studies
Department of Romance Language
Heinrich Schliemann Institute of Archaeology
Institute of History
Institute for Media Research
Institute of Philosophy
Institute of Sports Science
Institute of Folklore
Moritz Schlick Research Centre
Centre for Logic, Philosophy and History of Science (ZLWWG)
Faculty of Theology
Institute of Image Theory
Institute of Text and Culture
Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences
Institute of Business Administration
Institute of Marketing and Services Research
Institute of Sociology and Demography
Institute of Political and Administrative Sciences
Institute of Economics
Rostock University Library
Michaeliskloster, part of the Rostock University Library (Special Historical Library Collections)
The Rostock University Library consists of 3 divisional libraries and several specialized libraries provides scientific literature and information for research, education and study. The university statistics shows about 3 million physical volumes recorded in the catalogue. It provides access to electronic journals (EZB) and specialized databases (DBIS). The library possesses large special collections of culturally historical and scientifically historical old books. In the Patents and Standards Centre (PNZ), all DIN norms and regulations as well as the VDI guidelines are provided. Moreover, the library also contains the university archive and the art treasure collection.
Rostock Student Services
The Rostock Student Services (German: Studentenwerk Rostock) provides accommodation for newly arrived international students who plan to study at the University of Rostock and the Rostock University of Music and Theatre. International students, who have not lived or studied in Germany, are considered for a Starter Package service. However, short-time students and students on a programme (ERASMUS; Sokrates) are given a low priority, while postgraduate students cannot use this service.
In recent years, the University of Rostock has undergone significant conceptual and organisational changes, which included the bundling of competences and research activities in the interdisciplinary, cross-faculty departments of the Interdisciplinary Faculty. Scientific priorities of the faculties have improved by including the interdisciplinary-based research units: Collaborative Research Centres, Research Training Groups, and Research Units.
The university cooperates with several independent research centres. Among those:
Felix Genzmer (de) (1878-1959), jurist and expert on Scandinavian studies, translator of the Edda songs, Professor of Public Law from 1920 to 1922
Gustav Mie (1868-1957), physicist, studied physics at the University of Rostock from 1886 to 1889
Moritz Schlick, (1882-1936), philosopher, habilitation in 1911, lecturer from 1911 to 1921, later initiator of the Viennese Circle; at the Institute of Philosophy of the Faculty of Humanities
Viktor Schilling (de) (1883-1960), physician, co-founder of Hematology, Head of the Rostock University Hospital
David Katz (1884-1953), psychologist, from 1919-1933 associate professor, later professor, conferred to emerited status by the National Socialists due to his Jewish origins.
Hans Moral (de) (1885-1933), ab 1920 erst from 1920 on international significant Associate Professor, later Professor of Dentistry, committed suicide after he was dismissed because of his Jewish origins; commemorative plaque in the foyer of the main university building
Walter H. Schottky (1886-1976), physicist, Professor of theoretical Physics from 1923 to 1927
Arno Esch (1928-1951), student and liberal politician, active member of the Liberal Democratic Party, condemned to death as declared opponent of communism; commemorative plaque in the foyer of the main university building
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